Im currently working , for my A Level in product design, on a product that can allow the user to sit down when necessary in a public environment whilst also making the product easily transportable and sturdy so it can hold an average weight fully.I am focusing on tackling issues facing people with MS and would be really grateful if you could answer the questions seen below.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Do you ever find carrying added weight to be a contributing factor to the symptoms of MS?
How often on average would a walking aid, such as a portable seat, need to be used?
daily. I have a rollator i can use in my house, my issue with it is the SIZE, its huge and I live in a small sheltered flat and constantly banging everything with it. I would love a small design rollator i can sit on easily for a rest which can even fold quickly. I cant fold my rollator easily. so when i am in the flat it has to stay in view and its in the way. I need something to carry stuff when i am going from room to room.
How much of a priority is discretion in the design of walking aid? For example, if a product was bulky and possibly brought attention to the user would it put you off a purchase?
DOESNT bother me i am disabled so people need to get over it. I use a scooter every day i don’t mind people looking at me if they have nothing else to do with their lives lol. However i couldnt really handle a bulky aid.
How much would you be willing to pay for a high-quality walking aid?
Depends on what it is. I bought a top of the range new product yesterday a new wheelchair lightweight folds in one click and the batteries are neat as they are in the handles, and you can actually just use one for a full charge and travel 13 miles and if the battery runs out you can turn the other one on, so you never run out. Its super light, easy to fold, and was 1,399.00 excluding VAT.
If you need to sit down in a built-up area what is the procedure?
Usually,i only go where I know there are places to sit. However, most towns have benches so i would sit on a bench or a wall but i only go out with aid anyway. Like a seated rollator, wheelchair, or scooter.
Do you currently use any walking aids already on the market?
Yes i have 3 walking sticks. I prefer the ones that fold. 2 rollators (one with 4 wheels and a seat and one which has 3 wheels to keep me stablised on short walks in the garden, a scooter, and 2 wheelchairs (one manual and one electric.
What do you look for in a product such as a walking aid? (e.g discretion, sturdiness)
Ease of folding and clipping to something. I am not bothered about discretion myself. I want a stick people can see so they realise I am disabled and will give me space.
Where is a common place that an aid would be useful?
Shops, banks etc.
How large would you expect a product such as this to be?
I would think a shooting stick would be useful
something like this: https://www.nrshealthcare.co.uk/mobility-aids/walking-aids/walking-sticks-crutches/cane-seat-walking-cane-with-folding-seat?fee=19&fep=38121&gclid=CjwKCAjw__fnBRANEiwAuFxET2Cfw_f605AYD36UTC1QeauAmHouj8YlzoT_n4BY9nyQf-2lBhdtWhoCA3UQAvD_BwE
for me though i would never carry that it is 1kg weight and i would be sat down constantly and it looks clumsy to me.
Would a product that could allow you to sit down at any time outdoors be useful to you currently?
Yes, i can only walk a short way. I find i don’t go out shopping as i have to use a wheelchair and it can be difficult to get someone who is happy to load it into a car. Havent even been able to get a taxi because of it.
Would use Environmentally friendly materials make you any more inclined to buy a product?
Not really I don’t buy organic food.
What is currently your largest problem with mobility that your face on a regular basis?
walking I can only do a short distance then have to rest.
There is one otter thing. It drives me nuts. I go to building society (for example) I get tired at the counter so use my walking stick,there is never ever any way I can stop it from falling over and it falls onto the floor then someone has to pick it up for me. Maybe you could work in collaboration with shops, as most shops are not disabled friendly. we have loads of aids out there, but you try and use them out shopping. I have used a wheelchair in a clothing shop and been stuck in aisles and cant Manoeuvre at all. sticks, nowhere to hang them whilst being served this, is probably my biggest beef to be honest. and even large supermarkets leave big baskets of stuff in the middle of the aisle to make it really hard to get around the shops.
hope that might help.