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Our Top 8 Design Objects Changing Seniors’ Lives

Our favorite 8 Design Objects Changing Seniors’ Lives

When you think of products designed for seniors, what comes to mind?

Most likely, you think of things that are grey, hospital-like and clunky – depressing stuff with seemingly minimal aesthetic consideration.

That’s because product design for seniors have had a bad reputation for many years. Up until recently, it has been hard to learn about products made for seniors that didn’t fit under that cold and clammy aesthetic. Thankfully, the past few years have seen a boom in startups focusing on product innovation collide with a cultural interest in breaking the stereotypes around aging and what it means to be ‘old’. As a result, clunky and cold objects for seniors are becoming a thing of the past, now making room for objects and tools that are fun, easy to use, aesthetically appealing and smartly designed.

To give you a quick overview of the range of innovative designs for seniors that are out there, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 8 products.

Exercising in water sounds great and all, but it easily gets exhausting, even for the most fit people. Luckily, innovation house IDEO’s Munich office came up with a solution called Sväv. Upon first glance, it’s a stylish and timeless swimsuit, but looking closer, it’s a powerhouse of support for all shapes and sizes. Sväv has pneumatic features fluidly integrated into the design: as you swim, they fill with air, so no matter what you’re doing in the water, you get lightness, lift and fashion points, too.

Ode

For people with dementia, appetite loss and dramatic weight loss are an unfortunate reality, and makes the disease much harder to keep under control. However, Ode is here to the rescue: it’s a subtle tool you can put in your home to regularly release appetite-stimulating fragrances. According to Ode, it’s quite effective. Upon testing the product’s impact on 50 people living with dementia, their team found that 50% of the participants gained weight of an average of 2 kg over eleven weeks. It’s simple to install, too: simply plug it into an outlet and set the timer to release fragrances for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Sabi Space Line

Much like us, the company behind Sabi Space was tired of seeing products designed for seniors that screamed ‘old’ and ‘boring’. Enter Sabi Space: a collection of 13 bathroom accessories that primarily cater to aging people, yet could just as easily make their way into the homes of trendy millennials.

The collection is based around pegs which you can mix and match for your comfort and visual taste, whether you want to install one of the Sabi Space towel racks, aluminum bathroom bars or mirrors, these pegs will let you do so without screws and without a struggle.

The packaging has a true-to-size render of the product plus straightforward installation instructions, so you don’t have to give yourself a headache figuring out how to make these things work. Just don’t be surprised if your kids or grandkids want the same set in their bathrooms after seeing yours. It’s that stylish.

Image: WIRED 

The OneTrip Grocery Holder

The best thing about this product is you don’t need sore hands or muscles to relate to the problem it solves: almost everybody knows what it’s like to walk out of the grocery store after a particularly large shop, only to have to suffer through your walk home as you try to ignore the pain and discomfort caused by heavy grocery bags digging into your hands.

The OneTrip Grocery Holder eliminates that problem for good – it’s basically a minimalistic, colourful hook you strap your grocery bags into. You can pick from a range of colours and since they sell at $2.50 USD a pop, you can stock up on these lifesavers.

Image via Ebay

Reemo Smart Watch

On first glance, this watch is, well, a functional-looking and unfussy watch. However, it holds far more power than that: Minneapolis-based startup Reemo developed it with seniors and their everyday needs in mind. So, this watch can let you control your lighting, thermostat or locks; receive reminders and alerts; contact your friends and family with a quick tap; and ask for help or assistance through a simple button whenever you need it. Now, we’re just waiting ‘til this thing hits the market!

No, we’re not talking about the big, wide-eyed bird kind of owl. OWL is an acronym for On the Wisdom of Life—which accurately represents the point of IDEO’s ‘elegant time capsule’. It’s basically a minimal and stylish shelf that would compliment any apartment, but it holds 80 glass tubes, meant to represent 80 years of your life. Each year, you write down a reflection on the past year and a hope for the coming year and put it one of the vessels. The tubes that live at the top symbolize the wisdom you’ve earned, while the ones at the bottom symbolize potential for the future.

