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.”
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.
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The UK produces or purchases nearly two-thirds of theworld’s stair lifts. It may be because the UK is a small island with a lack of building space, causing builders to produce houses which have 2 or 3 floors and which have lots of stairs. Stair-lifts help people who lack the mobilty to get upstairs to manage on their own. It improves their independence but, necessarily, it does little for them when they go out, because they can’t take the stair-lift with them. When they no longer need it, the stair-lift is also an ugly reminder of the way things used to be – and people spend a lot of money taking them out to restore their property to the way it should be.
Exoskeletons and electromechanical devices that help people to walk can completely replace stair lifts because they are everything that stair lifts are not. Stair lifts are expensive and always have been but exoskeletons are currently unaffordable. Mass production and reasonable prices must follow so that people with arthritis and other problems that limit their mobility can take advantage before it is too late.
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