Mobility Devices, Canes, & Walking Aids: Page 2 | Older Adult Perspectives

The Impact Theme series: Longevity Explorers Discuss.

Getting around seems straightforward. Until you can't!

Listen to a variety of Longevity Explorer discussions relating to products that can help with walking — including various mobility devices like canes and walkers and scooters.


Hear what Older Adults Think: Mobility Devices, Canes, & Walking Aids

Cane that Transforms into a Seat: Show & Tell

Explorer Bob demonstrates the way his cane quickly turns into a seat for a respite.



Self-Balancing Cane: explorers are inventing

Senior Design Meetup member Wayne speaks of inventing a Self-Balancing biometric cane that can sense shifts of balance by the user and compensate accordingly.



Car Cane User Report

Explorer James reports on his experience using the Car Cane with his auto and truck.



Ergonomic Cane Handle Design

During a discussion on canes, Explorer Bob mentions having seen a cane with a specially designed ergonomic handle for ease of use by arthritic hands.



Lighted Cane: Very popular but found a flaw

Explorer AnnieScott reports on the warm response from her fellow residents to the lighted (and alarmed) Secure Cane she purchased following our Explorer research on these products. But she notices an imperfection now she has been using it.



An Aid for Car Entry and Exit

Explorer Shirley tells the group about an ad for HandyBar, a car support device to assist in entering and leaving an automobile.



Turning a Cane into a Seat

Explorer Judy introduces a walking cane with a handle designed to fold down into two parts, creating a temporary seat.



HealthSmart Rollator: positive experience

Explorer Ann brought a HealthSmart compact lightweight gateway folding rollator walker as follow-up to a previous discussion. She reported that the owner is quite pleased with it, and she thought it was a fine product. During the discussion, the group uncovered some possible weaknesses in an otherwise commendable device.



Canes and Apps for Seniors: example explorations

At this Commonwealth Club's Grownups Forum/Longevity Collective discussion circle, members heard a brief introduction to what the other circles typically do. For one, they examined and tested a cane selected as best of an assortment tested by other circles over the past few months. The facilitator then reviewed a chart of proposed and favorite apps for seniors, and invited the members to add to the list as they learned about other apps. Both are good examples of what might occur at a Longevity Explorer discussion circle.



Explorer Idea: Stabilizing Bar on Track

Explorer Don tells the circle about his dream of a bar on an overhead track system that will help him out of bed safely, and which he can grab and hold onto for stability as he walks to the bathroom or elsewhere throughout his home.



Off-Road Walker demonstration @ SPV

During a recent Longevity Circle meeting at Sequoias, Portola Valley, the group welcomed inventor Elaine Levin, creator of the Podna Rover, a wheeled walker (also known generically as a 'rollator') that she could take outdoors, and off of paved surfaces.



Canes Hands-on @ Cal Presy

A member examines and discusses several different canes, each having somewhat different features to appeal to older adults.



Lighted Canes, Hands-on @ EVC

The group had the opportunity to try out several kinds of canes which had various features built in.



Lighted Canes Hands-on @ SSF

The group had an opportunity to test and compare several canes with different features. One with variable height only (jammmed and was useless) Another with a lighted lower portion for showing the way in the dark. And one with variable height, a bright lamp, a red flashing safety light, and a shrill alarm to summon help or startle a potential troublemaker.



Choosing a Walker: The search begins

One member recounts the difficulty of researching the various design features of walkers and how to apply them to the needs of a particular individual.



Cane discussion @ CalPresy

The members comment on a brief presentation about canes which has been prepared by another member of the Longevity Collective.



Useful Innovations with Canes

The group reflects on some of the advances in cane design that make them much more than the inert assistive devices of the past.



How Can I Hold an Umbrella while on Crutches?

A member expressed concern for how his wife could better manage an umbrella while using crutches to ambulate.



Need for Off-road Walker

The group discussed their desire to be able to venture off-road on the trails in the nearby park, and the challenge of doing so without good "off-road" walkers. We then spent some time talking about a specific off-road walker concept (PodnaRover) and discussing the design, and how to improve it.



Toilet modifications & hip surgery. Improvements needed.

In this circle discussion we heard about the usefulness of a toilet seat accessory for use after hip surgery made some modifications desirable. But what about the need to clean it? The discussion suggests some design imperfections that our members would like to see adressed.



New walker design: our reaction

This circle discussed their initial impressions of Elaine Levin's Podna Rover, a novel design for an all-terrain walker.



Smart cane discussion @ SRC

This circle discussion focused on a specific smart cane recently developed by Fujitsu. Circle members shared impressions (based on a photo and limited information) of what might be good or bad about this design concept, and what features they hoped it would have.



Multi-purpose Cane Desired

This group discussed the desire of one of them for a multi-purpose cane that could do more than be just a cane.



Innovating to Make Falls Less Problematic

At the last Aging in Place Meetup (Oct. 22, 2014) Phil Marechal of Home Instead talked about "Seeking a Cure for Falls" You can read about it and listen to the talk below.



About the Impact Theme Series

Our Longevity Explorers (hundreds of older adults with ages ranging from 60-95 years old) meet regularly to discuss topics at the intersection of aging and technology.

Among the many topics we discuss in these meetings, we have been exploring some specific themes which we think are going to be very important for older adults in the future, and which in our opinion are ripe for innovation. These make up our Impact Themes, and Mobility Devices, Canes, & Walking Aids is one of these themes.

In these discussions:

  • We share how we do things today;
  • We explore and critique existing products;
  • We talk about challenges we have that we wish products could solve; and
  • We dream up product concepts we wish someone like you would develop.

If you are developing products or services for older adults in the category of Mobility Devices, Canes, & Walking Aids, listen to the Longevity Explorer discussions on this page to get insights about how to develop better products and services for older adults.

More Explorer Discussions


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Topics (broader coverage of this theme):