Image via IDEO

You know that friend you have who just ‘gets’ you? Well, that’s what Omhu is to us. The NYC-based company’s “Aids for Daily Living” collection of objects is inspired by Scandinavian design, the fun yet stylish aesthetic of bicycles and a mentality very much like ours: just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to lose out on your personality. In particular, their ‘Omhu’ cane is a take on the traditional cane that turns it into a modern-looking and useful accessory. These canes are recyclable, designed with easy-to-grip handles, made of lightweight aluminum—and keep you lookin’ like the stylish kid on the block. Oh, and Omhu means ‘with great care’ in Danish—so yeah, this company’s pretty close to us at heart!

Image via DesignBoom

Another IDEO marvel, this time for the Shanghai office.  Pit Stop Posts is a line of street furniture designed to help seniors and those who are slower in pace find a place to rest in busy urban areas. They look like minimal walking sticks placed strategically on the street—but really, they’re effective resting posts that can help you hang your shopping bags, lean on something sturdy or help you navigate public transportation.

Image via IDEO

byACRE and Medline cooperation

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Medline Cooperation

We’re happy to announce that with our ambitious design, we’ve managed to break through the wall to the US market and we’re happy to announce our partnership with Medline, one of the world’s largest suppliers of equipment for the care and healthcare sector in USA, Canada and Mexico. We are now yet another step closer to breaking down the stigma around mobility aids – worldwide. It’s a huge accomplishment for a small Danish team like us.

 

January 19, 2021

byACRE, Medline Announce North American Launch of World’s Lightest Rollator

Stylish and award-winning, Carbon Ultralight mobility aid innovation makes US debut

Medline and byACRE, a Copenhagen-based designer and producer of advanced mobility products, today announced a strategic partnership to meet the growing demand for stylish and functional mobility aids. Medline will distribute byACRE’s Carbon Ultralight rollator, the lightest rollator in the world. Winner of the prestigious RedDot Design Award, the carbon fiber rollator has received global recognition for breaking down the stigma related to reduced mobility, with advanced engineering, style and personalization.

“As people age, they often find themselves needing a mobility aid to assist with daily activities of living. It is a vulnerable moment as it can be hard to accept the dependence of an aid like a cane, walker or rollator,” says Anders Berggreen, founder and owner of byACRE. “Our goal is to create high quality mobility products that reflects an individual’s personal style and denotes independence in their everyday mobility. Joining forces with Medline will allow us tap into their infrastructure and strong industry relationships to reach a broad audience of users.”

Weighing in at just 10.6 pounds, the Carbon Ultralight is engineered to reflect the functional needs of each user. The product, available in three colors (black, red and white) and three sizes (compact, regular and wide track) blends style with optimal walking and seated comfort. The acclaimed design was inspired by the automotive industry, and the minimalistic style of Scandinavian design.  It folds flat with a single pull, and the light weight makes it easy to lift into the trunk of the car and take it for a spin at the park.

“With the aging population, we’ve had increasing demand for products that account for their young-at-heart mentality,” says Brian Foley, president of Medline’s Equipment & Furnishings division. “What we love about the Carbon Ultralight Rollator is that its sleek, contemporary design doesn’t compromise the quality of the product. This is a game-changer for how we think of mobility aids and the people who use them.”

In addition to design and comfort, the byACRE team behind the Carbon Ultralight rollator has accounted for ease-of-use. Each rollator shipped to the customer comes with an organizer bag and is packaged to use immediately. The consumer can simply unbox, unfold, click and go. There are several accessories that are sold separately, including cane holders, storage bags and backrests, allowing users to customize the products to fit their needs.

The Carbon Ultralight is now available to consumers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico through Medline’s broad-reaching network of retail partners. For more information, visit www.medline.com/go/byacre.

 

About byACRE

byACRE is a leading international designer and producer of stylish mobility products. Founded in Copenhagen, the heart of Scandinavian’s design hub, the byACRE team combined expertise in engineering, design and visual arts for social good, setting out to create the sleekest, top performing rollators in the market. Since 2017, byACRE’s mindful designs have won some of the world’s most prestigious awards in design and innovation, including the 2019 RedDot Design Award, the 2017 IF Design Award and the Danish Design Award. “by ACRE is our quality seal.” It’s rooted in the words ‘Active’ and ‘Re-Habitare’ – the Latin word for Back to Life. For more information, visit byacre.com.

