Whoever runs transport infrastructure in Britain continued to send one bus a day to shuttle across N Dorset picking up an irregular supply of passengers, almost of all of whom were on their pensions and having subsidised travel. Most weeks my mother would cast off from home and feel her way across ye village green to the pub where she would wait for the one bus a day. That vehicle passed through about 1030 in the morning and eventually unloaded its passengers in the nearby market town. As the village shop and village post-office had been deemed uneconomic several years ago, this was the only way that these oldsters could buy food with their pensions. Over the years, several people helpfully pointed out to my patient mother that the pub wasn't going to open for a couple of hours: assuming that my sainted mother was only waiting there for the gin.
went to visit in early June, my mother had just sustained some minor damage in an almost fall and we watched her tottering up the stairs to bed and inching down the incline the following morning. We reckoned that the odds were about 20:1 that she'd miss her footing, but were not quite callous enough to place money on it. As a family, we are a little sensitive to such issues because a fall down those same stairs was the last accident my father had in the house: he died of his injuries four days later. M'sister, as primary carer, wasn't going to take the risk of losing two parents in this undignified and painful manner; so she ordered up a stair-lift as a more-or-less instant gratification solution to that anxiety. One of my tasks on the visit last week was to check out this Elder Launcher <vrrroooomph> and see why my aged, almost blind, slightly wobbly mother experienced such teething problems getting used to using the new technology. "aged, almost blind, slightly wobbly" must be the median demographic for stair-lift customers and there might be a design flaw.
Accordingly, after lunch, I sat into the chair while my mother told me how to make it Go! But nothing seemed to be happening . . . because the chair is designed with a 3 second lag to make sure the passenger is properly settled.
bear goes into a bar joke here], and go Up [move blue thumb switch right] and Down [move blue thumb switch left] on their own. But for first-time users it is not obvious to all thinking people that an electronic switch is designed to have no immediate effect. Certainly not obvious to me when I gave it a go. A week after delivery, just as Mum had gotten into a normal working rhythm with her new
Design for living must surely include design for a mobility-impaired future.