Tag Archives: retirement

Product news: Safety Gadgets for Walking Sticks

Clip on torch light for a walking stick / cane

Torch Light for a Walking Stick / Cane

Our two new handy, safety gadgets for walking stick users are very useful for fall prevention.

If you are unsteady on your feet and use a walking stick or cane, it can be too easy to trip up in the dark.  A  torch light that can be attached to your cane can be a great asset, particularly in the middle of the night when you need to get to the toilet and you don’t want to wake the whole house! Simply clip on the torch light and press the top button when you need to light your way.

Wall hung walking cane holder

DropMeNot Walking Stick / Cane and Crutch Holder

Most walking sticks tend to have the frustrating habit of falling over when you rest them up against something. Retrieving a stick from the floor can be very difficult and dangerous for the user – often resulting in a fall.

Canes that have an inbuilt grip in the handle, like the Sabi canes or the Top & Derby canes, can be safely propped up against a wall, but other canes may need a DropMeNot walking stick holder, a relatively new device, which can be secured to any wall around the home, to hold a walking stick or crutch when it is not needed. The holder can be positioned next to a favourite chair or by the bed, where it will be regularly needed.

For further information on our walking stick and canes and our complete product range visit our shop at designed2enable.co.uk #StayActiveWith Style

 

Product News – Garden Scoot

Mobile garden stool with wheels and tray beneath

Garden Scoot – Gardening Seat with Wheels in Lilac

Gardening is a hugely popular hobby that many people enjoy and it can be a great activity in retirement, to keep you fit and healthy.  Spending time in the fresh air is a wonderful form of relaxation, but gardening can be physically hard on your back and knees, and it can be quite challenging for anyone with reduced mobility or who are unsteady on their feet.

Gardening seat with wheels in Pink designed2enable.co.uk

Garden Scoot – Gardening Stool with Wheels in Pink

Garden Scoot  is lightweight yet sturdy, it makes light work of gardening, and can be manoeuvred around the garden with ease. Available in a wide range of fun colours, with solid tyres for easy maintenance, the Scoot can move in a sideways direction and it has a handy removable tray beneath the seat for holding tools, bulbs or small plants.

garden scoot gardening stool with wheels in orange

Garden Scoot – Gardening Stool with Wheels in Orange

Garden Scoot would make a great gift for any keen gardener. Read more about it here

Relaxed Creativity

activities, pastimes, hobbies, adult colouring

Everyone has something they do at the end of the day to relax. Some people go for a run, some watch the television, some people drink a glass of wine, some people take a nap. What do all these things have in common? They all make some attempt to turn off your brain after a long day of work. Apparently though, if your overall goal is to be happy, the best thing to do is to engage your right-side brain more. Wake it up, rather than shut it down, and you’ll find an increase in energy, and shake off any lethargy from your day.

Have you ever noticed that creativity flows more naturally when you are relaxed, open minded, and embracing your inner child? Studies show that when you engage in a creative project, your mood lifts, and your emotions and thought patterns are significantly more positive. Even if you don’t create anything overly aesthetically pleasing or useful – in fact, the less you focus on the results, the more pleasing the results will be. It’s simply the act of doing, of creating, of imagining something in your mind and then producing it with your hands. Literally, getting the thoughts out of your head and into something tangible, something you can physically manage.

Creating art or other creative pursuits allows your mind to relax, providing a break from all the usual thought patterns. The average person has over 60,000 thoughts in a day and, disturbingly, 95% of those thoughts are exactly the same, day in, day out.

When your brain is running on autopilot like this, going down the same paths each day, obviously it’s going to get lazy! That’s why it is so important to break up the routine with activities that stimulate different hemispheres of the brain, that get you out of your comfort zone, give you the satisfaction of creating something, and that provide you with a small sense of wonder at your own capabilities and the resources at your fingertips, if only you can find the inclination.

ergonomic gardening tools

Gardening for relaxation – Radius hand tools

Research shows that engaging in creative activities (nothing too crazy – we’re talking jam making, crocheting, stamp collecting, bird watching, etc) can leave the doer feeling a wonderful sense of satisfaction, calm, happiness and new energy. Cooking, baking, playing music,drawing, painting, sketching, photography, working with your hands, gardening, creative writing – basically, a lot of activities we loved to do as children, then most of us disregarded as “unnecessary” uses of our time when faced with the daily pressures of work, family, relationships, fitness, health.

