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Wheelchair Dolls Pram Attachment

It is not permitted to carry anyone else on a mobility vehicle on a public highway or footpath Department of Transport guidance  . Any modification undertaken by Remap is done for the purpose of using the item on private property.

Ellie has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound. She would like a pram/buggy to push her dolls around but cannot hold onto one and operate her electric chair at the same time.

Intravenous Pump – Alarm Monitor

The client is a mother of one living a with young son estimated at 10-12 years old. She is deaf but can hear well with the aid of hearing aids during daytime. At night she does not wear the hearing aids. Her son is wheelchair-bound, also deaf and requires regular, almost continuous intravenous (IV) nutrition and fluids (day and night). Two portable intravenous pumps (IV pumps: Bodyguard 323) are used to facilitate this, which are carried on his wheelchair during daytime and then placed in a charging cradle on a pole stand at night.

The pumps are not owned by the client. Occasionally one of the pumps may have a problem and sound an alarm.  If the problem is not fixed quickly the infusion may need to be restarted (inconvenient) or lead to a medical condition requiring treatment by doctors or at hospital. If one of the pumps fails at night the client needs to be woken up to attend the alert. She was seeking a solution to be woken in a next door room if one of the pumps alarms during the night.

Over time different pumps have been used some of which had external alarm circuits. However the current pumps do not have any alarm interface;  just an intermittent audible alarm and flashing screen. The current solution is a baby sound alarm in her son’s room with a pager vibrating alert worn on her arm. However the baby monitor triggers on any reasonable sound, so creates many false calls.

Since the pumps are lifted in and out of their charging cradle daily it would be difficult to attach anything to the pumps. Any modification to the pumps may be difficult since the client doesn’t own them and the American manufacturer is not responsive to information requests or correspondence.

Oliver’s Car

Oliver’s spina bifida left him unable to use a foot pedal in a standard ride in car. Oliver’s mother asked if a car could be adapted with a hand throttle as he is unable to operate the throttle pedal on the floor. Given that this is a ‘standard’ adaption for full size mobility vehicles it seemed totally practical. It was agreed that she would source a vehicle and I would assemble it and make and fit a suitable hand throttle. The only other constraint was that ideally this would be done in time for Christmas – and it was already November and we are in the middle of a pandemic!

Bradshaw Buggy Conversion mk2

As this was a 2nd conversion the main elements of the project are as described at https://www.makeability.org.uk/project/17549/bradshaw-buggy-conversion/

However in the case it was necessary to stow the batteries under the seat as the client needed to make use of the foot rest.

Bradshaw Buggy Conversion

The client is a bilateral above the knee amputee and uses one of the Bradshaw buggies owned by the Riverside Indoor Bowling Club (RIBC) in Winchester. He can just manoeuvre the chair using the wheel rings but isn’t strong enough to do it for an entire game. The wheels are low down and inboard of the seat so they chair can be used for its primary purpose of bowling. However it makes it tiring to propel manually.

The sponsor had asked if the chair could be fitted with electric propulsion. It was agreed that this would be the solution. However the Bradshaw chair is relatively compact and there wouldn’t be a lot of space to mount motors and batteries. The wide wheels of the chair also restricted access to fit pulleys or sprockets for any drive system.

Cycling with one pedal

Daniel is a keen cyclist who enjoys exploring the countryside on his bike along with his family. Following complications from a routine operation, he no longer has full use of his right knee. He was worried that he might have to give up his hobby, until he contacted Remap.

Controlling tremors in artist with MS

Bernard Weatherill,   Case Officer Basingstoke Remap, writes:

We have recently had a referral for a client, a man in his twenties/early thirties, who uses a wheelchair and has MS. He is a budding artist and has displayed and sold some of his work in the past to supplement his income and raise funds for MS. The issue he poses is that although he can hold a crayon quite easily the problem really lies with controlling his tremors. Ten minutes is about as long as he can last before the spasms get too bad for him to continue and even before they kick in he is unable to draw a straight line. The OT who is overseeing his case at first thought he had a problem in holding the crayon but that is not the real problem – it is his tremors. He is not keen on having weights applied to his wrists/hands but has been encouraged by a video made for the BBC Simon Reeve programme ‘The Big Life Fix’ :-

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Haiyan+and+Simon+Reeve&&view=detail&mid=1553BF972DE78C60BC951553BF972DE78C60BC95&&FORM=VRDGAR

 

We will be pursuing details of this device and the possibility that our client might be able to acquire one. However, in the meantime it would be helpful if any of the Panels have had similar requests and have either been successful in sourcing such a unit or have details of producing a device that could provide a suitable solution to the problem.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Bernard

 

Holder for Electronic Magnifier

The client has very poor sight and uses an electronic magnifier to aid her reading. The unit is similar to a digital camera and has buttons to control on/off, magnification, colour etc.  As she also has a problem with pain in her fingers she found that holding and operating the device for any length of time gave her pain. The requirement was therefore for a holder with a handle to enable the magnifier to be held without discomfort to her fingers.

