Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holiday Work - Part 2

Observation 1
The elderly need supports to move from place to place, especially those with osteoporosis, which makes their bones weak. They are quite prone to falling and injuries. Therefore there should be more banisters near the areas where the floors are slippery, such as toilets. Currently, there are no banisters near the washroom areas, and some elderly people may slip if they do not manage to catch hold of a nearby sink or door. There could be metal banisters beside the sinks for the elderly to hold onto when they are entering or leaving the washrooms.

Observation 2
Some of the elderly may be experiencing eyesight problems, whereby they are not able to see signs when they are too small or the words are of a colour which cannot be seen clearly. Some danger signs may not be seen or the elderly may lose his/her way around large areas. Currently, there are many shopping centres without signs with large font, or the colours are not in contrast to the background.

Words on signs should be made larger, and their colours should be bright if they are on a dark background, and dark if they are on a light background. They could also be made to change colours or flash repeatedly.

Observation 3
Usually, there are only a few lifts in a shopping centre, and they are in a corner of the shopping centre. When there are many people in the shopping centre, during lunch and dinner time, the elderly may not have enough speed to get a place in the lifts. Sometimes, there are even escalators which are broken or are under repairs.

Although people are making effort to repair the lifts, the elderly would still have to climb stairs in order to reach the floor they want to go to. They may risk falling or would feel tired when they climb up the stairs. Their bones also may not be able to withstand the pressure applied when going up stairs.

In shopping centres, several elderly people were not quick enough to enter the lifts, and had to wait for a long period of time. I think that there should be more lifts for the elderly to travel u the floors if the shopping centre, or that lifts would be more spacious to fit more people. There could also be multiple escalators so in case one breaks down, there would still be another escalator.

Observation 4
There are limited reserved seats in the MRT and usually, younger people would take up the seats rather than standing and giving up the seat to an elderly. Many elderly people would have no choice but stand for lengths of time; this would not only put pressure on their knee bones, but they would also risk falling when the train starts or stops moving.

Since this is caused mainly by young people not willing not give up their seats, we should educate they younger generation about consideration for the elderly. There could also be more seats for the elderly in the train, or more supports, especially metal poles, for the elderly to hold onto. The poles could also have some rubber around it to increase friction slightly, so the elderly will be less prone to falling should they have to stand.

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