About Medline

Medline is a healthcare company, being a manufacturer, a distributor and a solutions provider focused on improving the overall operating performance of healthcare. Medline works with both the country’s largest healthcare systems and independent facilities across the continuum of care, to provide the clinical and supply chain resources required for long-term financial viability in delivering high quality care. Having the size of one of the country’s largest companies and the agility of a family-owned business, Medline is able to invest in its customers for the long-term and rapidly respond with customized solutions. Headquartered in Northfield, Ill., Medline has 27,000+ employees worldwide, a fleet of more than 1,000 trucks and does business in more than 90 countries. Learn more about Medline at www.medline.com.

Expansion of the cooperation between RUSSKA and byACRE

byACRE byACRE
Expansion of the cooperation between RUSSKA and byACRE

byACRE is a Danish company with the mission to overcome the stigma of reduced human mobility by helping everyone stay active and look great while doing it.

byACRE has been in partnership with RUSSKA for a long time. In close cooperation, the indoor rollator, Scandinavian Butler, has been successfully introduced in the German market.

Recently, the company has also developed one of the lightest rollators in the world, the Carbon Ultralight. This high-end rollator combines quality with an outstanding, sporty design and a weight of less than 5 kg. The design of the Carbon Ultralight symbolizes an active lifestyle and is inspired by sports car and bike design. The lightweight rollator is available in pearl white, strawberry red and black.

byACRE’s Carbon Ultralight rollator was recently launched in Germany by the Norwegian company Topro. Shortly before Christmas 2017, an important change in ownership was announced at Topro. This brought about the opportunity to rethink byACRE’s distribution setup for Germany.

byACRE has now decided to extend the good relationship with RUSSKA. Therefore, RUSSKA will offer the full range of byACRE’s products in the future, in order to reliably supply current and future customers. RUSSKA will offer the complete product portfolio from Monday, 5 February, with delivery of the Carbon Ultralight to retail stores from ultimo February.

Why canes and walkers are getting a new look

byACRE byACRE
After many years of outdated mobility aids, design companies are finally listening and changing the industry. In this article by The Wall Street Journal, they dig into the reason behind the change and we’re proud to be part of it:
Why canes and walkers are getting a new look

Older people have long complained that products designed for them are clunky and unattractive.

Now investors and inventors are starting to listen to their complaints.

As the population of people aged 65 and over grows, so does their spending power in the marketplace – and designers are taking notice. More companies are offering walkers, canes and other products that deftly assist the elderly – and are stylish at the same time. And investors are helping more of these businesses get to market.

The boomer generation is the first to wield its considerable spending power to reject bad design, says Patricia Moore, an industrial designer. As a 20-something-year-old in the 1970s, Dr Moore disguised herself for a year as an octogenarian to fully understand how design fails older people.

“We were the ones always fighting for social change and looking good doing it,” says the designer, now 67 years old. “Now the medical model of ageing doesn’t suit us, and we’re using consumer choice to drive the change.”

 

Speeding up evolution

Products such as walkers and canes have been slow to evolve aesthetically over the past century, as designers focused largely on products for their young, mobile peers and largely ignored the desires of the elderly, says Chris McGinley, a senior research fellow at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at London’s Royal College of Art.

But, Dr McGinley says a shift in the way design thinking is taught in schools – as well as the slow death of the “superstar, egocentric designer” – has meant the needs and desires of older people are now being considered by those who develop products for them.

“Research-and-design ethnography methods that teach people to understand the end user experience seemed quite niche 10 or so years ago; now, they’re a part of most good design courses,” Dr McGinley says.

When designers ask older people what they want from products, the answer is often simple: something which does not look like something a frail, disabled person would use, says Don Norman, a former Apple designer. Now 84 years old, he believes designers too often equate age with poverty.

“Don’t we all find more attractive furniture or clothing and pay a bit more for it throughout our lives?” he says. “Why should it be different for this time in life?”