 

But what if doing one of these activities actually had the potential to improve all of the above? To make your relationships more meaningful, maybe you spend an hour in the garden together, or cook a meal together. Maybe rather than spending your evenings watching television in a trance, you sit down on the floor and play a game or draw pictures with your children like you did when you were five. Maybe whilst you are sitting with your family watching TV, you can also be knitting or crocheting. Maybe you doodle in your adult colouring book while you’re on the train to work. Listen to a podcast and write down your thoughts or responses.

Creativity brings relaxation, and relaxation stimulates creativity. The right side of your brain governs creativity, holistic thinking (ie. the bigger picture), intuition, and imagination, and engaging it will lead to feeling happier and more positive on a day in, day out basis. As we age, it’s important to keep all of the pathways of our mind clear, to use our physical bodies in new ways, and interact with the world around us. Pick a creative pursuit that sticks in your mind from this article, turn off the TV, and get cracking!

Keeping Fit And Active in Retirement

Petanque players

There are a number of inspirational older people in my life, who have managed to stay fit, healthy and active into their later years. Many of them simply attribute “keeping busy” as their long-living secrets, maintaining social engagements and responsibilities in a community, giving each day purpose and structure. Our physical health is directly correlated with our mental health – if we feel needed, important, and positive about things, our body is naturally happier, and works to keep up and maintain mobility. Getting together with others for physical activity can be the best way to get endorphins moving through the body, boosting physical and mental energy, increasing mood, and engaging in social interaction.

So, you want to get physical, or stay physical, as you move into later years. What are the best options for heart health, joint mobility, flexibility, strength, and getting out of your head and into your body?

 Walking /Rambling

Check with your local community organisers about local walking groups, weekend rambler gatherings, or perhaps just talk to your friends or neighbours about getting together a casual walking group a couple of times a week. Walking is wonderful for heart health, maintaining healthy weight, developing strength in the legs, promoting healthy circulation and can be a nice time to chat with your walking buddies. It’s also very invigorating for us mentally to be amongst nature, fresh air and in tune with our surroundings. Plus, if you have a dog, they will be a great advocate for this one!

Yoga

There is a vast range in styles of yoga, and one style will be great for one person, and not so great for the next. As an individual, you need to find the style that works for you. For older bodies, a slower, more restorative style may be the best option, with not too much dynamic flow.

  • Iyengar Yoga is a tradition of yoga strongly focussed on alignment, and uses props and tools to make each pose more accessible. Classes tend to move at a slower pace, working slowly into the pose using the assistance of props such as blocks, straps, cushions and the helping hand of  a teacher. This style of yoga is all about making each pose accessible to you – not trying to bend you into a certain shape.

  • Hatha Yoga is the classical foundation of yoga, based on a series of asana (poses) that focus on the breath, awareness, and moving mindfully. There are many different levels of hatha yoga, and teachers will often run 6-8 week beginners courses, moving through the practices mindfully and offering adjustments and assistance to students. This can be a great option for bodies with a lot of tightness – you don’t have to move too quickly, in fact, its better to slow down and observe the sensations.

  • Yin/ Restorative Yoga is a powerful, deeply restful style of yoga where you navigate into the pose, using bolsters, cushions, blocks and straps to find your way in, and then hold the pose for anywhere from 3-10 minutes, slowly transitioning to the next. The idea is to completely surrender into each pose, taking strain off the muscles and accessing deep physical and emotional tissue to release tightness in the body and the mind. This is a wonderful option for stiff bodies, allowing time to go deeply into a pose without placing strain on the joints or overexerting  the heart.

