From a user of Cocoon – Adaptive clothing for seniors

rama murali gmom1I am a Family Caregiver living in Abhiramapuram and my mother and I take care of my elderly grandmother. My grandmother has some challenges with mobility and with moving her right arm as she is a stroke survivor, but she manages quite well and is very lively.

This Diwali, as per the custom each year, we wanted to make sure that my grandmother had a new dress to wear to celebrate the day. She usually wears nightdresses along with a towel or dupatta around her neck. We had purchased a beautifully designed nightdress from the Cocoon collection at the Old is Gold Store before Diwali, and knew we wanted to get her a new one from the same collection.

rama murali gmom2We love this line of clothing for her because the shoulder buttons and roomy size of the dress make it easy for her to put on because she does not need to lift both hands or struggle to have it fit over her healthy frame. The length of the dress is also slightly shorter, so we don’t have to worry about her tripping over it when we are helping her to move from the bed to her chair. Previously we had to hem all nightgowns, but this one seems to really be made with our needs in mind. Sometimes during Diwali we reminisce on how she used to wear beautiful saris and feel a bit sad that we cannot buy her one to wear. But, from our previous experience with a Cocoon nightgown, we know it looks and feels like a high quality garment, so it made us feel like we are giving her something nice in lieu of a sari like the old days.

I was happy to get her one in a bold color for Diwali, because I knew it would be an item we could purchase and use right away, without alteration, and she would be comfortable both putting it on and wearing it. Indeed she was delighted to wear her new dress that day and we had a wonderful celebration.

A nightdress seems like a simple thing to write about, but to us these dresses it allows us to add some variety, convenience and comfort to our lovely grandmother’s life.

Finding new requirements

spectacle_finderEarlier today, we addressed a ladies club at a defence colony in Chennai. The purpose of the meeting was two-fold, one to tell them about the products we have and the other to get suggestions of products they may want us to deal with.

A very knowledgeable and well-traveled bunch of energetic ladies, we hoped they will tell us about the various products they had seen in their extensive travels around the globe.

Surprisingly, the product that most of them wanted (but we dont have), was a spectacle finder, because all of them confessed to misplacing their specs’ and ending up spending a lot of time looking for them.

We hope we will be able to procure such a product soon.

Senior Mobile Phone from Fujitsu – The Stylistic S01

orange-stylistic-s01Fujitsu, the Japanese electronic major has recently launched a new mobile smart phone that has been designed and built ground up to be senior friendly.  While there are other players already in the senior phone market such as our own iball, Dora and Emporia in Europe, apart from many Chinese versions, but what Fujitsu has done is craft something that feels solid and well thought out.

The handset has a rubberised coating to add grip and more curves than the sleek, slick high end smartphones du jour so it rests nicely on the palm and feels less inclined to take a tumble than the average slab phone. On the front, there’s a clearly labelled home button below the 4 inch touchscreen. The button is slightly convex making it stand out so it’s easy to press. The buttons on the side of the device — power and volume up & down keys on one side, plus a dedicated camera key on the other — are also labelled (albeit with icons). These keys are raised slightly but don’t feel like they stick out enough to press accidentally.

Fujitsu has made the Stylistic S-01′s capacitive touchscreen deliberately less sensitive to cut back on erroneous key presses for a target group of users which isn’t likely to be as dexterous as the average mobile owner. The screen didn’t feel awkwardly unresponsive during my hands on but on-screen buttons did sometimes need a more deliberate press — which seems like a reassuring feature for the intended user-base.

Some of its features include

  • 130 × 64 × 10.9 mm
  • 4-inch WVGA (800×480) touchscreen with unique tactile feedback technology
  • Camera: back: 8.1 MP; front: 0.3 MP
  • Connectivity: GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, GPS
  • Memory: 4 GB + microSD
  • OS version: Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8255 1.4 GHz
  • Battery: 1800 mAh
  • Water- and dust-resistant (IPX5/8, IP5X)

To read more about it go here.

Let us hope this model comes to India soon.

Changing perceptions one joke at a time…

I just got the book Probus – Way To Dignified Ageing.  I will be reviewing this book in detail soon, but wanted to share something of significant import before that.

For many of us, when we were young, our parents must have seemed like serious people – people who did not joke so much, laugh so much or approve of frivolous behaviour.  Obviously, with several children around the house, a typical Indian middle class family could not have been easy to run and the burden of educating all of us and bringing us up on a shoe-string budget must have been fairly daunting.

By the time we grew older and they could talk to us on an equal footing, the generational gap had set in and the relationship boundaries had already been pretty well established. Besides, by then we had also become too busy with our lives and friends and thus never got to spend quality time with them.  Which meant that we never got to see the frivolous and playful side of our parents, ever. Just think about it, undoubtedly they were just as fun-loving and happy-go-lucky in their childhood as we were in ours.  Surely they were not born serious and stodgy!  I think that in many ways, this is such a pity, because if only we had seen their jovial and joyful side, we would be so much more loving and affectionate as care givers now when they are old and need our help and support.

I am thrilled to say that I believe this book could give us a second chance to see the fun side of our parents.  The first thing I noticed when I quickly flipped through the book was the number of really funny jokes which poked fun of the elderly!  Here were some “stodgy” and “serious” people  laughing at themselves and enjoying the process!  While this book is a treasure trove of information for the elderly, I believe this is a must read for every person who is looking after  the elderly at home or at an old age home.  You can get a copy of it here at cost price.

To whet your appetite, here is one joke from the book that I found hilarious. It’s titled Sharing Forever.

He ordered one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half.  He placed one half in front of his wife.  He then carefully counted out the french fries, divided them into two piles, and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took one sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.  As he began to eat his few bites of the hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering.  You could tell they were thinking, “That poor old couple – all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.”

As the man began to eat his fries, a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine – they were used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady had not eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink. Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said, “No thank you.  We are used to sharing everything.”

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked “what is it you are waiting for?”

She answered “THE TEETH”!