Gracefall: Codesigning a Fall-Protective Winter Coat Technology for Elderly Women
As the human body ages, various physical changes occur that can greatly affect the fit and look of clothing previously worn by an individual at an earlier age. However, there is evidence to show that the fit needs of the elderly are not considered by clothing manufacturers (Ashdown & Hyunshin, 2008), which results in clothing options which are ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Additionally, diminished strength, balance, cognition, and other physical consequences of aging increase the likelihood of falls (Alwan, 2008). One-third of the elderly population falls each year (Karlsson, Vonschewelov, Karlsson, Coster, & Rosengen, 2013). Out of 37.3 million falls, 424,000 lead to death (Terroso, Rosa, Torres Marques, & Simoes, 2014). The high-rate of falls amongst the elderly is an area in which designers and researchers alike should be seeking solutions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to design and evaluate a fall-protective winter coat for elderly women that better fits their body shape and safety needs.