Baggywrinkles

May 232018
 

Completed projects 2018 

 

 

Case 627- an elderly lady tended to slip down in her riser recliner chair so that her feet fell over the end of the foot rest. As changing was posture was not thought practical, it was decided to extend the depth of her foot  rest instead.

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extended foot rest in retracted position

extended foot rest in retracted position

Case 614- an elderly & frail lady, who lived alone  was reluctant to mobilise following several nasty falls resulting in fractures to her right fore arm  and little grip in her right hand. A deep “gutter arm” crutch was fashioned & attached to the right side of her wheeled Zimmer frame  so that she could rest her injured right arm in whilst mobilising and effectively use it for steering on that side. With active encouragement from her physio she gradually built up her confidence & re-established her mobility using the modified frame.

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Case 619- this lady with poor mobility & confidence following a couple of nasty falls needed a rollator with reverse braking – ie pull off  so she had better control of it. In addition she often needed to carry food/drinks from from her kitchen to her chair -hence a tray was fitted in place of the usual seat. DSCN0443Case 611 – this tall gentlemen (6ft 7″)  was having difficulty in getting  up from using his commode due to weak legs, requiring the legs of the  commode to be extended (by internal splinting) by 6″ which resolved the problem.

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Case 622- a gentleman with poor mobility associated with core instability (ie unstable gait) had a pair of Atlas frames for use down & upstairs) which required extensive refurbishment following prolonged use as there were literally “falling to pieces! The photo shows the rebuilt walking frames to which had been added  “out-riders”  to prevent the frames from toppling over sideways


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the gutter arm supports had to be re-mounted

the gutter arm supports had to be re-mounted

Case 624 – this lady was recovering from a long  debilitating illness and was limited to getting around her house with a wheeled Zimmer frame . However she was keen to start walking outside but with very limited use of her fingers was unable to grip the brake levers of a conventional rollator. Obviously any form of outdoor walker would require to have operative brakes for safety reasons.

Gutter arm support were fitted to aluminium channel bearers which were bolted to the handle bars (with handle grips removed) . The gutter arms were pivoted in fore/aft direction and the upper end of the brake cable fitted close to pivot point so that by pressing forwards & down on the gutter arms the brakes could then be applied (and released again by pressing backwards. This system of braking control worked well and the client was soon up & about outside (without having to control the brakes with her fingers)


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Case 634 – this lady, with mobility problems,  was a keen supporter of her local grass bowls club . Her rollator was banned from use on the bowling lawn  in case her standard width  wheels caused rutting in the “hallowed turf” . However the regulations permitted a mobility device providing the wheels had a  a minimum width of 60mm smooth tread. The existing wheels & front forks were removed and extra wide forks for the front wheels welded up from 40 x 2mm mild steel plate and both sets of wheels mounted using 12mm mild steel axles.  A set of 260mm high by 95mm wide plastic “sand hopper” wheels , commonly found in boating dinghy trollies were fitted to the axles with hard wood cylindrical spacers machined up from Utile (26mm  o/d & 12mm i/d) . Finally the original braking system was re-fitted.

The outcome (see photo) provided good manoeuvrability and exceeded the minimum wheel width  by 33m and also had a pleasing  “chunky” appearance!


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Bertha (rollator)

Case 650 –   a stroke patient needed Left sided single handed  braking on her rollator which had a gutter arm fitted on the RHS. A double cable (from a tricycle) activated brake lever was tried initially but the parking brake button proved too difficult to engage  so a different approach was required ie the brake cable from the Right side was transferred from the brake lever and attached “upside down” to the wheel brake assembly on the Left side (see photo)- so that the existing Left brake cable activated the brakes on both rear wheels. This modification  required careful adjustment to ensure the all-important parking brake facility worked normally – a word doc.is kept on file for future reference.

case 650case 6500Case    643 – coat putting-on device –

This client had profound weakness in his upper>lower limbs due to muscular dystrophy and was unable to put on his coat unaided. Several designs for a coat putting-on device already exist in the Remapedia archives and our design is based around several of them.  It consists of a pair of parallel stainless tubes mounted vertically (attached to a plywood base , which in turn is fastened to his bedroom wall) . These are sleeved externally with short lengths of  S/S tubing with a wooden coat hanger attached by jubilee clips . The centre point is attached to the upper end of electric  ram arm with a 16″ long stroke. A spring loaded (wood working type) hand clamp is attached at each end of the coat hanger, which have extended wooden handles  and  also bowden cables running down to brake levers (from rollators) -so that the clamps can be open/close both manually (for loading on the coat) & via the brake levers (for releasing the coat)


Proceedure

With the RAM fully retracted, both ends of the coat collar  is attached to the hanger by squeezing the manual hand grips open.

Now the RAM is switched on and the client turns round and inserts both arms into the arm holes of the coat whilst  the RAM slowly starts to extend upwards (the cycle takes >90seconds!)

The RAM stops automatically when fully extended , by which time the coat is now over his shoulders and with hands now protruding from the cuffs, he can press down on the brake levers and release the coat from the clamps. 

Finally the ARM has to be rest to the lowered position for next usage

 

Case 644- fail -safe braking for child’s buggy. This single mum suffered from epilepsy and needed fail safe braking on her buggy in case she blacked out whilst using it on her own. Several versions  have already been made for this same purpose and can be viewed in Remapedia. Our version is based around them. The manual parking brake was retained and a pair of wooden block were mounted close to the rear wheels. These were sleeved with 8mm stainless tubing and 6mm stainless rod ran through these and impinged on to the cog-wheel feature of the inner aspect of the wheels. The rods were attached at their inner ends to 6mm threaded rod , which in turn were linked, under tension from springs, to bowden cables  -which terminated in a double cable cycle brake lever ,attached to the handle bar.  The springs were set up to extend the rods outwards -and hence engage with the cog-wheel arrangement of the wheels-effectively braking the buggy . However the rods would be retracted (releasing the brake ) when the brake lever was pulled up . In effect this was a pull-off brake device . The fail safe mechanism activated immediately as soon as a the brake lever was let go.

upper half of finished project

lower half of completed buggy

attachment of Bowden cables to threaded rod extensions

 

twin cable cycle brake lever

rod extending through wooden mounting block into cog-wheel part of rear wheel

next case

 

 

Mar 032017
 

Case 576 – table for electric wheelchair . This young girl with CP required an electric  wheelchair. The electric control stalk  prevented her from getting close to work tables whilst attending her secondary school . A detachable table to fit on to her wheelchair was required. This proved a challenge as it it could only be pivoted on the left  side as the right side was required for her electronic controls. In order to make the table stable the right side of the table clipped on to the metal stalk extending to her controls, thus the the table could be easily lifted up & swiveled aside for transfers & removal when not required at home.

