Sunday January 20, 2019

Designed by a 19 year old Patna Girl, Adjustable Walker is a boon for Disabled and Elderly

Sahlini, a teenage girl innovates a walker with flexible legs to facilitate walking in uneven surfaces

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A disabled Person (representative image), Pixabay

New Delhi, Mar 17, 2017: Special modified walker having adjustable legs designed by a 19 year old girl to help the differently-abled and elderly to climb up and down stairs.

A resident of patna, Shalini Patwari who designed the walker is one of the 14 persons- who are currently living at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a two-week in-residence programme as guests of the President. The team includes artists, innovators and writers.

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Shalini told the PTI that the idea struck her when she saw her grandfather struggle with the walker while climbing stairs. The traditional walkers are not suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.

“It is really difficult and sometimes impossible for the elderly, differently-abled persons or those recuperating from lower limb problems to climb up or down the stairs using conventional four-leg walkers,” she said.

Shalini noted through observations that the four-legged walkers were not flexible and failed to provide support while climbing stairs, so making them flexible was the key.

“My grandfather enjoyed walking on the terrace, but found it difficult to walk up the stairs. It was then I decided to prepare a modified walker with adjustable legs,” Shalini said.

Shalini sent her proposal to make modified adjustable walkers to the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology set up to provide institutional support to innovators, and her idea was appreciated by officials who assured her all possible help in making her dream project a reality.

With the help of the NIF, the walker was finally prepared with self locking, spring loaded front legs Shalini said. For her innovation, Shalini has won a number of awards including the IGNITE award of the NIF.

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The modified walker, costing nearly Rs 3000, has an innovative self-locking mechanism which enables the front legs to be raised while climbing up stairs, and to be lowered while climbing down.

“It is very stable, light weight, adjustable to all sizes of stairs and can also be used while walking on inclined surface. This walker is useful for children, elderly people and specially abled persons,” she said.

The walker has been designed ergonomically and weighs four kilograms. The walker is suitable for use by anyone, irrespective of the person’s weight and height.

Shalini said that a number of companies had shown interest in her innovation and she hopes it will be soon available in the markets.

The participants of the In-Residence Programme said they were deeply thankful to the President as they got an opportunity to interact with prominent people, including ministers.

“It has been an amazing experience living here at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday with the group. I feel encouraged and motivated after meeting him,” she said.

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The group includes artists Dheeraj Yadav and Rahul Shailendra Kokate, writers Dr Ashokkumar P Chavda and Prabal Kumar Basu, and innovators Surjeet Singh, Moa Subong, Girish Badragond, Mansukhabhai Prajapati, Subhash Ola, Paresh Panchal, Santosh Pachar, Ajay Kumar Sharma, Shalini Kumari and Akash Manoj.

They said that they were infused with fresh energy and enthusiasm after meeting the President and were determined to contribute to the welfare of the society in their own way.

– prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

Next Story

Poor Sleep May Signal The Risk of Alzheimer’s in Elderly

For the study, the team studied 119 people aged 60 or older among which almost 80 per cent were cognitively normal and the remainder were very mildly impaired

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alzheimer's, cholesterol
Poor sleep can predict Alzheimer's Risk in elderly. Pixabay

Poor sleep quality may signal the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, a study suggests.

People with Alzheimer’s tend to wake up tired and their nights become even less refreshing as memory loss and other symptoms worsen.

However, the reason was not fully understood.

The study, led by the Washington University in St. Louis found that older adults who sleep poorly or have less slow-wave sleep — deep sleep needed to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed — have higher levels of tau — a toxic brain protein.

Tau has also been linked to brain damage and cognitive decline.

“Measuring how people sleep may be a non-invasive way to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before or just as people begin to develop problems with memory and thinking,” said lead author Brendan Lucey, Assistant Professor from the varsity.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay

Moreover, the findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed that it was not the total amount of sleep that was linked to tau, but the slow-wave sleep, which reflects quality of sleep.

The people with increased tau pathology were actually sleeping more at night and napping more in the day, but they weren’t getting as good quality sleep.

“What’s interesting is that we saw this inverse relationship between decreased slow-wave sleep and more tau protein in people who were either cognitively normal or very mildly impaired, meaning that reduced slow-wave activity may be a marker for the transition between normal and impaired,” Lucey added.

Also Read- Tesla To Retire Lowest-Range Versions of its Model S, X Vehicles

For the study, the team studied 119 people aged 60 or older among which almost 80 per cent were cognitively normal and the remainder were very mildly impaired.

Up to two decades before Alzheimer’s symptoms of memory loss and confusion appear, amyloid beta protein begins to collect into plaques in the brain. Tangles of tau appear later, followed by decline of key brain areas. Only then do people start showing unmistakable signs of cognitive decline.

The challenge is finding people on track to develop Alzheimer’s before such brain changes undermine their ability to think clearly. For that, sleep may be a handy marker, the researchers said. (IANS)