2014

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.


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

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

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

Case  439-Remap assistance was requested by Cornwall 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.

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 in place
left side dropped 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 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).

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 before tray
walker complete with new 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!

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.

table with laptop in use
pedastal table
pedastal table swung out for access/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.

2nd step- ready to uplift
Ready to transfer from lift to organ seat
transfer complete- now to start playing

Case 481- 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

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.

end of project 2014