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Case 578 – an enthusiastic brass player with severe chronic fatigue syndrome could only support the weight of his trumpet for short periods and required several attempts to complete a particular piece of music- much to his intense frustration.  Trumpet stands, which fully supported the weight of the instrument were commercially available but were expensive and beyond his means. A “duplicate” stand was fashioned in stainless steel tubing which exactly mirrored the professional item and restored our clients ability to  play complete tunes once more, thereby  greatly restoring his morale.

the basic trumpet stand

the basic trumpet stand

trumpet stand2

one contented trumpeter!

case 579- a person with behavioural problems associated with learning difficulties needed a robust bed guard which could withstand her swivelling round in bed, bracing her back against the bed guard and her feet against the adjacent wall then  rocking backwards & forwards , causing the bed to move out from the wall. Concerns were expressed that she might injure herself in the void . The standard bed guard had already been upgraded but only lasted a few months before exhibiting excessive wear & tear!

A robust L shaped metal frame was welded up in mild steel 25 x 25mm (uprights)  & 25 x 50mm (under bed frame components)  which had hollow tubes attached to the inside faces of the uprights. Both “downward pointing” ends of the bed-guard slotted into the tubes so that the bed-guard could be raised /lowered and the whole bed -guard itself was covered with foam filled cover made from a washable  plastic material. After much trial & error (due to heat distortion caused by the welding) the frame was finally set up so that the bed-guard was an easy fit inside the frame tubes. The bed -guard frame was fitted under the bed frame itself so that the weight of the bed & user prevented any movement of the bed-guard frame so that it was rigid structure. It was hoped this rigid steel frame structure would resist any further lateral movement of the bed-guard due to rocking and provide a long term solution to this problem.

bed-guard with cover in the raised position

bed-guard with cover in the raised position

 

case 581- an enthusiastic amateur photographer in a wheelchair required a (detachable) work top fitted on which he could rest his elbows whilst holding his (heavy) camera.  The work top was painted black to match his camera ware.

the client insisted on disguise!

the client insisted on disguise!

case 586- an elderly lady with arthritis in both shoulders was experiencing difficulty in reaching up to switch off the lights in her house. A bell-pull switches was mounted alongside the the double light switches in the sitting room and wired up in parallel to the main light. In the living room the single light switch was remove & replaced by a bell-pull switch. She could now easily reach the cords hanging down without having to reach up for the original light switches.

sitting room bell-pull

sitting room bell-pull

living room- bell pull switch

living room- bell pull switch

case 589- a client with learning difficulties, visual impairment and Left sided weakness wants to bath himself in private . He requires the use of an electric lifting bath seat which must not exceed the height of the bath (385mm) for reasons of personal safety . The standard bath lift goes up to 450mm and this requires to be modified so that it is limited to 385mm .  The ram mechanism (which uses an archimedes screw)  is powered by a small low voltage motor. When it meets an insurmountable obstruction-ie at either end of the ram range – there is a current surge  which switches the motor off . A loop of Dyneema 6mm cord was fashioned by a local sailmaker so that each end was doubled back into a small eye and the two eyes were interlocking. The two ends were fed back into themselves by means of “back splicing” . It was not possible to utilise knots as these would stretch. Dyneema is a high tech product with  breaking load of 2,200 kg for 6mm!  This loop was attached between an fixed upper anchor point at the upper end and the lower end of the ram at the bottom. On raising the chair lift the loop became tightened and the length was adjusted so that the chair was limited to max height of 385mm when the motor cut out (as designed) . The dyneema loop , although very taut, did not stretch despite repeated testing

chair lift in lowered position- dyneema loop slack

chair lift in lowered position- dyneema loop slack

 

chair lift at max height- dyneema loop now taut!

chair lift at max height- dyneema loop now taut!

Case 593 – a poorly man with a healing fracture of his arm (from cancerous metastases) need a gutter arm support to be fitted to his standard 4 wheeled walker on his affected side.

gutter arm support fitted to Right side of the frame

gutter arm support fitted to Right side of the frame

case 604- a gentleman on crutches wants to accompany his partner exercising their dog on the beach, but how to prevent his existing ferrules digging too deep into the soft sand upsetting his balance?  A specially developed   6″ diameter  circular ferrule, made in flexible rubber is available in the USA- named sand pads  but is prohibitively  expensive. Our plan was to make a low cost / tech alternative. Starting with  8″ diameter x 1.5″ thick discs of (English) oak , these were turned on a wood lathe to produce mushroom shape : 7″ diameter with a convex edge (see pic) The centre on on the flat top side was now drilled out to 25mm to nearly fully depth.  A 2″ length of scrap aluminium 25mm dia tubing was inserted inside to give a tight fit. A short 3″ length of high grade flexible tubing, with an i/d :25mm was inserted over the metal tubing & secured by 2 x 5mm pop rivets. Then another short length of aluminium tubing – o/d 25mm was inserted at the top end and secured by a through 6mm bolt & additional 5mm pop rivets x2. Finally a 2 foot length of 22m od aly tubing was inserted into the top & likewise secured by a 6mm bolt + pop rivets. The purpose of the flexible tubing which had gap of 1/2″ between the lower & upper lengths of metal tubing was to act as a universal joint  in both fore/aft & laterally directions  &to ensure the sand  paddles did not catch on the uneven surfaces. Finally 12 x 5mmholes were drilled into the curved under surface, then tapped to 6mm &  12 football studs were fastened securely into each paddle.

         With the existing small diameter ferrule removed , the new device can now be slid easily into the bottom end of the tube of the crutch and after adjusting for correct height, the new lower tube  is secured to the existing upper outside tube  by 7mm pop fastener.(as used in most UK crutches)

dome shaped end with studs attached

dome shaped end with studs attached

side view of new sand ferrule

side view showing the  flexi-neck attachment

 

sand paddles in action!

sand paddles in action!

On a warm, sunny day in October, the trial walk on a local beach near Falmouth proved successful, allowing our client to walk easily & safely on a variety of sand surfaces with no danger of his crutches digging in & upsetting his balance.  On returning from the beach, he simply detached the sand paddles by unclipping the 7mm pop fastener & replacing his original rubber ferrules.  Cost per pair: £20.

 

Case 599 – a keen “twitcher” with advanced Parkinsonism is unable to use his binoculars as he cannot support  them due to upper limb stiffness & his tremor.  A (detachable) metal bracket was  attached to his wheelchair  with a “gooseneck” flexible arm which was secured at the top end to his binoculars. His binoculars were now fully supported and allowed swivelling in both vertical & horizontal directions.