The request for a cool-looking walker or a well-designed long-term-care facility goes deeper than vanity, says Charlotte Yeh, chief medical officer of AARP, who used a cane herself for a number of years after a car accident in 2011.

“We have to address the damaging imagery of ageing: Old-fashioned mobility and medical devices can turn you into an object of pity,” Dr Yeh says. “When you bring a sense of design and beauty and aesthetics to them, people will talk about them, and people will talk to you – it becomes a way to connect.”

This group has power in numbers: In 2018, there were 52 million Americans over the age of 65, a figure that will nearly double to 95 million by 2060, according to the Census Bureau. And Boston Consulting Group projects that Americans over age 55 will account for half of all domestic consumer-spending growth from 2008 to 2030.

Yet Ipsos research found that 82% of those over age 55 say their favorite retail brand no longer understands them or what they need. This feeling of alienation – plus a rise in internet literacy among seniors – is pushing the demographic to seek out and spend their money with brands that cater to their aesthetic needs, says Brian McMahon, founder of design research collective Segment International LLC.

“The idea that older folks are more brand loyal is an outdated view,” he says.

Many of the companies older adults are turning to have gotten into the niche fairly recently.

Danish design house byACRE ApS, which made its retail debut in 2018, is producing carbon-based rollators – walkers with wheels – as a sleek and lightweight alternative to the heavy-duty aluminum offerings sold in mobility shops. The Danish company has sold roughly 12,000 units since its launch, to customers in the US, Japan and Australia.

Founder and chief executive Anders Berggreen was previously chief executive of Seed, a studio that sold high-end baby strollers. He began adapting his design skills for the senior market after someone at a design fair commented on the similarity between strollers and rollators.

Ten years ago byACRE wouldn’t have existed, Mr. Berggreen says. “Older people are using the internet more and googling ‘stylish rollator’ and finding us,” he says.

Another big change: “End users are primarily making the purchases,” he says. “Previously, it was children or caregivers who did the buying, and they simply chose whatever was on offer in mobility stores – which meant ease and good looks weren’t always prime considerations.”

Source: Wall Street Journal – Why Canes and Walkers are Getting a New Look – August 1, 2020

 

I keep the transformation as proof of life

byACRE byACRE
Art Collector Barbara Jakobson has lived in her vertical, yet inspiring, home in Manhattan for over 56 years. How does she do it? She lets her house change along with her life – including welcoming her Carbon Ultralight rollator. In this article by Curbed, we gain insight into a creative way of living:
“I keep the transformation as proof of life.”

“This house has a great history,” says Barbara Jakobson, much of which she made herself. She is 88 and has lived here since 1965, filling all five stories with her collection of paintings, sculptures, photography and furniture. And the last thing she wanted to do was leave it. But a townhouse means a vertical life and “after 56 years of climbing stairs without major incidents, I was hurrying down from the top floor to the one below at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday October 23. I tripped and as I crashed to the landing below, I cursed my fate,” she says. She broke her leg in the fall, but, she says gleefully, “I did not hit my head!”

She immediately realized she needed to find a way to move between floors more safely. Probably one of those stairlifts, if she could find one she liked. The house could be adapted. As her collecting evolved, it had always changed with her life. “I see the house as a vessel for an ongoing autobiographical exercise,” she says. “I keep the transformation as proof of life.”

They raised three children there. Barbara, who grew up across the street from the Brooklyn Museum and spent many hours in its galleries, studied art and architectural history at Smith College. As an adult, she began collecting art and got to know influential dealers, including Sidney Janis, Ileana Sonnabend and Leo Castelli. She also had an interest in architecture, encouraged by MoMA curator Emilio Ambasz and after becoming head of the Junior Council at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971, she organized a show of architectural drawings that included works by Peter Eisenman, Raimund Abraham, and Gaetano Pesce and became a trustee of MoMA in 1974.

Her many friendships are visible in these rooms: She and Robert Mapplethorpe were close and she sat for many portraits by him. She bought the Robert Morris felt piece in the foyer in 1970; “Bob was a great pal. I really knew him until the end of his life.” She helped Sachs get his first job out of college, working with her when she was consulting for Knoll, doing plywood furniture with Frank Gehry, “which I got Frank to do.”

