How The Spoon Theory Has Caused Individuals Living With Disability And Illness To Feel Seen

While many individuals living with chronic illness or disability are familiar with and truly appreciate the message and philosophy behind the “spoon theory,” many aren’t. In keeping with our mission to offer products and services which support our customers living their best possible life, we wanted to ensure that our readers – both patients and caregivers -- were aware of this theory and the large online community of support, awareness, and understanding it has created.

The spoon theory is a pretty simple one -- that individuals dealing with ongoing illness have a limited number of “spoons” they can use each day because of the mental and physical energy required to manage and accommodate the illness while going about daily life. Developed by author Christine Miserandino to explain how her particular chronic illness – lupus – impacts what she is able to accomplish on any given day, the theory has provided a means for those living with chronic illness and disability (now widely referred to as #spoonies) to better communicate how illness impacts daily life.

Smaller tasks may only require the use of one spoon, but larger tasks may take as many as four, and once the daily allotment of spoons has been used, the spoonie has pretty much exhausted their mental and physical reserves for the day. The spoon theory reminds spoonies and their caregivers to be economical with their spoons. As they start each day, or plan for the next day or week, spoonies should give great thought to what they most need to accomplish, so they don’t over-schedule themselves or push to accomplish more than their spoon allotment allows for. To learn more about Christine Miserandino and the spoon theory, check out these great resources:

Find Great Fellowship Among Those Living With Disability and Chronic Illness

While spoonies can find each other thru support groups dedicated to specific illnesses or disabilities on Facebook, because hashtags are used to a greater extent on Instagram and Twitter, those latter social media platforms are ones where we see individuals who identify as #spoonies, or loved ones or caregivers of spoonies, sharing the following and receiving positive support and helpful advice back:

  • Challenges faced on a daily basis, particularly when a spoonie is having a really tough day
  • Tips for managing the challenges of a specific illness or disability, or managing illness or disability, in general
  • Successes and accomplishments

Such sharing and support makes spoonies feel “seen,” heard, and understood, and we know our readers can appreciate how wonderful that feeling is!

So how can you be part of the spoonie online fellowship? Just start following, liking, or commenting on the posts of individuals using hashtags like #spoonies, #spoonlife, #spoonieproblems, and #spooniestrong or using those in hashtags in your own posts to help those dealing with similar challenges find you. You may also enjoy reading spoonie stories and sharing your own at

Providing Peace of Mind Is One Of Our Biggest Priorities and We're Here To Help

The team of aging in place experts and durable medical specialists at Lift & Care Systems has been helping seniors and their families/caregivers related to aging in place in MA, CT, and RI for more than 20 years. Our skilled team can install and teach you how to correctly use one or several of the following types of products that help both seniors and disabled individuals enjoy more freedom/independence and a higher quality of life: ceiling liftsbody support & slingsstaircase lift chairswheelchair rampsbathroom safety for seniors, mobile liftspool liftsvertical platform liftsaccessible showers, wall-to-wall patient lifts.

Contact us today for a free consultation about how we can help you and your loved one related to accessibility and safety durable medical equipment (DME) needs.


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