 

binoculars attached to "gooseneck" support with attachment by horizontal bar to wheelchair

binoculars attached to “gooseneck” support with attachment by horizontal bar to wheelchair

Case 608 – an elderly man was bedbound and had  very limited use of his hands . He was unable to use the usual remote controls, with multiple small buttons,  for his bedroom TV . A simplified remote control with only six buttons was held in a iPad holder with a flexible “gooseneck”. The  lower end was attached to his bed rails.

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next case

 

 

 

Jan 202016
 

Case 525 – this lady with advanced MS  has very limited use of her hands . She is wheel chair bound and  lives alone . The remote controls for her TV, Digi box & DVD player  have a habit of dropping off  the small tray on her wheelchair when she has great difficulty in retrieving them from the ground. Mild steel washers were attached to both sides of all her remotes with superglue. Then a magnetic “wand” was constructed in wood with a pair of powerful magnets (salvaged from a damaged computer hard drive) attached to the  business end with a short length of flexible electrical cable – to give it flexibility.  She can now retrieve any of them easily from the ground in a single action.

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magnetic tipped pick up tool

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pick up tool in action

   The existing tray fitted to her electric wheelchair was too small and had no sides resulting objects especially her remotes falling to the floor(causing much angst) The next step was to re-site her existing perspex tray so that no longer protruded beyond her chair (which caused problems with moving around her bungalow) and to cover this a larger plywood tray with sides on. This should greatly facilitate the remaining use of her hands (by supporting her arms) and be able to hold more and drop less.

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Case 525 – a man with MND is a keen player of electronic games. He has very limited use of his hands due to profound upper limb weakness but has useful strength in his lower limbs. It was planned to optimise his residual use of his hands and provide future IT control with his feet.  A pedestal tray was constructed which rested on the arms of his riser chair and extended as far back as possible. This could also be swiveled round to allow him to leave the chair (without assistance) . His existing POSSUIM controls , positioned by his Left elbow were not disturbed.  By providing full support of both lower arms he could exert finer control with his hands resulting in improved usage of his hand mouse.

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pedestal table in position

table rotated out to allow access

table rotated out to allow access

 

The next step involved building a “foot operated” mouse . Instructions were downloaded from the internet . A surplus conventional mouse was mounted inverted on to a base plate of 9mm ply and two lever operated switches mounted alongside (to operate the Left & Right click operations). Wires were carefully soldered on to the circuit board (by a local computer shop) in place of the original click switches and joined to the new switches. It worked first time!

foot mouse sans feet

foot mouse sans feet

feet on- using the cursor control with right foot & Left switch with Left foot.

feet on- using the cursor control with right foot & Left switch with Left foot.

With a large wall mounted TV screen he was able to exert the necessary  degree of control of the cursor  from the outset with his Right foot and  no doubt will acquire a finer degree of control with further usage. Operating both Left & Right click switches was immediately successful with his Left foot . He now has both hand & foot operated mouse controls on his IT system and is well prepared for future clinical developments.#

Case 529 – a 6ft 6″ man requires a tripod walking aid following a CVE . This not extend high enough for a comfortable /stable posture.  This was dismantled and an extra 6″ length was added by means of nylon infill which enabled to him to stand upright for the first time since his CVE!

extended tripod walking aid

extended tripod walking aid

client using walking aid

client using walking aid

Case 530- a teenager in a wheelchair requires a portable changing table when attending a monthly “camp” in preparation for future independent living . The table had to be light weight & easy/quick to be assembled with adjustable legs for height . This was constructed in 25 x 50 x 3mm  aluminium box with tubular section for the legs -which telescoped with thinner section inside thicker outer section. These could be adjusted for height (to suit the working height of different carers) by means of  clips  fitting holes at 2″  intervals. The changing table was topped by a mat- 3″ high density foam on a plywood base covered with a waterproof material. The legs slotted into the table section so that the whole equipment could be flat packed & easily lifted for storing when not required.

bare frame

bare frame

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Case 535 – an elderly lady with  arthritis in her hands was finding the brakes on her 3 wheeled walker very stiff to apply. She lives on a slope & is worried that the walker might run away with her. On inspection the brake lever arm (activated by cable from the brake grip on the handlebars) was very stiff and could be slackened off to good effect. The return springs could now be replaced by softer ones. Finally small 1″ x 1″ brake pads were made in wood with a curved under surface covered  with coarse emery cloth (attached by glue) The pads were  angled to maximise the area in contact with tyre . The original design was a flat metal bar which only had contact with the centre of the tyre  due to its radiused shape . The new design increased the area of friction between the brake (pad) over a wider area on the tyre surface.

The upgraded braking system was now much easier to apply & also more effective for less effort.

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note the less powerful return spring

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note the length of the new brake pad

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note the curved brake pad fits the shape of the tyre

 

case 550 – four clients in wheelchairs  2 in  semi recumbent & 2 in upright types with severe cerebral palsy needed detachable tables fitted to accommodate iPads. The tables were mounted on a metal arm, which swivels  so the table could easily be swung round out of the way (for transfers) but could be swung back & locked into position when required.

table in use with iPad

table in position for use with iPad

 

table in use with iPad

table swung out for access to transfer

Case 565 – an elderly,frail gentleman uses a commode in his bathroom and the bedpan needs to be lowered so that he does “catch himself” when the bedpan is withdrawn  from under him after use. The height must still high enough for the commode to fit over the existing toilet seat .

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note the high level of the plastic bedpan

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the bedpan has now been lowered.

 

 

 

Case 558 -a stroke client requires his 4WW walker to be fitted with  with unilateral brakes on his good Right side, whilst retaining parking facility (so he can turn round safely & sit down to rest when needed)  and gutter arm support  for his weak left side. Reverse – pull off  brakes needed to be fitted to achieve the parking facility.

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Case 568: a lady with long standing rheumatoid arthritis uses a mobility lift device in order to stand & transfer from her rising chair to wheelchair & also to transfer in/out of her car .  Her knees tend to buckle sideways due to lateral instability of her knee joints -resulting in two falls. Foam padded cushions were fitted to  the sides of her Mo-Lift central cushion in order to prevent this lateral movement.

Mo-lift device as original

Mo-lift device as original

Mo-Lift device with lateral support cushions fitted

Mo-Lift device with lateral support cushions fitted

Case 561 – a 60 year old with ataxia ( severe imbalance affecting his mobility)  following a CVE. He could only manage a few staggering steps on a frame with active support from two helpers. An Atlas frame was chosen as the most suitable to be adapted for his needs.

