Pleased to meet you – see you at Naidex?

Umbrella_purpleWe thought it was time to share a little more about Dare To Be Purple given we’ve been posting on a range of subjects since last year; introduce ourselves more formally now that we’ve broken the ice so to speak.

Hopefully you know that we’re here to promote good design in assisted living technology, primarily aimed at the over 50’s but we don’t aim to be prescriptive, some of us may need a little help before we reach our half century. However what we are crystal clear about is building a catalogue of the very best designs and services for those that need help when older.

So when did it start? We got into all of this following an elderly relative’s experience after surgery on her foot. It was very apparent that the products being offered – some adaptive shoes to help her walk again were functional but with a hospital look and an elderly feel she described them as ‘beige’ and something she would never wear – a sentiment shared by the handful of other people in the same hospital treatment room.

It wasn’t at this point that we were motivated to do something it was when, despite our cajoling, encouragement, threats, lies, pleading and abject supplication she steadfastly refused to take them out of the box! She would rather be immobile or risk a fall than leave the house in those shoes. Worrying for us as elderly people who fall and need hospitalisation stay almost as twice as long than those elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason. Falls also destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence, with 9 per cent of older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again.

And this non-compliance, the refusal to use what’s prescribed or provided costs money; the annual cost of falls of people over 60 in England is £2 billion a year or more than £5.6 million a day but worst of all is that ten per cent of hip-fracture patients over 80 will die within one month of their fracture; 30 per cent will die within a year and there are 13,800 hip-fracture-related deaths a year in the UK!

We now knew the feisty lady we were dealing with wasn’t going to change her opinion so we started to look for alternatives that might appeal to a lady who had lived a full life in the ‘60’s and who is very much the character in Jenny Joseph’s poem Warning .

We found a world of great designs not only in shoes but also other products, unfortunately though it took a lot of time as they were not in one place and this  was when we had our Eureka moment: curate the very best of these designs and put them together and build a community of people like our dear relative to ensure we didn’t promote anything that was ‘beige’. However, our aim is not to appeal to fashion aficionados, we just want to offer things that would be worn or used by those who need help, avoiding the beige and embracing Purple!

Jenny’s poem was the inspiration for our name but a real person inspired us to help people with assisted living needs and to her we are truly grateful. We soon hope to launch a ‘one stop shop’ (as they say nowadays) on the intranet for all our ‘Purple’ designs and services and to further encourage comment and debate on these, and other related topics, to make sure we have the best and if not the best, hopefully hear from our ‘Purple Community’ where the best is to be found.

In our hunt so far for these designs we have trawled the internet, (a lot!) gone shopping, (a lot!) and attended conferences and exhibitions far and wide; Germany, Ireland, Dubai and later this month we are going to Naidex at the NEC in Birmingham on the 26th, 27th and 28th to source more great products and services.

So now we have been formally introduced and shared a little of our story why not join us on Twitter or FaceBook and share your views on what’s Purple and what’s Beige’ out there. If like us you live in the UK join us at Naidex and see what’s on offer yourself. If you do, look out for the Dare To Be Purple team, scouting out the very best for you and of course one particular lady we know quite well!