Help the aged

Written by: Eureka! | Published:

None of us is getting any younger. It’s not something a lot of us want to think about, but ageing is inevitable.

A s covered earlier in this issue, the UK’s population is growing. In 2016 it reached 65.6 million, the largest it has ever been, and that growth is set to continue with estimates from the Office for National Statistics projecting the number to rise to 74 million by 2039. Add to this advances in medicine meaning we’re living longer and it doesn’t take a genius to see that there will be more people requiring care for age-related disabilities.

Arthritis is a debilitating condition that can severely impact a person’s independence, making even the most menial of tasks, such as doing up buttons or turning a key in a lock difficult or even impossible.

The challenge

This month’s challenge is, therefore, to design a simple to use device to help people with arthritis use their keys, as this is a huge barrier to their social lives and independence as well as the cause of anxiety and worry.

Remember that this is a device that will be used by people with limited dexterity, so don’t over-complicate the idea. Simplicity is the key here.

The idea we have in mind will be revealed in the November issue of Eureka! Until then see what you can come up with. Submit your ideas by leaving a comment on the Coffee Time Challenge section of the Eureka! website or by emailing the editor: paul.fanning@markallengroup.com


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Coffee Time Challenge is just a bit of fun, but it is based on a real engineering solution. If you send in your ideas by using the comment button below, we can add your solution as an alternative – perhaps something funny, practical, cheap or, of course, innovative.

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