Swimming/ Water Aerobics

Swimming is a great low-impact option for exercise – good for improving and maintaining cardiovascular fitness without putting strain on the joints. Start slow with a few laps, and work your way up. Another good option is group exercise water fitness, such as water aerobics or aqua jogging, which involves wearing an flotation belt and walking up and down the pool, much like walking outside, but low impact, and wonderful for toning the legs and abdomen. It can also help to improve balance and prevent falls. Check with your local pool about swimming times and groups exercise schedules.

Dance/ Aerobics

Get the heart rate up, laugh at yourself and your friends, and develop a greater sense of bodily awareness and confidence in movement. An excellent cardio workout to maintain heart health, strengthening and toning for the body, and an inevitable mood lifter – try a zumba class at your local community centre. Dance and aerobics develops rhythm, and core strength which helps to maintain balance.

Boules

Throwing  or rolling big balls to hit little balls. Boules is  a wide category, including games such as lawn bowling and petanque. Beyond the concentration, skill and tactics required, boules forces all the muscles to work against resistance in order to ensure the balance and stability of the lower body. And despite a laid-back rhythm, and the preconceived idea that boules is only for the over-60s, you can burn up to 180 calories in an hour, making it a solid workout. A fun, social game, with a little heat of competition to keep you on your toes.

Bridge

A mentally challenging game involving memory, visualisation and concentration, which is discovered to be effective in preventing the onset of mental disorders such  as depression and Alzheimer’s. Much like the satisfaction of completing a cryptic crossword, bridge provides an intellectual challenge and problem-solving satisfaction, leaving the player on a mental high with a sense of achievement. Even better if it is repeated regularly on a weekly basis, providing social and intellectual stimulation.

Volunteering

Get out of the house and into the community. Volunteering is a good way to get involved in a project or cause close to your heart, develop your sense of purpose and self worth, and meet new people. Helping at an animal shelter, organising community events, or helping people in need, are just a selection of volunteer projects. Think about something you feel passionately about, and get involved in something you can call your “passion project”.

This is just a selection of ideas – check with your local community organisers and fitness centres and see what they have to offer. If all else fails, taking a regular walk in the fresh air and taking on the challenge of a crossword or sudoku in the daily newspaper  is a simple and effective way to stimulate your mental and physical body.

Product News: Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rollator

Sturdy shopping trolley

Rollz Flex Shopper / Rollator

Shopping can be a fun but exhausting activity and for anyone that has mobility problems or tires easily, the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley, which double as a rollator,  could be the perfect solution.

Danish manufacturer Rollz, who are specialists in the ergonomic design of innovative mobility products are known for their award winning Rollz Motion Rollator. They have now produced another gem of a product with the Rollz Flex which has a very modern design and is ideal for anyone who may need a walking stick or a little extra support but who is not quite ready for a traditional rollator.

Topro Rollz Flex Rollator Grey

Rollz Flex Shopper with Denim Grey Bag

The Rollz Flex could easily become your best shopping buddy. It is lightweight and folds easily into a compact form for stowing in the boot of your car or storing at home. The push bar handle is height adjustable and can be positioned upright, or half or fully tilted forwards. When it is tilted forwards it can be leant on for support, just like a rollator.  The integral seat is there for when you need a rest and the push bar handle doubles as a back support when it is tilted fully forwards, for added safety.

Flex shopping trolley with adjustable handle bar

Rollz Flex Shopper with adjustable push bar handle

Every aspect of safety has been considered in the design of the Rollz Flex and therefore innovative drum brakes are included to provide safe and controlled braking and parking.  The manoeuvrable front wheels allow for easy steering and a threshold device is included on rear wheels for easy curb mounting.

The integral shopping bag is waterproof and holds a large capacity for storing all your shopping and the inner lining of the bag is removable and washable.  The Flex frame is available in white with either a Bright Purple or Denim Grey shopping bag.

Video Demonstration:

We think that you will love this product, we certainly do!

