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Hello everyone... Hello folks, this month the column is not quite as jolly

as I would choose but there have been one or two recent events which I feel obliged to address. First, let`s start with a rant. At least this gives me the opportunity to have a little fun. I will also take a small wager that quite a few of you

will sympathise when I reveal the source of my vitriol. My wife suggested that I should not bother as a very famous Irish chap who broadcasts on Radio 2 has also been banging on about this recently and that he has far more influence than I. She is undoubtedly correct but that will not stop me, a good rant is good for the soul and if any of you want to join me, I am quite prepared to ask him to help us all. So what, you

may ask, is the source of this irritation? Well it`s a toothbrush. In fact, it is not actually the toothbrush that is at fault, it

is the packing in which it is contained. You see I bought a new one last week and I could not release the thing from its packing. Nothing could penetrate the skillfully designed “bubble wrapped” masterpiece of modern merchandising. I challenge anyone to have got the thing out without the aid of a box of specialist tools or maybe even a laser beam machine. I huffed and puffed to no avail, using scissors and pliers. I eventually even tried my age old remedy for such situations, swearing and cussing. Nothing worked and finally I resorted to the only

possible solution, I gave it to my wife. Trust me, even with both of us working in tandem it still took a lot of effort to get the thing out. Now to make this rant really worthwhile, it is not just

toothbrush wrapping that gives me the belly ache, it is packing generally. I have a theory that there are teams of sadists employed countrywide who spend hours designing packaging that can main or at least seriously damage innocent folk in the comfort of their own homes. There is probably even a degree course for it, the media studies and flower arranging classes must be full by now. (Oops, sorry, that`s the wrong rant.) I suggest that A & E departments at hospitals

countrywide must get their fair share of older folk who 30

arrive with cuts and bruises caused by a session trying to open something or other in the kitchen. I am also sure that plenty of younger folk suffer the same fate but our concern is for the elderly and less able. In recent times I have struggled manfully with a tin of salmon which had a devilishly designed pull ring which snapped of after an inch (no metric nonsense here) of straining. This left a nice sharp sliver of bent aluminum which was perfect for lacerating a finger or two, I could go on… So please you manufacturers, just try a bit harder and

think of those of us who, as the years advance, do not have the dexterity of an Olympic gymnast, the strength of a weight lifter or eyes like the proverbial hawk. Here is a figure for you to digest at the next marketing meeting; there are an estimated 8.75 million people in the UK who suffer from osteoarthritis. This is only one variety of one ailment. There are many more thousands, probably millions, of

your customers with a wide range of issues that affect dexterity. I guess you are concerned that this stuff is displayed well and that it is thief proof, but seriously, spare a thought for the less able out here. Who knows you might even sell more. So having relieved myself of that burden I will now

Eddie Peacock has worked in the mobility industry for “rather a long time”. He enjoyed a challenging career having started by selling wheelchairs, scooters and stairlifts for Sunrise Medical, eventually working his way to the position of UK sales manager. After a period as a self-employed consultant he was invited to manage, now Handicare Ltd,

Ability Needs Magazine

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