Atlas_Walking_Frame

basic Atlas walking frame- note: castors

Steps (1) -first the castors which allowed the client to swivel uncontrollably in all directions were replaced by conventional wheels from a standard walker -fixed in the rear  (with brakes) and swivelling in the front . The brakes were modified to be “pull off” type operated unilaterally from the right side only (for convenience)

DSCN0170Step 2 (a) protective shin pads were fitted over inside attachments of the rear wheels

(b) midline parallel bars fitted low down to prevent his feet from crossing the midline when walking. Padding was later added to minimise chafing when taking steps.

(c)  the main body support was extended rearwards by 9″ so as to enclose his body more within the frame and prevent him slipping out . This was constructed in sheet aluminium  with foam padding and covered with leatherette.

(d) lateral gutters were fitted to prevent his elbows from slipping out of the frame and improve control though his arms.Gutters constructed as per (b)

finishing touches

Step 3- practice, practice practice makes perfect

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This gentleman can now mange to walk reasonable distances under supervision (without physical support) . A credit to his determination and the skill of his physios!

 

Case 572 – this young woman was very short and could not reach the pedals for a foot cycle whilst in a Levochair .

Two adaptions were required (a) 4″  built up step attached to the foot rest of the Levochair  so that she was comfortable and her feet were supported

levo3

(b) the foot cycle needed to be raised by 7″ off the ground  so that she could reach the pedals

foot cycle2

case 573 – a 62 year old man has severe curvature of his spine and has to sleep in a riser-recliner chair at night. However he  tends to lean over on his Right side and is danger of falling out over the Right arm rest.  His chair was fitted with a side panel on the Right side . This was constructed from 12mm plywood  and attached by 2 right angle steel brackets to  underneath the chair . 3″ thick dense foam -tapering down towards the arm rest was glued to the plywood by means of spray contact adhesive and covered with brown leatherette . This provides a soft  pillow for his head to rest on and should prevent further falls out of his chair at night.

side panel viewed from outside

side panel viewed from outside

 

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riser/recliner chair in normal upright position

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riser/recliner chair -in sleeping mode

 

end

 

Jul 102015
 

Case 498 – door closure

Visited clients home and after discussion with the client and his wife who are both unsteady on their feet, I established two requirements relating to the client’s egress and ingress; a. to restrain the door open and b. to fit a ‘grab’ handle next to the door entrance to steady the clients as they negotiate a large step up into the static home.

I purchased proprietry grab handles and door chains from B&Q and manufactured a hardwood frame to fit over the metal railings adjacent to the door when open. I then fitted the grab handle and door chain, with the free end of the chain fitted to the hardwood frame, see 3 photos attached . The clients were satisfied with the installation.

IMG_0672New grab handle

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Door restraining chainIMG_0671

Completed project

 

Case 500- Following a nasty fall requiring the use a Zimmer frame indoors, a M-S client requested a “drop leaf” tray to be fitted to her Zimmer frame so that she get close up access to her kitchen work top (when the tray was “dropped down” ) and use it to transport cutlery/china etc from there to her dining area when in the “up” position. This greatly helped her self confidence and feeling of independence within the home.

photos awaited.

Case 502 –  Mobile work station –   a hospital administrator recovering from a debilitating medical condition required a lightweight “mobile work station” which could be easily wheeled around the widespread hospital departments. As this involved going outside it required a detachable waterproof cover to protect her iPad, laptop computer equipment from the unpredictable Cornish weather.  A stylish kitchen trolley was purchased from IKEA  and larger castors with brakes were fitted . A hinged wooden work top, which served as the main work surface  was attached to the top tray and her all equipment which could be stored under the lid. Finally a waterproof cover was made by a local firm of sail-makers which could easily be dropped over the top when required. The finished product looked presentable & easily transportable around the extensive grounds of the hospital and facilitated an early return to her work related duties.

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work station -lid closed

work station lid open

work station lid open

 

Case 503-  an elderly lady wanted a fixed tray to be fitted to her gutter arm Zimmer frame to enable her to move food & cutlery from her kitchen to her living area .

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Case 504- a young man with severe cerebral palsy wanted a modified chess set so that each of the 64 positions on the board was recessed  so the pieces could be slotted in and would not not be disturbed by his poor manual control.  At the first visit his dexterity was assessed and found he would be able to manage a larger (than standard) size  board    16″ x 16″  – with 4″ kings/queens. The prototype was made up of a 9mm plywood based which was inscribed by laser  into an alternating cross hatched pattern. A 6mm thick sheet of acrylic  was carefully cut with 35mm holes  x 64  by computer controlled laser – exactly matching the board. Then a cut out disc was glued to the bases of each of the chess pieces.

At the second visit the prototype was assessed by the client  when was  the clearance between the chess piece + disc was found to be too tight fitting in each “recess”, which needed to be deeper  and also the size of the board needed to be reduced  in order to fit on to the tray attached to his wheelchair.

A second board was made -this time 14 x 14″ in size and three sheets of acrylic giving a total thickness of 14mm were used and  the cut out holes enlarged to 37mm -giving larger clearance & easier usage. This was a great improvement in usability.

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Case 524 – A young lady with severe early onset juvenile arthritis had impaired mobility & required a wheel chair except for short distances. This  could be adapted into a Powertrike by the addition of a single electric powered front wheel -complete with handlebars, brakes & two speed controller . Its  high top speed and long range gave her many hours of  enhanced mobility and her husband was frequently hard pressed to keep up with her on his (non electric) bicycle!  A local mobility centre was first approached when electrical faults developed but declined as this involved re-soldering two pairs of the leads connected to the controller box and its future was very much in doubt!

However a simple repair was effected, without soldering using climped electrical connectors (as used in marine applications) which bypassed the original two 2 pin plug/socket arrangement for a modest outlay (£15) . A test run confirmed this fearsome piece of equipment was up & running and ready for further adventures.

pdqPower trike -as new

 

Powertrike 008

 Powertrike 002

 

Case 522 – the client with Parkinson’s disease associated with abnormal movement of her limbs( dyskinesia) has difficulty in keeping her Left foot on the pedal of her exercise bicycle which she uses twice daily to maintain her physical fitness. Her Left foot tended to turn in (pidgeon toed)  and the same  ankle buckles outwards thereby dislodging her foot from the pedal despite using a toe guard .

statc bike pics 006

First  a wooden pattern was made  by drawing round the sole of her Left trainer on to a piece of 3/8″ utile wood and then cut out on a bandsaw. Next her trainer was wrapped round by 6″ high soft card  and a suitable pattern was drawn around the trainer – low across the forefoot (facilitating insertion of the trainer) but raising higher towards the heel (giving more support over the ankle area)The cardboard pattern was then cut used to construct an aluminium side to the bootie and attached at 2″ intevals by screws  to the wooden sole pattern.  The wood soled & metal sided bootie was then finally attached to her pedal by means 2 x 6mm bolts.

