Items designed with seniors in mind

March 3, 2011 10:48:14 AM PST
As people get older they often need help in their daily lives. There's a New York company that has senior citizens in mind when designing products. Their items don't look like they're right out of the medical supply store. Instead, they're aesthetically pleasing and even cool.

"First thing is it has to be comfortable," said Suzanne Lubell, who was being fitted for a cane.

The cane her physical therapist recommends is created by a New York company called Omhu, Danish for "with great care."

Three women who aim to improve daily living, with high design, founded the company.

Pharmacies like Bigelow sell the cane that comes in bright colors, a change from the more traditional black option.

"It takes the stigma out of needing a cane completely and that's a starting point for our collection of canes," said one of the founders.

The handle is made of the same wood as hockey sticks, with a strip of rubber that offers a better grip.

The aluminum is covered in bicycle paint and the bottom rubber comes from what is used for hiking boots.

"We want to speak in the language of performance, even if you need help walking," said one of the founders.

All the items Omhu sells aim to be life enhancing, including a Braille cup that tilts when full, and a hot water bottle disguised as a kitten.

Many items are given as gifts from family and relatives, including the cane that Lubell has taken a liking to.

"It's too pretty to be embarrassed about," said Lubell. "It's sort of elegant, and I like that."

That elegance just may be the most important part of the design.