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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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.