Case 421- an elderly lady lives alone and has difficulty putting on her coat due to frozen shoulders. A “coat hanging device” was devised, attached to her kitchen door which “flipped down “ and five arms extended outwards with clips on short chains. The coat could now be attached to the clips and was held in the open position. Next she turned round and carefully inserted first one then the other arm into the exposed ends of the sleeves before gently pulling the middle string (attached to the centre point of the coat) which lifted the whole coat up over her sleeves and on to her shoulders. Then she took a smart step forwrds which detached the coat from the five clips and could be buttoned up normally. Finally the device could be lifted into its “resting” position and the door opened again.
Case 426 – A gentleman was bedbound and quadriplegic. He was heavily dependant on his optically operated on-screen equipment to achieve simple commands like -answering the phone, opening/closing doors/windows etc. His optical sensors were positioned on an over bed table which was disturbed every time his bed was moved and had to be realigned on a frequent basis. After discussion it was agreed to lift up his bed by positioning wood blocks in oak under his 4 bed feet so that castors could be replaced on his overbed table. This allowed the bed table to be moved carefully away from the bed when required so that the alignment was not disturbed and proved a great success
Case 428- this lady had a degenerative musculo-skeletal condition and lived alone. She had trouble manipulating the shower head into the optimal positions when using it and requested that it could easily repositioned to suit her needs eg: hair washing etc. A smple multi-direction arm was constructed in wood -attached to the shower head which allowed her to move it into whatever position she needed.
Case 431- This large gentleman was left with a dense hemiplegia following a major stroke who started to mobilise in hospital using sophisticated rollator with pull-off brakes but became chair bound on discharge when using the conventional rollator with pull-on brakes when he became very unsafe. His wife was determined a purpose built walker would be developed to meet his particular needs.
Step1- single handed braking with both brake cables being activated by a dual pull brake lever used on his strong side. This ensured effective braking in a straight line!
Step2- the braking system was reversed on both fixed wheels so that the brake was ON unless the brake lever was retracted ie pull-off brakes. This could be combined with single handed braking although this could generate quite a stiff pull which could be too much for some people.
Step3- a gutter arm support as fitted to his paralysed side . The spasticity of his hand ensured a firm grip and two handed steering.
Conclusion- this highly modified rollator proved very successful and greatly improved his mobility and general well being.
The three main steps (a) unilateral braking is potentially useful for all post CVE patients who cannot manage bilateral brakes and thereby be in danger of slewing to one side & falling
(b) pull-off or reverse braking can be useful in cases where confidence or balance is impaired
(c) gutter arm support for paralysed arm- in severe casses where the weak side cannot hold on to the handle grip, single handed steering can easily result in erratic progress and falls! Putting the redundant hand to use in this way optimises and stabilises the situation and is also aesthetically better for the client!
These three modifications have been further developed and extensively used in other cases .
Case 438- This elderly lady had been bed bound for some years and needed to prop herself up in bed with one arm in order to facilitate her breathing. She is a very lively soul and kept her busy with reading,writing, using her computer etc and needed an easy access storage system for her belongings. A rotary carousel system was built which could be pushed up to her (on casters) and could easily be moved round with her single free arm to access her bits’n pieces as required . The circular table top -36″ diameter pivoted on a 12″ dia lazy-susan. Likewise the system could be moved aside when needed for nursing duties.
Case 444: Our most popular request is to fit gutter arm supports to the evergreen & popular King-Fisher trolley . This is not commercially available as it technically changes the functionality of the trolley into a walking aid and should be fitted with brakes! Of course this can be done but is a much bigger undertaking. This simple conversion has proved very durable and trouble free.
This lady, post CVE, used a mobility scooter but was unable to use the brake with her right hand, so this control lever was extended over to the left side so that she use this with her good left hand .
This disabled person requested help with preventing shampoo getting into hr eyes whilst showering. A simple device was constructed from swimming googles which could be easily slipped on when required.
end of year 2013