Airbags for the elderly


It’s an interesting idea, and one which the New York Times claimed was one of the top ideas for 2008, but I’m not sure how well this would sell.  A Japanese based design company called Prop came up with the idea of making personal airbags for the elderly (or for people who ride motorcycles etc.) which inflate when the sensors detect a fall.  The airbags will open around the head and buttocks to prevent major injuries which can occur as a result of falling.  The elderly are more prone to breaking bones if they fall due to osteoporosis or brittle bones and the design company thought we could all benefit from a personal safety device such as this.

Now, I can see many children buying these for our parents as they age in order to protect them, but would they recipients actually wear this?  It is worn as a vest that stays flat until a fall is detected, but it certainly doesn’t look fashionable or comfortable or discrete, to say the least.  And what if the sensors got it wrong?  Would the airbags inflate at inopportune times and cause embarrassment? (I can only picture the idea of an inflatable life raft blowing up inside a small space.  I’m sure the personal airbags wouldn’t be as intrusive but what if they inflated by mistake when Grandma was at Church?)

If you would like to know more about this unique invention, which costs about $1400 in Japan right now, you can visit this site. If you would rather think of other ways to protect yourself as you age, there are plenty of books in the library about osteoporosis and strengthening your bones, such as :

bonesStrength Training for Strong Bones by  Joan Bassey

mayoMayo Clinic on Osteoporosis