The Sitting Room: Jakobson’s new carbon-fiber walker mingles with totems of her life and interests. The portrait of Jakobson above the fireplace, one of many taken by Robert Mapplethorpe during their long friendship, is flanked by photographs by Matthew Barney. Richard Artschwager designed the chair in front of the fireplace. “I just thought it was so witty,” she says of the rubber vase with weeds by the Campana brothers in the middle of the room. The Lolita rug is by Barbara Bloom. The view is over the double-height room with the ghost Stella.

While recuperating from her fall, she looked into finding the right chairlift, one that might keep her in her house. She has always been fascinated by chairs. The first research paper she ever did, at age 13, was on the history of the chair. Why the chair? “Well, you know, the chair is the substitute for the human body. The chair is the only piece of furniture that relates to a single human being. From the time you get into your high chair to the time you get into your wheelchair” – here, she laughs – “you’re dealing

with chairs. And that’s why, I mean, in a way, that’s why the stairlift, when I found it, I realized, Oh my God, it’s a chair; it’s going to save my life.

 

 

Source: Curbed – Art Collector Barbara Jakobson’s Vertical Life – May 24, 2021

Photo: Annie Schlechter

byACRE byACRE

The Sitting Room: Jakobson’s new carbon-fiber walker mingles with totems of her life and interests. The portrait of Jakobson above the fireplace, one of many taken by Robert Mapplethorpe during their long friendship, is flanked with photographs by Matthew Barney. Richard Artschwager designed the chair in front of the fireplace. “I just thought it was so witty,” she says of the rubber vase with weeds by the Campana brothers in the middle of the room. The Lolita rug is by Barbara Bloom. The view is over the double-height room with the ghost Stella.

While recuperating from her fall, she looked into the right chairlift, one that might keep her in her house. She has always been fascinated by chairs. The first research paper she ever did, at age 13, was on the history of the chair. Why the chair? “Well, you know, the chair is the substitute for the human body. The chair is the only piece of furniture that relates to a single human being. So from the time you get in your high chair to the time you get in your wheelchair” — here, she laughs — “you’re dealing with chairs. And that’s why, I mean, in a way, that’s why the stair-climber, when I found it, I realized, Oh my God, it’s a chair; it’s going to save my life.

Source: Curbed – Art Collector Barbara Jakobson’s Vertical Life – 24 May 2021

Meet the rock’n’ rollators

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As one of the articles in Financial Times’ guide to a longer (and healthier) life, they have written about the complexity of getting old while feeling young. How do you find mobility aids that suits your spirit? According to FT our rollators, along with other products that UK based “Granny Gets a Grip” is offering, has the answer:
The Cause: Meet the rock ‘n’ rollators

Getting old while feeling young is complicated. I was born in the 1960s; as a teenager I listened to Bowie, longed to go to Biba and aspired to eat McDonald’s. My lifestyle was liberal; I took drugs and the pill. I bounced about to Jane Fonda workouts and was an early adopter of Pilates. I’d say at 58 I still dress on the right side of timeless: from JW Anderson to Re/done jeans and my crisp Casey-Casey shirts. And I still love Bowie and Pilates. But however youthful my exterior may appear, the memo has not reached my joints. I was diagnosed with degenerative discs in my back 15 years ago, I have to ask my husband to open jars for me because my arthritic hands can’t manage, and it’s no fun trying to get up from the sofa without making “that noise” as I creak to standing. My eyesight is also shot and this week, for the first time ever, I got sciatica, which is really bloody painful! Apart from that, everything is great.

This morning I did a spot of online shopping; I ordered a pair of Adidas x Wales Bonner trainers, a Chanel mascara, and then I went to my new favourite website, Granny Gets a Grip. For those too young to know, its name is a nod to London’s hippest boutique of the 1960s, Granny Takes a Trip – a one-stop marketplace selling an ingenious edit of products designed for bodies that are showing signs of wear and tear. Founded by friends Sophie Dowling and Miranda Thomas, this website targets people who need a level of physical support but have a Conran Shop aesthetic.

