Aging in style
No one has more personality than my 82 year old father. He’s as dapper and stylish as he has ever been and accepts the challenges of aging with good humour. Keeping up with his own personal tastes is something he enjoys, even if one day the need for a rollator or walker might throw things for a loop. It’s no fun adapting to using mobility aids, but I’m sure he will be one of the many I’ve heard refer with pride to their new set of wheels, as their “Rolls-Royce”.
When we bring a new “tool” into our routine, we often dress it up, make it part of our own unique identity. From our smartphone cases, bicycles baskets, or dangling rearview mirror accessories, we like to transform what is ordinary to suit our own tastes. With mobility aids, especially those rather boring walking frames, they all look a bit the same, so having an accessory that helps older seniors stand out from the crowd and identify theirs as uniquely their own is at once rewarding and very practical.
The features of our new red walker basket
When we decided to design a new basket for walking frames, we did so for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there was a need to improve the quality of what was currently available. As a volunteer at a seniors residence, I saw many a beat-up basket still in use that really should have been thrown out. It made me a bit sad. The shoddy quality of these made-in-China baskets was hard to hide: I could bend the wire with my own hand.
The second reason we decided to make a basket was that there are really only two choices of walker baskets out there; a white box and black box. That’s it. No shape, no attention to proportion, no thinking about the pleasure and confidence of the person who will be using it. So that was it: Let’s make a basket which brings the same feeling that a charming bicycle basket can bring to a bike.
The Tonomy Shop red walker basket has rounded ends, which soften the look of the basket with sleek curves. There is also a nice little angel on the top edge of the basket that draws in the eye, and makes a point of “presenting” the contents of the basket in an appealing way. We chose a classic red for the colour because it represents life in its fullest. We also chose it in protest of dull white and black!
The larger opening between the top two rings allows for a good fit with different forms of walkers, including ones that have a bit of a point in the front or a two point folding system. It isn’t too deep, measuring five inches ( thirteen centimeters), which helps to prevent the walker from tipping should the basket be filled with heavy things. At seventeen inches (forty-three centimeters) long, it makes good use of the width of the frame. Our red basket attaches with matching velcro ties, which allows it to fit with many different brands of walkers.
Tonomy, a “Made in Canada” brand for the elderly
We are doing our best to make ethical products, even though it means it’s not all about profits. Manufacturing in Canada and the United States is a difficult thing these days, but our store hopes to be a part of the small but growing movement to find ways in which to keep production local.
We were fortunate enough to find a family run manufacturer right here in Montreal to make our sassy walker basket. The great thing about this is that our environmental footprint is much lower, as we save on transportation, the material is of much higher quality, and we contribute to our local economy. Tribec Metals started out in 1977 making wire hooks and handles, and is known today for making hockey masks, (a big deal in Canada), and the basket for Bixi, our bike share system which now exists in many cities across North America. Their customer service is excellent, and having elderly folk in their own family, they completely understood the need for products such as these, and the value for creating for older seniors.
Elderly people might not have many material needs, but for the things that they do need, we can surely give them more than just boring function. We hope that we can bring some fun to elderly people who could use a bright and cheerful basket for their walker.
Tonomy Shop prides itself on improving the quality of life for older seniors, even with small gestures like dignified accessories. We want all the caregivers, daughters, sons, siblings, wives and husbands out there to know that our family values are strong and heartfelt, and we are there to bring a little joy along this life that we walk down.