An Age-Friendly garbage bin?

Sounds ludicrous, but this simple idea responded to injuries among older people.

A team of orthopaedic surgeons in Sydney found injuries to the backs of the hands of elderly patients who were treated after accidents with wheelie bins. A number of them required surgery for their injuries.modification_300x215

As a consequence, Australian standards governing the manufacture of mobile garbage bins should be altered to include a simple safety feature that researchers say could prevent hand injuries in elderly people.

The researchers found that patients over-tilted their wheelie bins to reduce the pushing or pulling force required to move them. “If the weight of the bin exceeded the strength of the patient, especially on a downward slope, the bin pulled away from the patient. Patients typically fell while still gripping the bin handle.”
Abrasions and injuries 
Because of the current design of the bin handle, the patient’s hand would hit the ground first and then be dragged along the ground by the momentum of the sliding bin. This resulted in abrasions and associated injuries to underlying bone and soft tissue structures, including open tendon and joint injuries.
A simple alteration to the design of the wheelie bins could largely prevent this kind of injury – incorporating a plastic flange on both ends of the handlebars.
Imagine the cost of replacing all wheelie bins throughout Australia. As we state in our book; Marketing to the Ageing Consumer, understanding the needs of ageing consumers can also save money in the long-run!
Read the full original article reported here in Australian Ageing Agenda.