You can find more information on the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rolllator here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris Apfel, Style Icon

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image credit: thetimes.co.uk

Iris Apfel first came onto our radar a few years ago when she was featured on Advanced Style Blog. At the grand age of 94, most people are slowing down in life but Iris is an incredible woman who has become a ‘geriatric starlet’, known for her iconic style and creative brilliance.

A former interior designer, Iris and her husband Carl Apfel; a textile merchant who died earlier this year, landed a contract consulting on the interiors for the White House and were well known within the New York design circles.

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Iris & her husband Carl. Image: Rex

Her career as an interior designer and textile creator took her around the world. Through her travels to the far corners of the world, she collected her eclectic mix of vintage and designer clothes and costume jewellery which was exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.  This exhibition was a turning point in her career. Apfel styled the show herself and through word of mouth became a new fashion sensation, more or less overnight.

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Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Iris is celebrated in countless style magazines covers and insists that her appeal is due to the glamour that is missing in life these days and the fact that people like her because she is different. She is a master at mixing something cheap with something chic and manages to create her own style. She engages with all sorts of people, of all ages, from all walks of life and shares with them her excitement about living.

Loved for her no-nonsense attitude, she is well known for her ‘Irisisms’ where she shares her pearls of wisdom and her style inspiration:

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess”

“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else”

“I don’t see anything wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage”

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and above all, attitude”

This year has seen the launch of Iris, a documentary film about Apfel’s life. Iris is living proof that keeping active is the key to ageing gracefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product News – Sabi Space, Award Winning Bathroom Collection

Sabi Space, award winning, multi-generational range of easy-to-install storage and organisation products gives you the freedom to curate the perfect bathroom.

Sabi Space Mirror-shelf blog

Designed by MAP Project Office; a London based creative consultancy founded by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Space is currently exhibited at the London Design Museum and nominated for their Product Design of the Year 2015.

Sabi designs products for the older baby boomer market with the aim of removing any stigma usually associated with these products. With Space, Sabi have created a line of products that are easy to customise, that give people a sense of empowerment when it comes to designing or renovating their environment.

Working closely with Sabi, MAP undertook product research, interviewing Sabi’s demographic that gave a surprising conclusion that one of the biggest issues for them is creating a bathroom that they want, without the inconvenience of the usual difficulties of DIY installation; products that 60 year old women could easily install in their homes.

MAP then developed a system of products that centres around a single building block: the peg. The collection includes bathroom accessories such as a towel rail, mirror, shelves, hooks and a caddy organiser and each of these components connect to the wall through small aluminium pegs that adhere to the wall with adhesive pads, so no screws necessary! This allows you to mix and match the components and change things around if you decide that you want to rearrange your bathroom.

Space products are easy to install with 1:1 template stickers for positioning with the option to use the high strength self adhesive and moisture-resistant pads.

Sabi Space hold-rail hooks blog resized

Sabi Space Hang Rail and Hold

Products include Hang Rail, a bead blasted aluminium rail with adjustable hooks, available in 45 cm or 60 cm lengths.

Sabi Space caddy blog

Sabi Space Caddy

The Caddy organises and stores toiletries; drainage slots in the base keeps the Caddy clean and dry. A moveable cup and two hooks are included.

Magnify is an angle adjustable and detachable anti-fog wall mounted mirror. The handle shape is designed for easy adjustment when positioned on the wall mount.

Sabi Space magnify shelf copy

Sabi Space Magnify and Shelf

Shelf has the appearance of floating elegantly on the wall and lends itself to multiples, installed at different heights to store objects of various sizes and shapes.

Hold, a powder coated aluminium circular rail delivers a strong, secure and reassuring grip. The curved shape can suit someone with arthritis and is easy to grip from any angle. Its unique shape makes it look like a fun product, suitable for users of different heights; great for added bath play and safety for kids. Professional installation of the Hold is recommended.

Sabi Space is meant to make life easier for the ageing but its flexibility is equally appealing and useful to a university student or generation rent.