 

statc bike pics 009

 

She could now easily insert her Left trainer  into the new bootie which enabled her foot to maintain the correct alignment (fore -aft)  and the high ankle support prevented her ankle from buckling -enabling her to use her exercise bicycle successfully.

 

statc bike pics 004 statc bike pics 002

next case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 122014
 

Case 453 – a retired couple have a wide bath with a standard slatted shower board  fitted across. The husband has impaired mobility following a recent hip operation  and  was unable to get out of the bath unaided and consequently favoured showering using the shower board . His wife, however, preferred to bath when the shower board had to be removed. Due to the width of the bath the securing lugs under the shower board could not be extended far enough out to provide secure fixation against the insides walls of the bath putting the user at risk of slipping &  falling. The adjustable slides under the shower board were moved outwards on both sides by 1″ and re-secured by the original screws . An extended wooden handle was attached to one of the two adjusting “nuts” as these were small & quite difficult to tighten adequately. This modification allowed adequate secure location of the shower seat which could still be easily lifted out and later replaced when needed.

Case 453 003

 

 

 

shower board “held” in place by anti slip mats & wooden wedge against wall

 

 

 

 

Case 453 002

 

 

 

 

 

securing lugs moved outwards by 1″ on both ends & wooden extension to adjusting “nut” in place for added grip.

 

 

Case 453 002

 

 

 

shower board back in place- held securely against inside walls of bath

 

 

 

 

Case  439-Remap assistance was requested bCornwall Mobility  Centre  for  a boisterous 5 year old with an unusually shaped head in need of a bespoke cycle helmet. Off the peg helmets were unsatisfactory as they fitted too  loosely and fell forwards over his face when the strap is fastened.  A specialist manufacturer of safety helmets for the RNLI : Gecko were contacted who kindly offered to supply one pro bono  . Photographs & careful measurements were forwarded to Gecko who posted  a trial white helmet which proved to be a good fit-requiring minimal inflation of the internal bladder lining the the inside of the helmet to ensure a snug fit. Mother & son were delighted and a new bicycle in Batman colours is now on order. Gecko has promised another helmet in matching Batman colours to follow.

 

Helmet2 006 Helmet2 004 Helmet2 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case 459 – an elderly man with a progressive degenerative neurological disorder is cared for by his wife at home . At night he climbs out of bed and is found on the bedroom  floor despite the use of conventional bed guards- 9″ high along both long axes.  In keeping with his previously expressed wishes, his wife would like to postpone his transfer to a nursing home  for as long as possible , and approached Remap via WIRED (where he attends for day centre care)  for a more effective form of bed guards. These were constructed from a three sided wooden framework of Utile with white trampoline mesh infill.  6 foot 4 inch by 2 foot high  frames were fitted along both long axes and joined together under the mattress by 3″ wide aluminium flat strips. A third side : 4foot 6inch  by 2 foot was fitted at the foot end of the bed.All sides were hinged  4″ above the level of the mattress so the sides could be lowered down for bed making & personal care. The bed guards extended 20″  above the mattress. Toggle catches were fitted at the upper & lower edges of the frames so they could be coupled together to form a firm three sided box like structure. Wooden blocks were screwed into the head end wall to secure the far ends. A window was fitted into one long side to allow access for drinks during the night. Initial trials are encouraging with good acceptability & success rate to the client and his wife. The client has managed to undo the toggle catches on one occasion and these have now been supplemented with drop pins for added security. The new guards appear to have a calming effect on the client who can get agitated during his nocturnal confusional state. Finally the white mesh on varnished mahogany wooden frames have an aesthetically pleasing finish in his bedroom.

 

bed guards mk22 001

 

 

 

bed guards in place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bed guards mk22 003

 

 

 

 

left side dropped down for access

 

 

 

 

Case 461 -the client required an additional rollator for use during visits to her mother’s house (as her usual walking aid was too large to fit inside doorways) . She was of short stature and required the new rollator to be shortened by 100mm in height and the “handle bars” to be angled inwards from the vertical and inclined inwards in the horizontal plane . This needed careful bending of the pipe work as these measurements were critical for success.    Also removal of gutter restraint Velcro secured straps which had caused safety problems in the past for this particular user  and excess accessories – tray, basket, stick holder etc as not needed and added weight/complexity in own-home only use   The work done at specific request of parents and the physiotherapist, after detailed assessment of the users individual needs and specific situation when using the device.

case 461

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case 469- this elderly widow had poor mobility due to a severe tremour -worse on her Left side and had had two falls when using her walking sticks. She had purchased a standard wheeled walker but could not control the brake lever on her (weak) left side and was  also lacking in confidence. A dual cable brake lever was fitted to the Right side which worked on both rear wheels . It is hoped her confidence & future safety will be much improved by using the modified walker in place of her walking sticks.

 

Hanging baskets 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case 436- a wheel chair bound person needed a special electric sewing machine with hand controls as she was unable to use the usual foot controls. Following research on the internet, our engineer was able to source a purpose built machine at an affordable price for the client . In this instance our input was restricted to sourcing a commercially available model and did not involve making or modifying an existing machine as this was not necessary. This model:advanced sewing machine model 607ARC2006/7 -made by Shadwell was to be used in conjunction with a  wireless -hand operated off/on switch with a variable  (preset) speed control (model PSS2008).

sewing machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case 470-  a client with learning difficulties used a walking frame with an attached tray for carrying drinks or food from the dining room table to his usual chair in the lounge. The tray had disintegrated with time and could not be replaced as the walker was no longer made. A replacement one was made in wood and finished in eco-varnish. This case proved difficult due to the client’s  unpredicable episodes of challenging behaviour  and was only made possible with help from the very charming  care staff. However it finished with smiles all round and a pat on the back for me from the client!

walker tray 002

 

walker without tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

walker tray 001

 

 

 

walker with replacement tray

 

 

 

 

Case 473 – an elderly lady with severe arthritis of her knees is experiencing difficulty in using her rollator and having attended a Remap presentation given to her Elderberries ( over 60s) club  requested that her rollator be converted to gutter arm supports in place of the existing, conventional  handle grips. This was quickly achieved by grafting a pair of gutter arm rests obtained from our spares box on to her existing handle bar grips. Three subsequent visits were required to modify the braking system which incorporated an effective the parking brake which had been omitted in the first instance as wrongly thought to be unimportant! The gutter arm supports  enabled her to walk more upright and allowed her to lean on to her walker, thereby improving her mobility. This relieved the pressure on her hands and she was able to resume knitting again which she had given up due to poor feeling in her hands. Finally she could lock the brakes for when she used the seat without the walker running away from her!