Dowling and Thomas – both in their late 50s, like me, and who have have enjoyed successful careers as a website designer, and physics teacher and magistrate respectively – have scoured the marketplace for products to make life both easier and more chic, from mobility scooters to elegant LED reading lights. The colourful edit is full of satisfyingly practical solutions: long-handled shoe horns, brightly coloured walking sticks, ergonomic garden tools designed to minimise bending, a perching stool with stainless-steel legs, and a sloped sustainable bamboo seat – adjust the height and you’ll never have to worry about standing-induced backache again.

 The byACRE red carbon Ultralight rollator is so sleek I’d happily roll it into Celine while shopping.  

Where possible, Dowling and Thomas have had things made, such as their furniture raisers, which make it easier to get up from a chair or a sofa. “They usually look awful, like grey plant pots – hence they’re often known as ‘elephant feet’,” shudders Dowling. “We have had attractive square blocks made from bamboo and hardwood – and now they look terrific.”

“We also paid particular attention to hand rails, which usually come in nasty white plastic or metal,” says Thomas. “We had ours made in solid oak with brushed-steel brackets.” It’s a level of detail for a generation who grew up with good design. “My sister is 67; she hung out with The Rolling Stones when she was young,” says Dowling. “She and her friends respond to the bright designs and the chatty language of the site.”

What’s remarkable is that the site feels so pioneering. It offers the opposite of the products in those drab, geriatric catalogues that, once you hit a certain age, start arriving through the door. A recent paper by KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank concluded that the “grey pound” represents the most considerable untapped opportunity in retail: it’s bigger than the “millennial pound” and, thanks to an ageing population, will only increase its market share.

I checked out with a haul including a memory foam knee pillow, which ticks a multitude of back-relieving boxes. Almost as exciting were the long-handle pet bowls – no more creaking first thing – and, lest we forget, the Dycem jar opener. With its non-slip cover, it’s only a tiny thing, and yet it is such a relief not to have to ask for help. Who would have thought mobility aids could be à la mode?

Source: Financial Times – The Cause: Meet the rock’n’ rollators – 5 October 2021

This carbon fiber rollator’s handles will hold your hand

byACRE byACRE
Our Carbon Ultralight was recently featured in YankoDesign, the design and innovation savvy online magazine. YankoDesign are dedicated to covering the best in international product design and we’re proud to be included in this category. In this product feature, they highlight some of the design features of our Carbon Ultralight rollator that we are most proud of:
This carbon-fiber rollator’s handles will hold your hand

We love universal designs, especially when they provide the freedom to move. Mobility is a particularly important aspect to our differently-abled demographic that relies on inclusive design, so having a product that works for everyone, including them, is a true winner. That’s why it isn’t surprising that the Carbon Ultralight rollator was featured in the Red Dot Design Awards! A rollator is basically a rolling walker with a seat that makes it easy to move without having to lift the unit up.

The name Carbon Ultralight comes from its biggest differentiating factor, the rollator is the lightest (and the first of its kind) in the world because of its complete carbon-fiber frame. It only weighs 10.5 lbs. (4.8 kgs), so it really is ultra light, but the designers have also added some aircraft-grade aluminum to give it stability while moving and braking. The ergonomic build and shape have been inspired by the organic bodies of fast animals (think dolphins, sharks, and falcons!), as well as the streamlined designs of sportscars from the automotive industry. One of the little details that really stands out and makes it a ‘clean’ design is that the brake cables are hidden inside the frame.

If you are currently social distancing, you will love the thought behind the shape of the rollator’s handles, they are designed to give you the feeling that you are holding someone’s hand. This can provide a sense of security to elderly users as well as those who are differently abled. Certain shapes and forms are known to provide psychological comfort that can make the user confident about using the product independently. The handles are purposely turned the opposite direction of the rollator to give the user better posture and to make maneuvering easy. Its unique handles make using the rollator effortless because the user uses their palms instead of their fingers to dictate the rollator’s direction. It also comes with detachable accessories including a backrest and organizer.