Sabi Space will soon be available at John Lewis online and selected stores .

To see the Sabi Space collection visit http://sabi.com/space-line.html

For further information on Sabi Space,  contact Sabi UK Sales Agent designed2enable.co.uk

email: info@designed2enable.co.uk

 

 

Future-Proof Housing For The Elderly

Grandmother and little girl making salad

As people get older, many think of downsizing.  With the ageing population, are builders really taking on board the needs of the ageing market? Is the construction industry fully aware of the need for accessible housing and does it have the knowledge to build properties that are accessible?

Regulations now require that all new-build properties have level access to the front door and a downstairs accessible toilet.  A friend recently purchased a new build house, which does comply with the regulations but once you get past the downstairs toilet there are a set of steps to negotiate, which really negates the planning of the toilet and front access!

Access for all should be a key consideration for new-build houses.  Properties that are adapted for wheelchairs can fetch a premium as they are few and far between.  We recently experienced two major leaks in our house and it was suggested that we move out and rent for a couple of months to allow the builders to repair the property.  I am a wheelchair user and the nearest adapted rental property that we could find was 25 miles away which was an impossible option with family commitments.

The issue is highlighted by the recent problems with ‘bed blocking’ in hospitals; partly attributed to some elderly patients being unable to return to their homes, which have become unsuitable for their needs.  This can result in elderly patients being placed in nursing homes, miles away from the support of family and friends.

Many elderly people lose their mobility and need to rely on wheelchairs or walkers to move around. To move house can be an extremely stressful event in the life of an older person; therefore if new build properties are designed for all, to include the needs of the less mobile, this will enable them to stay independent for longer, which will in turn lessen the pressures on the looming housing crisis.

There are several basic factors that should be considered when building a new property to allow someone to stay independent in their property for longer.

Ramped, level access and level thresholds for all doors and widened doorways, to accommodate wheelchairs, should be incorporated where possible.  The installation of a wet room ensures that a bathroom is easy to adapt with the addition of a shower seat and grab rails. Installing toilets to a reasonable height, not too low, can make it easier and safer to get on and off the loo as you get older.  Staircases should have a deep steps and hand rails for maximum support and safety.

Stair lifts or through floor lifts can make the difference to someone remaining independent but these can be added as the need arises  Grab rails, alarms, door chains and locks to keep residents safe, can all be added as they are required. Your local GP should be able to refer you to an Occupational Therapist who can assess your needs to ensure that you can remain as independent as possible in your own home.

If you do need to move or downsize as you get older, there are a number of possible housing options to consider:

Retirement Apartments:

Buying a property within a retirement development gives you the security and peace of mind of a house manager who oversees the running, maintenance and security of the development.  Different levels of care can be organised, depending on the property that has been purchased. Retirement developments offer the option of an active social life but if you prefer your own company, you have the privacy of your own home.

Sheltered housing:

There are many different types of sheltered housing schemes available. Each scheme usually has between 20 and 40 self contained flats or bungalows which are available to buy or rent. Many schemes have community areas and run social events for the residents. Some schemes will have a warden and all schemes should operate a 24 hour emergency help through an alarm system. Extra-care schemes are available which provide meals and personal care to allow you to stay in your own home for longer.

Cohousing developments:

Cohousing is a community which is founded and run by residents. It is a way of combating the loneliness and isolation that many people experience today and can be created using empty homes or by building new. Each resident has a self-contained and private home within a household but residents come together to share meals, activities and to manage their community. Households can usually sign up on a social housing, leasehold or freehold basis. Accessible housing within a cohousing community would however depend upon the individual development.

Further information and advice on housing needs for the elderly can be found at the following websites:

Housing Care  http://www.housingcare.org/housing-advice.aspx

Age UK  http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/housing-choices/

First Stop  www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk.

UK Cohousing Network  http://www.cohousing.org.uk/

 

Author: Katherine Pyne, designed2enable.co.uk