Who takes out the rubbish?

Who takes out the rubbish?

Paying it forwards*

What many people take for granted during their busy lives can take on a daunting significance for others. Take putting out the rubbish for example. For most of us it is just a chore but for some it can be like tightrope walking over the Niagara falls.

As people age or an infirmity progresses they often make incremental changes to ensure they are in control of their activity, maybe limiting their forays outdoors to times when it is daylight and they are suitably clothed for the weather or maybe making sure there is someone to see them in safely.

However when rubbish day arrives there is an expectation that the bins will be put out in the evening for the dustmen to pick up the next day. So all householders are encouraged to go out regardless of whether it is dark, wet or cold and to manœuvre a wheelie bin to a place where it is convenient for collection. As it should not take long there is a tendency for us not to think too much about what we are wearing, I think most of us have put the bin out wearing slippers from time to time.

As a catch-22, we have heard of people falling in their gardens putting the rubbish out and of people being taken into a care home because they have created a health hazard by not taking their rubbish out.

But just think about what would happen if you slipped and couldn’t get up, especially in a place where no one can see you, perhaps by a passageway or behind a garden hedge. Of course we hope you’d be wearing an Assure and would be able to call for assistance, but prevention is better than cure and this is something that is so simple for us all to help with – we don’t even need to put it in our diaries.

If there is someone who you live near who might find putting their bins out difficult from time to time, why not offer to put their bins out when you do your own. It might add a few minutes to a weekly chore but it is these simple acts of kindness that can be so very important to someone and help make our neighbourhoods into communities.

* ‘Paying it forwards’ is the idea of being kind to people who may not be able to directly repay you. This is a way of honouring/repaying those who have helped you when you were not in a position to repay them directly.

When style is substance

When style is substance

We set out to put together a set of functions to make the Assure a terrific product for anyone who could be at risk if there was an incident and no one was around.

As well as designing great functionality we were clear that to work well the Assure should be worn at all times – so it is always there when it is needed. We even went as far as engineering the band to know when it is being worn and being able to report on it. Now whilst this is all well and good the one thing we can’t engineer is the wearer, and if they don’t want to wear it they won’t. We’ve seen this as a major problem with traditional ‘red button’ alerting systems where studies have shown they are only worn, on average, for 7% of the time.

We decided that the Assure should be stylish enough to compete with the best of consumer design and we set off to find expert designers who could bring a wealth of experience to bear to make sure the Assure is comfortable, both on the wrist and on the eye – to be something people would be happy wearing all the time.

We looked at what people were choosing to wear and realised that charity bands and sport trackers were ‘all the rage’. Bearing in mind we needed to have a squeeze trigger which was simple enough to be used by old hands or through a jumper, together with the designers we developed the Assure as it is today.

We felt chuffed with the look and certainly those people we gave it to liked the feel but then they would – if only to be kind to those who had been putting in so much effort. Saying ‘My mother loves it’ doesn’t really cut the mustard!

As far as mustard cutting goes, winning a major international design award seems to fit the bill and that is why we are thrilled to say the Assure has won an iF Design Award. To put this in context major manufacturers from around the world enter the competition and when one of last year’s winners was the AppleWatch you know you are measuring yourself against the best of the best.
We’d like to thank our designers, PDR, who were so patient in dealing with a demanding client, and to recommend the ‘award-winning’ Assure as a winning combination of form and function where the style is part, though by no means all, of the substance.

Karl Gibbs
Founder of Acticheck

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