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AIP Bulletin

Make your home livable, longer, through Universal Design & Technology.

December 2010

This Month's Favorite Quote:

"The best car safety-device is a rearview mirror with a cop in it."

Dudley Moore
The Community Is Walkable, Are You?
The desire to age in place in a walkable community is building nationally.

There is a lot to be said for not having to use a car to make little trips around your community. The problem is that for some people walking has become more difficult. Especially if hills or stairs are impediments. Well, good news, the Honda Company has developed and is testing a device called "The Bodyweight Assist."

Assistive Walking Device by Honda

Imagine how much easier it would be to walk around with a lighter body. That's the effect achieved by this new device. Honda's experimental walking assist helps support body weight and reduces the load on users legs while walking and going up and down stairs. This leads to reduced fatigue and less physical exertion.

With more than 130 patents filed for walking assistive devices Honda continues to test them in every day conditions to evaluate their effectiveness. They believe that eventually use of these (and other mobility devices) will be common for everyday activities around the house, neighborhood and a real plus for sight seeing.

Click here to see a video of the Bodyweight Assist in action.


763-434-1522 Tomco Company. - 3D Design & Build Process Tomco Company- 3D Design & Build Process - Minnesota - 763-434-1522

AIP Pro Tip:  Zero Cost Adaptation

"One of the distinguishing features of universal design is that the result needs to work well for a wider range of users than standard design while looking good," 01-universal-design-bathroom-duncanaccording to Richard Duncan, Executive Director of the RL Mace Universal Design Institute. “Another key characteristic is that the design should be flexible - easily adapt from one use to another.”

A bathroom is a good example of where flexibility is needed.

The base configuration of this bathroom, pictured on the left, was designed to provide enough space next to the toilet to accommodate maneuvering room for a person who uses a wheelchair or a caregiver if needed.

Is that the best it can look?02-universal-design-bathroom-duncan

One concern that some have with this bathroom design is that they think the extra space is wasted and looks unappealing. This picture (on right) shows the same toilet area with moveable furniture and accessories that make it more attractive as well as creating more storage. And the bonus - zero cost adaptation. If and when the space is needed, for those using equipment or needing care giving assistance, the furniture and accessories can be easily removed.

richard duncam rl mace instituteMr. Duncan has spent nearly 25 years in the field of architectural and product accessibility and universal design in residential, public, and transportation environments. He has extensive experience in the design, costs, materials, and products in residential and nonresidential settings. His work includes the subjects of affordable housing and home and repair financing and transportation accessibility as well as community design for constituencies that include people with disabilities and aging households.

Over The Rainbow And Into The New Year

It might not be considered a typical holiday song but we think this performance of  "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Henry Daggon on his fluffy toy cat organ is a joyous celebration as we close out 2010 and look forward to the promise of 2011. Which starts with the oldest of the USA's 77 million baby boomers turning 65. Happy New Year everyone!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow and into the New Year
Click here or on the image.


Talk Back

Hello! I am a professional organizer that helps the elderly rid their home of unwanted clutter. Physically, mentally and emotionally, it's hard for people to let go of their "stuff", even if it's not being used. I talk them through it, while sorting things to gift, to donate, to trash, to keep. Included with each session 1-2 hours is a trip to the Salvation Army with the donations, providing it is free of critters. I can take photos of things they are willing to let go, but would want a reminder. They soon realize it's much easier to maneuver around a clutter free home, and safe as well!
Respectfully Yours,

Joann Guariglia
Professional Organizer
Senior Move Manager Specialist
Home Inventory Service

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