Tywardreath walker2 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case 475 – a person with MS needs a table over her fully riser recliner arm chair which can hold her laptop which she uses frequently as secretary of her local MS group. The table must able to swing outwards and clear the armchair so that she can transfer to & from her wheelchair unaided .

A simple table top was constructed from pine board with edging on three sides. An aluminium pedastal (obtained from a marine chandlery) was fitted to the under surface of the top  by a suitable tapered socket and a similar socket abutted on to a wooden frame underneath. The four feet of the of the armchair pressed on to of the frame which was held in place by the weight of the chair (and its occupant) . The table rested on the arms of the chair , when in use but could  still be easily swung in/out of position when needed for transfer.

 

riser chair table3

 

 

 

 

table with lap top being used

 

 

riser chair1

 

 

 

 

table swung into place -showing the pedastal arrangement

 

 

 

riser chair table2

 

 

table swung “out” to allow access for transfer

 

 

 

 

 

Case 477- the long serving organist at a parish church was unable to continue playing following the loss of his Right leg due to difficulties in transferring from his wheelchair to the organ stool , which stood on a  raised plinth. A means of lifting him up 16″ for self transfer was needed . First access to the organ stool was  improved by moving the long book case, in front of the organ sideways . An electric bath seat which had been donated by the physiotherapy department at Treliske Hospital was “recycled” and used to provide the necessary 16″ lift needed. This was secured to a purpose made wooden box on castors, which in the lowered position was the same height as the seat of his wheelchair. The electric bath seat  required a 12v battery supply & used  the original controls.

Proceedure- first the client transferred from his wheelchair to the bath seat (in the lowered position) using a shortened transfer board . The seat lift was then pushed up against the side of the organ stool and the lift elevated to its full height. A standard transfer board could then be used to allow transfer on the organ seat with subsequent removal of the transfer board. He was then safely in position and could play the organ again using his Left leg to full advantage. After playing he could dismount back to his wheelchair by reversing the same proceedure.

This practical solution proved a great success and gave much pleasure to the client (who was delighted to resume playing the organ) , his wife & carer and also with the congregation of the church who had greatly missed his playing over the preceeding 12 months.

Remap organ lift 003

Second step: now on chair lift, ready to be “elevated” to the organ stool

Remap organ lift 002

Transferring from chair lift to organ stool

 

Remap organ lift 001

Transfer complete- now let’s play the organ!

 

 

 

Case 480?- This client with mobility problems due to Parkinson’s disease was supplied with a Kingfisher trolley with gutter arm rests last year (case 444)  but due to the slope in her kitchen the walker tended to run away from her. Her trolley was now fitted with larger wheels  and their braking systems (cannabalised from our stock of “cast offs.” ) so she could maintain better control .

braked gutter arm trolley 002

 

Case 486-  this 58 year old diabetic lady with a Left below knee amputation needed brakes fitted to her Roma commode which was kept at the top of her stair lift so could safely transfer independently and then use to propel herself around upstairs to use the bathroom & in future move back into  her bedroom. The existing brakes were operated by short levers which required “a good stamp” down to apply or release which was beyond her . The brake levers were extended by strips of aluminium ,folded into a loop which could be easily pushed down by hand  to apply or lifted up to release. The brakes were left on during transfer to ensure the commode did not move away from the stair lift. A short stick with a forked end was available to facilitate reaching those wheels beyond easy reach.

The client was highly motivated and quickly adapted to using the modified braking system . She was delighted to have access to her bathroom once more “under her own steam” and vowed to be back in her own bedroom by Xmas.

chupney 132

 

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Dec 112013
 

Completed Projects from January to December  2013 

Project 412- enhanced grip support needed for walking frame to prevent right hand slipping down frame . This was developed using the protective rubber hand grip & guard from a masonry brick bolster .

412

Project 415- Tray required for wheelchair- existing tray cut to size & fitted as requested.

Project 418- wrists splints required for holding fishing rods- supplied/fitted. To be tested at start of fishing season .

Project 419 – client with MS needs extension of head rest to existing Aquatec Ocean VIP shower chair – extra setting holes provided.

Project 422- client has osteoarthritis affecting her shoulders,spine and hands associated with pronounced kypho-scoliosos (hump on upper back) resulting in difficulty in putting on her outdoor clothing. A device, hinged from the back of her kitchen door  was constructed with four extended metal arms with short chains ending in clothing grips (from commercial coat hangers)  with extended perspex handle grips (needed for her weak grip). A fifth grip hung from a short pulley with a handle attached to the far end. The coat was first attached to the five clips- to both of the shoulders, lapels & centre of collar , thereby opening up the coat so that the client could insert her “worst” arm first and then her “better” arm and finally pulling on the handle which pulled the coat up & over the obstruction on her back. Finally she walked away from the frame when all five grips became detached and the device was folded back  flat against the door which could then be reopened again.

001 003002

 

 

Project: 423 -client has special padded toilet seat with integral flip arms -essential for safe transferring. One of the metal brackets attaching the padded seat to the bowl had broken and needed replacing. The model was no longer available and a bespoke bracket was required- see photos

remap10002

Project 425 – client with bilateral above knee amputations having difficulty transferring to due to painful hyper- extension of wrists. Case closed incomplete & prematurely due to unforeseen medical problems.

Project 426- Client has specialist profiling bed with low  clearance for over bed table necessary for his Smart computer equipment . Existing table is too small and its castors have been removed to fit under bed . Withdrawal for bed making etc. of the table disturbs visual alignment of  electrical equipment -working on laser basis , as the under-table arms catch on the carpet. The four circular corner  feet of the bed were jacked up individually , by means of levers (with client still in the bed,at his insistence!)  and 2.5″ oak blocks- recessed by 1″ were placed under them-giving an overall raise of 1.5″ .The four metal square feet associated with the lifting mechanism were lifted by the same amount with similar blocks. This extra clearance now enabled the original castors to be fitted to the existing bed table whose top was enlarged by 50% and could be slid sideways on top of the previous one allowing the use of more electrical equipment. The bed table could now be moved easily without disturbing his Smart computer equipment.

remap426 002

One pair of wooden corner post and metal frame work  feet with blocks in situ  

remap426 003

just some of the Smart computer equipment …..

