Sometimes, people really balk at the prospect of using a walker. Even those who could really benefit. Maybe they believe that using a walker will stigmatize as them, label them as old and feeble, represent a loss of independence to them.
Another take, however, is that a walker can allow someone to keep socially engaged and active. Developing this even further is the Assistive Jogger, under development at the University of Maine’s (Orono) cross-disciplinary program, Successful Aging Initiative for Living (SAIL).
I recently watched a recorded session of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, on Technology and Caring for Aging Seniors (what other kind is there?). The Assistive Jogger caught my attention. As shown in a video clip, this is not a sleek machine, nor is it something that’s going to be mistaken as a hip accessory. However, it does allow those will balance issues, recuperating from injuries, etc., to continue jogging outside. And it’s more portable than it might seem, since it’s foldable.
In October 2014, the university’s Virtual Environments and Multimodal Interaction Laboratory and the Advanced Manufacturing Center held and open house, which the Bangor Daily News wrote about. Another research area they’re undertaking is computer-enhanced edge detection, for people with visual impairments.