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The Fixperts

Fixperts are creative thinkers and makers who are invited to co-design with a ‘Fix Partner’ from the general public and fix a day-to-day problem that has been frustrating or difficult for the partner to overcome on their own. http://www.fixperts.org

Photo of Francesco Di Placido
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The idea behind Fixperts is to connect designers with people who could do with a little help in their lives, from disabled people to the elderly.  Design solutions so far have included a device to help an MS sufferer put in her earrings and fixing the broken joystick on an electric wheelchair .
The project links Fixpert designers to Fixpartners, with the aim of developing a solution in no more than three weeks. The process is filmed and uploaded to their website, so the lessons learned can be transferred.

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Photo of Dee

Consulting with the elderly is key. There are so many practical issues that cannot be fully grasped until one is old. For example - geriatric medication. Most medical trials test younger people but older people often don't react to medication in the same way. Also, prostheses such as hip replacements and implants such as pacemakers can cause complications that one is unprepared for. For example, what if you want to switch off your pacemaker after suffering for a long time? Going to the toilet can become a huge challenge - some older people need to use an adapted toilet to squat on - perhaps this is an opportunity to look at redesigning products and services to better assist the elderly? Wearable technology offers a vast range of opportunities for innovation. The physical issues are often depressing and psychiatric conditions cannot always be treated using conventional therapies because the body responds differently. Finally (and forgive the bluntness) - what about impending death? How do we help one another during this time? What preparations need to be made and what plans need to be put into place ahead of time? Should euthenasia be an option (like abortion)? How does society ensure that we all have the right to a dignified and peaceful death?

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