Project 427- the client with a past history of a CVE was an enthusiastic cook and was on his third vegetable work station(VWS) -the two previous plastic clamps having broken due to extensive usage . The device also slid around on his work surface due to poor adhesion from its sucker feet. A removable base board, in pine, was fitted to the work top and secured by “up & over” clips to the back support . The original VWS was fitted with sides in place of its sucker feet and could now be fitted over  the baseboard. An additional vegetable clamp was made in durable oak with large knob for holding it in place on the sliders for use when the existing plastic one failed. Finally a chopping board in beech was supplied and fitted in place of the VWS when needed.

vegpeeler 001

Base board in place -held in place by clips at the upper end and the lower end fitting snugly against the edge of the work      surface

vegpeeler 004

The VWS in place with new vegetable clamp ( poorly shown) , in oak,

vegpeeler 003

The chopping board in situ 

 

Project 428 – client has musculo-skeletal disorder and needs a low moveable /flexible axis point over her bath to hold the shower head for washing her hair whilst kneeling over edge of bath or if immersed in the bath. A fully retractable “angle poise ” type structure was assembled with three pivot points allowing the shower head to moved in vertical,horizontal &  forward/backward axes. The joints could be tightened by means of screw in tensioners.  This allowed a wide range of movement for the shower head (second photo) but could also be “flat ” back against the side of the bath when not required (first photo) .

showermod 003

Shower head folded back against side of bath

showermod 001

Shower head in place for use

 

Case 431- client unable to use existing 4 wheeled walking aid with conventional “pull on” brakes as it tended to run away from him then had difficulty applying the brakes evenly  & stopping safely  as his weak hand tended to fall off the hand grip.  There was a real danger of falling. However he had previously managed well with rollator with reverse braking ie: pull off as opposed to conventional  pull on  system. The braking system was redesigned to operate on a  “pull off”  basis and both cables were operated from his good left side using a twin cable brake lever (see case 432 below) .

Remapwalker 002

Modified rollator with left sided braking

Remapwalker 004

“reverse” braking system ie pull off

IMG_0450

Twin cable brake lever

image1

A modified “gutter support”  (obtained from a walking aid fitted with gutter supports) was fitted to the client’s right side which  supported his weak side. He was able to maintain grip on the handle due to the spasticity in that hand. This markedly improved control of the rollator .

 

Case 432 – under development  (client  uses a rollator  (4 wheeled walking aid ) following a CVE (stroke)  and cannot manage the brake lever on his left  (weak) side . He requires right sided brake lever to operate on both rear wheels . A twin cable brake lever used in trikes (for their twin rear wheels) was fitted on right side and the two cables fed into both rear wheel brakes. The original “pull on” mechanism was not changed.)

 

Case 433 –    client  uses a rollator  (4 wheeled walking aid ) following a CVE (stroke)  and cannot manage the brake lever on her right (weak) side . She requires left sided brake lever to operate on both rear wheels . A twin cable brake lever used in trikes (for their twin rear wheels) was fitted on Left side and the two cables fed into both rear wheel brakes. The original “pull on” mechanism was not changed.

IMG_0450

Rollator with twin cable brake lever

 

IMG_04499

Rollator with Left sided braking

Case 434- under development

Case 438– the elderly client was bed bound with generalised weakness associated severe curvature of her spine  and breathing difficulties. Due to her breathing problems, she could only lay on her side , propped up by one elbow , using her other arm & hand to care for herself. A  heavy  five foot long  trolly held her everyday equipment   including a computer,telephone, respirator (CPAP machine), writing materials, small fridge  etc had become too heavy for her to move up/down by her bedside.

A carousel -3 foot in diameter -was constructed in 12mm plywood and mounted on a wooden frame by means of a 12″ “lazy susan” . The frame itself was mounted on (lockable) castors. Her everyday “equipment” was placed around the perifery of the carousel, which could be easily rotated by her free hand and her fridge located within the frame. She could now access all her needs with minimum effort . The carousel could also be easily moved aside by care staff for her personal care needs.

carousel 002

prototype – unpainted

carouselliferaft 003

fully loaded with fridge in situ

carouselliferaft 004

Computer keyboard with touch screen monitor

carouselliferaft 001

Carousel in use by client (at her request)

Case 441- the client with a sensitive eye condition needed protective eye wear to prevent shampoo irritating her condition when washing her hair Standard swimming goggles were modified to meet her requirements.

IMAG0492

modified swimming goggles with “easy” attachment lanyard

Case 444– an elderly person with poor balance and weak hand grip needed a wheeled walking aid  which could also  carry food/drink from the kitchen area to her living room . She was supplied with a standard Kingfisher trolley with gutter arm rests fitted so that could rest her wrists/fore arms in the gutter whilst gripping the upright end- poles  in order to steer herself.

remap 444 001

remap 444 002

 

Case 445– a 51year year old  lady with a neurological condition causing weakness of her legs needed a wheeled walking aid for mobility around her house. In view of her poor balance and one previous fall , a modified braking  version ie: pull off ( safety braking system: SBS) was indicated in order to re-establish her balance & continuing independence & mobility. She was supplied with a  two handed  SBS  version as she retained good grip in both arms.

Over view

Close up side view

This shows the latest  Mk 5  version.

Case 451- a mobility scooter required modification for a lady with loss of use of her Right arm/hand following a stroke. The forward control lever -activated by pressing forwards towards the Right handle grip needed to be re-rooted  so that it could be used by her Left hand instead . A section of copper pipe was attached to to “reverse” portion of her control lever and then bent so that she could grip it in front of her handle bar  (like a conventional bicycle brake lever). Compressing the bar gave forward motion, whilst pressing outwards -away fron the handle bar -gave reverse propulsion.

IMG_0525 (1)

re-rooted copper pipe extension of the direction control lever

IMG_0526 (1)

Seen from above

Case- unlabelled – an E tran frame is used as an Augmentated Alternative Comunication (AAC) tool .

Some people who have communication difficulties also have physical difficulties and find it difficult to point to a book or chart orto handle communication cards. People with good control over their eyes may be able to use an ETRAN frame. This is a sheet ofstiff, transparent plastic (Perspex) onto which symbols or words can be stuck with Blu-Tack or Velcro.

Etran frameThe communication partner faces the user and holds the chart up between them. The user gazes at the letter, symbol, or word they want to say. Initially one symbol or word will be placed at eachcorner. As the user and communication partner become more skilled, symbols can be added in themiddle of each side.The method can be developed using colour or number coding systems so that more items can be accessed

These E tran frames were laser cut by Pongofandango Ltd in Penryn on a pro bono basis after the first attempt to cut the 4mm acrylic sheet by conventional means proved problematic.

E tran frame 002

 

 

 

the two new laser cut E tran frames -back to back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 142013
 

Case: 435                                                              Year 2013 

Introduction- a young person with severe learning difficulties has epileptic fits at night requiring high protective  bed guards to be fitted when staying in his weekly respite facility. At home he has a bespoke  (and very expensive) bed which is non transportable. He has a tendency to kneel whilst in bed and in view of his size/weight  the bed guards need to be high & robust with soft surface, no sharp edges etc  to prevent contact injuries during seizures.

