An Arthritic Entrepreneur

Scan — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I remember to the day when Brother Francis Barrett who taught us American History at St. Ed’s High School in Austin used a strange word, entrepreneur. Thus I have known the meaning of that word from an early age.

Now I am about to be 75 and I feel that I am too old to become an entrepreneur. I do not need the money. But I know what I would do. I would cater to an aging population.

At this age of mine my friends are dying and most of my relatives who were uncles and aunts are all gone. I am now from the generation that is next for oblivion. I can almost ascertain that I don’t know anybody now who is not battling with a relative or other friend who has dementia.

It does not take higher mathematics to figure out that with improved drugs, eating habits and advanced medicine there are more people now than ever in that “wonderful golden age”. That wonderful golden age is not so wonderful.

I am certainly not alone in being plagued with arthritis, the usual one and another called psoriatic arthritis.

My Rosemary also has arthritis but not my psoriatic one. This means that we are in constant pain for this or for that.

This is when I have noticed that nobody is designing stuff for people that cannot open jars or remove or add attachments to a vacuum cleaner. Rosemary demanded we buy a small and light Dyson vacuum cleaner. After months of struggling with it I have come to the conclusion that it was designed for young couples living in small condos. It hurts my elbows, wrists and fingers when I try to change attachments.

Pushing my car door to get out hurts. Carrying the groceries from the car to our home is tough, too.

And so it goes. When is someone going to design stuff that is lighter and easier to use?

I am still putting up stuff in our new house. This rechargeable drill and screwdriver ($19 at the SuperStore) has been a godsend. It hurts my wrists to screw and unsrew stuff on the wall. The other is a most efficient jar opener I bought at Lee Valley.

Link to: An Arthritic Entrepreneur

Originally published at

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at: