Strollers are wheelchairs

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Once again Jason Popko really got me thinking with his comment on my last post!

When I look at my kids aged 3 and 6 sleeping in their car seats, I am a bit envious. Their seats look incredibly comfortable with extra padding and an ergonomic design to hug your little ones body. These seats make sleeping in a car look better than a bed!. I would definitely pay extra money to have an adult sized car seat on my next cross country flight!

Stroller design is following the same track. The current strollers on the market are also designed with attention to safety and the comfort of the child. Strollers are also designed with special attention to the parent offering adjustable positioning, padding, and countless features designed for ease and convenience.

So what are strollers? They are wheelchairs for people who can’t walk YET.

Most of these little passengers can’t talk YET, they can’t reason YET, and they have no interesting stories to tell YET either!

So what COULD wheelchairs be? They could be strollers for people who have difficulty walking.

Most of these people CAN talk, they CAN reason, and they HAVE a history and stories to tell.  When you are strolling with one of these people you have the potential for a rich dialogue and a learning experience.
When Ben Cornthwaite experienced life as a wheelchair bound nursing home resident for a week, it only took him a couple of days to realize how uncomfortable the chair was. It can also be challenging and uncomfortable for someone pushing the chair. If a fraction of the hip and functional features on the three strollers that are in my garage were on a standard wheelchair, life could be better for a lot of people!
In the last 40 years stroller and car seat design has clearly evolved, but the modern wheelchair that is used in most hospitals and senior living residences looks (and feels) pretty much the same!
I agree with Jason that the GAP is huge, and opportunities to redefine and repurpose the technology that already exists is ripe.
As I think about it, my family paid for all of our strollers with money out of our pocket. In our culture today we all expect “medical equipment” will be paid by insurance or Medicare. Will these programs pay for this innovative technology that allows people to live with more comfort and dignity? This may be one of the bigger challenges!


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