The respite facility (and parent company) were unable to source a duplicate bespoke bed and the aim was to modify an existing old style hospital bed available at the facility. The new bed guards would become an integral extension of the bed and would fulfil his specific requirements.

Specification

(1) 1 metre high (above mattress level) bed guard all round

(2) lightweight -easily/ quickly assembled & removed  by care staff   (without use of spanners etc)

(3) can be flat packed when not in use

(4) can be pressure washed.

(5) “see through” material (for carer monitoring) , soft with resilience.

(6) access panels on both sides for personal care by carers.

(7) hinged foot end panel to allow hoisting of client in/out of bed

(8) able to contain adults up to 15stone

(9) Installed equipment size to still allow transit through domestic doorways

(10) Installed equipment to allow normal bed function.

 

Design steps

(a) Projected costs for this project were an order of magnitude larger than normal case costs and advice was sought from Remap UK  at the outset.

(b) a circular was sent out to other Remap panels as to whether anyone had previous experience of a similar problem, which  generated a number of replies. One in particular ,see photo below, for a hyper active young teenager was a very useful model to base our design on.Subsequent correspondence about different  types of netting etc was very helpful.

with thanks to Coventry/Warwicks panel

with thanks to Coventry/Warwicks panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c) inspection of the hospital bed in the respite facility showed detachable head and foot boards with 25 x 25mm box section which  fitted into rectangular sockets at each corner. These sockets could then be used to support the metal frame of the bed guards.

head board with metal strut with socket on bed frame.

head board with metal strut with socket on bed frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(d) alloy tubing was used for the frame as it was lighter and would not rust like mild steel although it would require more specialised (& expensive) TIG welding. This was sourced- cut to length ,  from a local steel stockist (SJ Andrew) for £120 and welded up into two 2 metre long side frames with extended legs (for the corner sockets) and two smaller  1 x 1metre (approx) frames for the head & foot ends. These were initially tack welded for a trial fit and needed slight adjustment in length before being finally welded up.

(e) much time & effort was spent researching suitable netting options. The initial idea of using plywood panels  with foam padding was dropped due to weight considerations and more importantly these would block any light and give the bed guards an unacceptable box or cage like appearance ! A trip to Newlyn harbour (main trawler harbour in the South West))confirmed a number of different net sizes but all of these were either thin nylon or had a harsh rough thick texture which could cause friction burns. A soft netting of the correct size was sourced from Leicester but attaching the zips was still going to be problematic.

(f)Eventually Sailtech (local sail maker in Penryn) came up with the solution -advising the use of  black stretchy “airtex”  material widely used on trampolines . This was soft and could also be sewn . Tough edging material was used on all sides of the four panels and also for attaching a pair of 5ft long zips inserted into the side panels to form a U shape. This was accomplished in record time by his hard pressed staff and generously, at cost price : £150

Assembly

(a) The four trampoline panels were attached to their respective  metal frames by stainless screws at 3″ intervals on cup washers  (to prevent future tearing)  . This required a measure of stretching on some seams as the edging material had caused some shrinkage but after 350 screws this was accomplished.

(b) The side panels fitted neatly into their sockets, with minimal  movement so that wooden shims were not required (to our great relief) . The open ends of the frames were plugged with plastic inserts . A pair of stainless hinges were attached to one side of each head & foot panel with toggle clips on the opposite side. This allowed both ends to be opened & closed securely. Finally pipe lagging was fixed to the top horizontal  rails and likewise the corner vertical rails by means of cable ties so all metal surfaces were  shielded  from causing contact injuries.

side view with zip closed

side view with zip closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side view with zip opened

Side view with zip opened

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foot end with gate open

Foot end with gate open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foot end with gate closed

Foot end with gate closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion–  this project has taken two and a half months for completion by two engineers and much support /help /advice from our busy chair person. It is probably the most ambitious project undertaken by our branch  and would “blown” our annual budget had due allowance not  been given by the CEO at  Head Office who has been very supportive throughout. The feedback we got at the outset from other branches was very helpful and we have made a number of useful contacts in the process . It has cost ~£600 which is somewhat less than the alternative market- supplied secure bed facility costing £7,000! The bed guards, now undergoing formal evaluation tests, should  become, in time, a useful community facility allowing more clients with similar problems to access respite care.

 

 

Case 497     Year 2015 

Turn to Starboard –is a charity based in Falmouth, Cornwall  dedicated to rehabilitating war damaged ex-servicemen, especially from recent  campaigns  in Iraq & Afghanistan (see www.turntostarboard.co.uk/. Their aim is to enable ex-servicemen to gain useful sailing qualifications eg: RYA Yachtmaster which can be used a stepping stone to gaining future employment outside the services.

Last year the Prince’s Trust  generously donated a traditional gaff rigged 92 ft wooden schooner-Spirit of Liverpool but now renamed- Spirit of Falmouth , previously used for youth adventure training which can take up to 12 ex-servicemen for training cruises.

 

 

However the boat was not immediately suitable to be used by persons with physical disabilities eg prosthetic limbs and required a number  of alterations in the fore peak & main cabin to ensure their safety in challenging sea conditions. These were undertaken by the Cornwall branch of Remap in three stages.

 

Stage 1 – it may come as a surprise to non sailors how difficult calls of nature can be in a boat which is being thrown about in a violent seaway. In addition there are multiple layers of clothing eg: wet weather gear  & life jackets to remove . The crucial factor is to maintain one’s balance & hence one’s “aim” -especially difficult for men who (understandably) insist on standing up for a pee. To this end a pair of substantial hand rails were secured above both toilets (called “heads” on board) and a foam backed fore-head rest fitted . A pair of lower hand rails were fitted either side of the toilet door for holding on whilst “sitting” . These simple measures are proving to be very popular with crew. SOF -Remap 006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 2- hand rails were fitted to the fore mast in the forepeak, where most of the crew sleep and also along the sides of the cabin . Lap seat belts were fitted in the pilot saloon to prevent off duty crew from sliding around due to the motion of the boat.

SOF -Remap 001

 

 

 

hand rails on fore mast

 

 

 

 

SOF -Remap 010

 

 

 

 

hand rail to assist climbing up to the pilot saloon from the cabin area.

 

 

 

SOF -Remap 013

 

 

 

 

lap seat belts in the pilot saloon

 

 

 

 

Stage 3 – finally a boarding ladder with carefully designed hand holds was constructed in Utile (mahogany) to enable easy boarding from the RIB when at anchor.

boarding ladder 002

 

 

 

boarding ladder with RIB alongside

 

 

 

 

boarding ladder2 002

 

 

 

one happy user!

 

 

 

 

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