Old people are understandably frightened of falling down (over 30% of people over 65 have a fall in any one year and the consequences can be very serious, even fatal).
Today’s invention is a ‘baby walker‘ for older adults. This would allow people to walk within the frame normally (as in a Zimmer frame, with small wheels) but if a fall were to occur, they would find themselves supported by the internal, sprung seat designed to hang only a few cm beneath them. This would allow a certain amount of exercise, whilst avoiding the social difficulties associated with sitting down low in a wheelchair.
This device would be made of light alloy to allow it to be easily lifted and repositioned by the adult occupant in a standing/walking mode. Stair climbing whilst using the walker would be deliberately prevented (the height to which the frame could be lifted would be limited by the distance between occupant and seat ie a few cm) and could only be achieved safely by clipping the frame to a stairlift.