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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 22, 2007 / 5 Sivan, 5767

Pimp My Walker!

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's an obscure statistic I just heard: Among elderly women, which ethnicity is most likely to commit suicide, at least in New York?


Asians!


The reason, according to the Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center, is that these ladies hail from a part of the world that respects the elderly. Then they end up here, where being old is a crime.


You can tell it's a crime, because we make the elderly wear prison gray. Look at their aluminum canes: gray. Metal crutches: gray. Most of the walkers: gray. Sure, aluminum is lightweight and durable, but must it also be utterly devoid of design and cheer? I see old folks valiantly shuffling down the sidewalk and just don't understand why the whole category of walking aids has yet to be revolutionized like, well, seeing aids. You know — glasses.


A century ago, glasses were pretty dull. Then some genius got the idea of jazzing them up and waaaaay overcharging (how much can a piece of plastic cost?) and now — you're wearing them. You may even be wearing the kind with lenses that pretend not to be bifocals, but really are. And for this bit of vanity you (or your anachronistically generous health plan) are willing to pay through the nose. It's worth it (though perhaps not to your insurance company), because now you look and feel younger.


But why have failing eyes gotten the modernizing makeover that failing limbs, for the most part, have not? It seems like such a lucrative market: Every single day another 10,000 boomers turn 50. They've got $1.7 trillion to spend.


"How hard would it be for someone to encrust a walker with jewels?" asks futurist business consultant Richard Gottlieb. He envisions a world filled with Harley wheelchairs, Donna Karan walkers — even iPod hearing aids. But at the moment, "no one sees the elderly or infirm as having fashion sense," he says. "They write them off as willing to take just about anything."


Isn't it usually the job of American entrepreneurs to realize when a category has been totally overlooked and start making it cool, branded and pricey? (Water, anyone? Sneakers? Mints?) Not that I want to bankrupt the elderly, but why shouldn't they be exploited by trendsetters like everyone else?


A handful of innovators have thought about this, of course. A company called Rollator is making walkers in attractive metallic colors. I saw a woman using one the other day (now that I'm looking, I've seen three in the past week) so I asked, "Does it cheer people up?"


"It cheers me up," she replied.


Another great leap — or limp — forward is the Walking Assistant, invented by industrial designer Andres Berl about a year ago. After his dad had a hip replacement, Berl made him a cane with a grabber on the bottom, as well as a magnet. That way his dad could pick things up without having to bend down. Berl built a flashlight into the handle, too. But he didn't stop there.


"One thing that I did that increases the cost is, the cane's a little bit thinner at the bottom than at the top, so it looks a little more elegant. The other ones look like sausage."


Such sensitivity to aesthetics and practicality has helped Berl sell more than 200,000 canes through infomercials and QVC.


Once we start treating old people as a valuable market, maybe we'll start treating old people as valuable, too. Imagine that.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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