Healthy Ageing

Healthy Ageing

Healthy Ageing and Disability Equipment and Design Solutions For Life

Observing “Bill” the other day with his walker I noted it’s far too short. It didn’t help him. It affected his posture by promoting a stopped position. This had an affect his movement patterns which compounded his symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

Is this the healthy ageing he had in mind for himself?

The back story to this is the walker was one pulled from the equipment pool at the Aged Care Facility. The prescribing attitude being “that’s all we’ve got and she’ll do”. I shake my head at this.

Can we do better to promote better and healthier ageing?  I think you’d appreciate the answer to this.

It’s clear equipment and the environment can be positive contributor to performance or a negative one. As you’d appreciate in Bill’s case it can create disability and restrict the pursuit of healthy ageing.

Healthy Ageing

So, what are the solutions needed today, for healthy ageing tomorrow? How do you optimise the environment or the everyday equipment to meet your needs for the next decade, be it the 6th- 7th- 8th (plus)?

Well that’s the challenge put out by Stanford Center On Longevity Design Challenge 2016-17.

The Design Challenge Goals are simple

  • Create well-designed, practical solutions that address key issues associated with ageing
  • Foster age awareness in a new generation of students so they in the end become knowledgeable about aging issues

It’s clear more people are living beyond their 7th decade today more than any other time in human history. This extension of average life expectancy is not only our backyard issue in Australia but the globe over.

People living in the developed world can now regularly expect to live into their 80 plus years.  Australian and international research from the U.S.A  to U.K . clearly indicates that people in their 70 plus years wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible.  Ageing well, healthy ageing is no doubt centre to achieving this goal.

Health Ageing: Designing to Improve “Quality of Life”

What does quality of life mean? From The Challenges perspective it has many layers, much like layers of a cake.

  • At the most basic layer it starts with maintaining a minimal physical quality of life, but also including social connection, purpose, financial security, and a sense of satisfaction.

It’s all about function and that what excites us most here at OTB.

  • At it’s most essential level, quality of life focuses on the physical, emotional and social elements which help you achieve daily life tasks such as getting out of bed or up from a chair, bathing, dressing, eating, walking, and using the toilet.
  • In the next layer it’s about independence to live within the community. For  example the ability to budget, prepare meals, manage medication etc.

The scope of the challenge as you’d appreciate is wide and the emerging opportunities to optimize quality of life are almost endless.

It prompts us to think beyond the status quo and asks ”can we do this better”?

It’s a practical challenge and that’s what sparked our interest to share this challenge. The 9 Finalists are impressive and each have their practical and functional merits.

We’ve our emerging favourites in the finalist list.  There’s real authenticity to the designs which also resonates with us. Have a look at the Standford Center On Longevity Design Challenge finalist list and let us know what has merits and what’s your favourite?

Other Occupational Therapy Brisbane Blog Resources

If you’re on the neuro- rehab journey here’s information that other people found helpful.

  • Recovery After Stroke One Year (Plus) Later: 6 Resources For Your Recovery One Year (Plus) After A Stroke Years after a stroke, is it too late to improve? Recovery after stroke is commonly a long journey.
  • Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: 7 Resources To Help You Get Up To Speed About What Are Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms.

The Occupational Therapy Blog is a news and health promotion initiative. It by no means aims to be a source of medical or therapeutic advice. We enjoy sharing information and will attempt to curate it as best we can. You’d appreciate we like to lighten our blog articles which often tackles very serious and personal issues. It’s our way of sharing. The information contained on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, or intervention. Always seek the advice of your GP or qualified therapist with any questions you may have regarding your personal situation. Never substitute or delay seeking professional advice because of information you’ve read on this website.


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