Pain Concern

Mobility Design Project

Hi !

I am a product design student and I am currently starting a project to help improve mobility for elderly people, developing a special luggage.

I know not everybody here is over 60, but if you have any complains about your luggage, any problems you had with it during travels, it would be really helpful!

I would be really happy if you could tell me your problems related to travelling and your luggage (packing, carrying it, how do you get to the airport and all that).

Thank you so much!

11 Replies

Hello Clslj, I am over sixty but also disabled with arthritis, which is mainly in my hands. Cases have improved vastly over the years, i.e four wheels, extra pockets and lightweight materials. However some zippers are tiny and difficult to pull, locks and keys are very awkward also. As for carrying well so far the best way is to have a porter. This is only a thought, as anyone considered a robotic case, or one on wheels that can be moved with a remote control like stair lifts. I cannot lift due to my hands and immobile shoulders due to past accident and bending is difficult when you have COPD as it affects the breathing. I am sure many like myself would love to see an answer to some of these problems. There is a pick up service for luggage to airports at an extra cost and most coach drivers handle the luggage for older and disabled customers. Most of us use Taxis to pick up points or airports, but not all taxi drivers will help with luggage while others are very obliging. Most of us would love to be independent but that's life. Hope this is of help with your design project.


Yes I said the same about zips and locks x got arthritis too


A suitcase with a good combination locking system would help me greatly. I know some suitcases have them but they are so small and fiddly. The reason behind this is that I have BI which affects my short term memory and on a couple of occasions when I have used a small padlock I have lost or forgotten the keys so I have to remove the lock with tool's which is not the ideal start to a holiday. Then I have to buy a new lock as well so it costs me. Hope my idea helps


I am extremely limited luggage wise as I cannot pull or push luggage or do any lifting unless it is a limited amount from waist level.. All I can manage is a small nylon pack sack on my back as I have spine issues. I also have to take 2 Tempur seat cushions with me and these have covers for them with long material straps so I can wear them crossbody. I wear a crossbody bag for money, tickets, phone etc and carry walking stick. And this last time, I also took a small section of a foam memory topper, rolled and tied up and carried in a plastic carrier bag. On trains I book Travel Assist with the Train company that I get my tickets from. So this way there will be someone to carry my pack sack etc on to the train or to a Taxi. Some taxi drivers helpful, some haven't a clue and a minority are just plain unhelpful and ignorant . What I would like to be able to do easily is send a section of a foam memory topper on to the hotel where I'm staying. Still working on that one.

Hope this helps


Ps. I'm also over 60 and have Athritis.


I'm 56 but have many problems health wise.

For me a chunkier handle would be helpful and a sturdier zip end as it's hard to grip sometimes with arthritis.

Lightweight naturally

Also bright and fun colours as it's hard to pack or get sorted with pain so a lovely bright case would set a better mood!

For theocks a reasonable sized key or padlock as those little keys can be too fiddly

Also for cabin sized luggage a compartment easily accessible say on the front with space for medication ao the whole case doesn't have to be opened good luck with your project



Having watched Dragon's Den over many years, I would say that you have a great potential market place if you do invent something. Not everyone with mobility problems is over 60 and I do appreciate that for a design project you have to draw the line somewhere.

For me, I would like the means to push or pull my own case when I am travelling in my wheelchair. I have discovered that if I trap my small hand luggage case between the foot rests of my chair, I can push it in front of me when in my chair. That is, until it decides to get a mind of its' own and go off somewhere without me! Maybe done sort of tether or attachment for the chair that does not affect mobility? I wish you the best of luck.

Best regards,



I'm 51, always travel very light - bought the lightweight luggage, not that I wish to lift it, but to wheel it. Zips can become fiddly when you have limited movement in fingers. Can't think of anything else.


Special assistance at airports works fine for me. Doesn't really matter what kind of luggage I have.


I am a 76yr old widow travelling long haul at least 2x year before' the big 80' as long as I can. I look for light weight luggage with 4 wheels.The down side is that 4 wheels have a mind of their own on buses and it would be nice to be able to lock them. I agree about metal zips not plastic and good solid locks with a decent key. I cant cope with numbers as have to remember them or where I put the details!! I prefer the pull on top of case to be light steel that can be pulled up from the top of the case and preferably room at side of it, on top of case to attach handbag or small square hand luggage.

I looked after my husband for 8 yrs confined to a wheelchair and that has affected my grip and press strength of my fingers. I still get there!! Off to China on May 22nd.


I don't use a case. Even before they standardised the size, I use a hand baggage bag. I carefully plan my clothes and only take what I need. If I think I'll need a jumper, I'll wear it even if it's just tied round my waist. Same with a jacket and I'll wear my jeans as they are the heaviest clothing. I only wear walking boots so don't have several shoe options to transport. I use a back pack as my "handbag". I can get off the plane without having to wait around for my case to arrive.

We have always done it - if it doesn't fit in the bag then it doesn't go. Everyone in the family has their own bag. More bags to keep track of but less weight overall and no one person is responsible for moving a single weight of a suitcase.

Same on trains travelling round Europe where there may be very quick platform changes for connections. Better to be able to "run" if you have to.


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