Another refreshing change was the upgrade to the height adjustment function. The designers replaced the traditional knob with a button that adjusts the height in increments of 30 mm. This way, it’s a lot easier to keep track of the height if multiple people share the rollator. Apart from being as light as a rollator could be if it was a feather, it is also super compact and, when folded down, it is only 255 mm wide. If you haven’t noticed yet, the Carbon Ultralight is not only highly functional but also looks very sleek and stylish. Call your grandma now.

Source: YankoDesign – This carbon-fiber rollator’s handles will hold your hand –  March 27 2020

Red Dot Design winners 2019

The product no one wants is finally recognized as an object of style and design

Organically shaped carbon fiber and design references to cheetahs and other athletic animals tend to be associated with high-involvement mobility products such as bikes and cars. The unique selling points typically featured for a rollator are very different, and include weight, ergonomics, brake function and more. Until now, design has never been a selling point in this product category, leaving people with an appreciation for aesthetics a limited choice when their mobility is challenged and mobility aids become essential for them to have an active and social life.

“When the doctor told my husband that he had to use a rollator when walking for improved balance, he lost some of his spirit. He became introverted, stayed at home most of the time and I was starting to worry about him! A friend of ours suggested that he got one of the nice-looking rollators from byACRE, and finally he started to lighten up again”, says Elsebeth from Denmark.

byACRE is a Danish company with a mission to produce anti-stigmatizing mobility aids by combining functionality with aesthetics. Their Carbon Ultralight rollator has just received the honorable Red Dot Design Award, thereby confirming that mobility aids are finally recognized as objects of style and design.

When people reach that point in life where they have to accept that assistive aids have become an essential part of their day, their perception of themselves is challenged. “Mobility aids should match the user’s self-image. Many mobility aids look clinical and institutional, which users don’t recognize in themselves. This results in the users not wanting to use them”, as stated in the Danish OT magazine in March 2018. Many people take months and even years to accept this change, and the consequences are less social and physical activity, which can lead to loneliness and deteriorating health.

Winning this award is a big step in our mission to eliminate the stigma around using mobility aids. Our identity and wish to keep up an image doesn’t fade away when our mobility is challenged. We’ve experienced first hand how design can increase the quality of life of our users and that is truly rewarding in itself”, says CEO of byACRE, Anders Berggreen.

The rollator has been well-received by users worldwide who appreciate how the design of the Carbon Ultralight gives them their independence and active life back. The light weight of the rollator makes it ideal for both small and big adventures and the stylish appearance fits with their self-image.

Danish Design Award winners 2017

Danish Design Award 2017
Danish Design Award 2017 Danish Design Award 2017
We are proud to have received the Danish Design Award for our aesthetic indoor rollator!
Here’s what the press wrote about it:
Danish Design Awards celebrates talents and welfare design at award show in Kolding

Round two of the Danish Design Award took place on Wednesday night in Svane Shipping’s warehouse in Kolding Harbor, where the winners of four new award categories and two special awards were announced.

These included the game-changing Open Embassy, the aesthetic-functional walking frame Scandinavian Indoor, the expansive car-sharing concept GoMore and the partnership-building VenligBolig, which promotes the integration of refugee families. Awards were also given for human-centered design in the ‘Young Talent’ category and to the audience favorite RAM’N in the ‘People’s Choice’ category.

It is a great pleasure to present the winners of the Danish Design Award 2017 in collaboration with this year’s partner municipality, Kolding, and D2i. The award-winners are examples of the high degree of innovation and value present in the solutions created by designers and companies throughout the country. The winning solutions have a unique user focus born from Denmark’s strong design DNA, as well as a social and environmental awareness that reflects our welfare society. “The young talents have also come up with empathetic design solutions that generate value”, says Henrik Weiglin, CEO of Denmark’s largest, independent design interest and industry organization, Design denmark (Dd).

The categories of the Danish Design Awards reflect the full range of designs that are making a difference to individuals, companies and society. The awards also demonstrate that design is the tool that makes companies competitive and enables them to develop new and superior solutions driven by empathy with users and clients. We consider it a shared task between public and private parties to promote the innovation that design generates throughout the country. “The broad cooperation we are witnessing tonight is so important – and such a pleasure to see”, says Christian Bason, CEO of the Danish Design Center.

The selection of finalists and award-winners reflects the broad scope of Danish design. It also serves as an excellent illustration that Danish businesses and industry and the public sector have embraced design as a tool, not only for creating attractive solutions but also for managing complex challenges on the users’ terms. “As co-host of this year’s award show in Kolding, we are delighted to see the close collaboration of the Danish design field that makes it possible to celebrate and stage big events like the Danish Design Award across the country”, says Thit Juul Madsen, CEO of D2i…

…In the Improved Welfare category, the winner is Scandinavian Indoor, a walking rollators adapted for both indoor and outdoor use. For many people, the use of a walking rollator is associated with a loss of personal dignity, and identity and the intimate domestic sphere is also impacted when welfare aids are installed in the home. Scandinavian Indoor tackles this challenge with its functional design and harmonious expression, which puts the person center stage and blends seamlessly into the home without introducing an institutional feel…

Source: DanishDesignAward – Danish Design Awards celebrate talent and welfare design at award show in Kolding – 31 May 2017

Lightweight rollator gave Kirsten her freedom back

When byACRE met Kirsten
When byACRE met Kirsten
When byACRE met Kirsten
Kirsten was one of the first byACRE users in Denmark. In 2018, Kirsten was interviewed by both the Danish broadcasting station TV2, when they were doing a small feature on welfare technology and rollators, and for Danish Magazine ‘Hendes Verden’ as part of a theme about assistive aids. Here, she shares some wise words about using a rollator.
After so much limelight, we figured it was time to share the story of how byACRE met Kirsten – and share some of Kirsten’s wise words.

 

Post knee surgery and longing for freedom

Kirsten received her first rollator in 2007, when she had to do physio after a hip surgery. “For a while, things were going great and my hips were working as they should”. She therefore only used the rollator for physio purposes. As she put it herself “it wasn’t a rollator made for a stroll along the promenade”. Last year she underwent another surgery. This time it was her knee, and the surgery did not work in Kirsten’s favor. She now needed the rollator for more than just physio.

“At one time, I was with the day center on a trip to a farm. But all those of us with rollators couldn’t walk around because the ground was covered in pebbles, and the rollators couldn’t handle it”.

The rollator Kirsten had received from the municipality did not meet her requirements*. She loves to explore and meet new people, and her rollator wasn’t really up for these adventures. She needed something lighter, which did not cause pain in her hands on longer walks, and which would fit in her car.

 

The Red Lightning

“Fortunately, I can figure out what the world has to offer even though I’m 81 years old. So, I Googled and found my new rollator

After a Google search, she found byACRE, called us, and paid us a visit. She quickly decided on the Carbon Ultralight in Strawberry Red. Because “Why not red? Let it be red so that it can be seen.” Kirsten calls her rollator “The Red Lightning” and has actually said that she enjoys walking with the rollator more than walking her dog. With her rollator she decides for herself when she wants to walk, but she gets the same attention as she would walking her dog.

“I feel worthy and enjoy being welcomed into stores in a different way. The other day, I was sitting in a restaurant when someone came up to me and asked where my rollator was from”.

 

Freedom instead of longing

Even though Kirsten loves her rollator, she still dreams of being able to walk without it. But right now the rollator gives her peace of mind knowing that she won’t lose her balance. “When you’ve experienced falling and hurting yourself seriously, you are not sorry about your rollator. I am so happy to have it. It gives me freedom instead of longing.”

Kirsten is only one of many byACRE users around the world, but her story is far from unique. For many people, aging often leads to a need for more support while walking, and like Kirsten, when you get to that age, you still want to keep up the life you’re used to. Aging does not entail a sudden stop in one’s need for adventure and social interaction. And it most certainly doesn’t entail a wish to be portrayed and treated any differently. Because “Age is the new black”.

*Note: In Denmark, citizens who need assistive aids after surgery, or whose functionality is permanently impaired as a consequence of a disability or chronic illness, are provided with an assistive aid: either from the hospital or the municipality.