A holder as shown was formed by heat-moulding UPVC plastic (taken from 100mm soil piping) around a wooden former. The magnifier slips into the carrier-slide element and by cutting a window in the front face and boring access holes into the casing the push buttons on the unit can still be operated whilst in the holder.

 

A single central pop rivet acts as a stop to prevent the Magnifier from sliding beyond the correct position whilst an elastic band attached to the hand strap holds the unit firmly against the stop; this is looped around the handle and fixes onto a stub. It can therefore be easily unhooked to facilitate removal of the Magnifier from the carrier for it to be recharged via the USB connection. The plastic element of the handle is an extension of the main plastic moulding with a piece of 25mm wood dowel used to complete the grip.

The client can now read her papers and books without pain to her hands.

Remote control for wheelchair

Remote control for wheelchairSue has multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair. She can drive an adapted car but once she has transferred into it she is unable to put the wheelchair away before she drives off – at the other end of her journey she has another wheelchair available. She asked Richard Brown at the Basingstoke panel whether he could help.

Richard made a remote control based on a multi-channel model aircraft system, which was unlikely to be affected by children using radio-controlled toys in the vicinity.

The control unit Sue carries has two joysticks – one to operate the the on-off switch, the other controlling forward/back and left/right movement in exactly the same way as the joystick on the chair. Richard found rechargeable batteries for the unit which lasted over 24 hours.

Sue is thrilled. She can now leave the house and use the car any time she wants without having to be sure someone would be around to help. She says, “I’m now free, independent and totally amazed!”

Two-child pushchair

Two-child pushchairThe client has two children. The elder child has several medical problems and cannot walk very far. Therefore, he needed transport to school in addition to his young sister who cannot be left at home. The two of them had outgrown a normal buggy and larger sizes were not available.

A large tandem buggy was made by mounting the shell of a child car seat on a steel frame attached to a large size buggy. The frame and second seat can be removed in seconds by undoing the two wing bolts so that the buggy can then be used for just one child or folded for storage.

The client was able to walk both children to the school, and thus avoided doing the ‘school run’ by car.

 

Toilet platforms

Toilet platformsThe elderly gentleman had had a stroke and was continuing to use the toilet by squatting on the rim of the pan. This was very unsafe. A floor level toilet could not be installed because other members of the family use it in the normal way.

A steel framed double platform with cork surfaces was made to fit either side of the toilet pan, at the height of the rim. It has a pull-out step to aid getting on to it and the platforms do not project forward of the pan/normal seat.

The client is now able to use the toilet more safely and other members of the family are not inconvenienced.

Speech computer bracket for wheelchair

Speech computer bracket for wheelchairThis child has severe cerebral palsy. His only method of communication was through a speech synthesising computer and he needed the next level of computer to continue progress but this was unable to be mounted on his powered wheelchair.

An aluminium tube was mounted on the lower left side of the wheelchair with provision for adjusting its angle. The computer was mounted on an L-shaped steel tube which slid into the tube and an adjustable collar on the tube locked into a slot on top of the tube. This locking action stops the tube from rotating and the computer can be put in the correct position by adjusting the collar height and angle of the tube.

The boy can now learn to use a very sophisticated computer to communicate and it can be easily removed when necessary.

‘Fridge handles

Special handlesThe client has a fridge/freezer, and opening the fridge part on top involves turning his hand palm-up and curling his fingers into a recess. He has multiple sclerosis and this action causes him considerable pain.

A door/cupboard handle was purchased which was then pop-riveted to the fridge door, providing a grip the client could manage without pain. A matching handle was then placed vertically on the lower freezer door where there was no issue of pain being caused but the recess was a little small for the client’s fingers.

He is very pleased with the result.

 

Retractable wheelchair ramp

Retractable wheelchair rampThe client, an amputee wheelchair user, who lives alone required a double ramp that would allow him to exit and enter the house and to secure the door from either side without aid.

The ramps were constructed from plywood with a side guard to ensure that the wheelchair cannot run over the edge. To bridge the doorframe, the two halves were connected using door hinges welded together to form an extended double hinge unit and fitted in the centre to avoid the area of the wheel run. The external ramp could be folded inside the door when not in use. By using a pole-and-hook arrangement the client can unfold the ramp and then retrieve it whilst still in his wheelchair.

The client is now able to maintain his independence and to enjoy his garden.

Radiator control handle

Radiator control handleDeirdre has severe arthritis and was unable to reach or turn the thermostatic control valves on her radiators.

A 40mm plastic sleeve used for joining plastic plumbing pipes was shaped to fit the thermostatic radiator valves. The sleeve was then pivotally connected to an aluminium tube and T-handle. The device can be carried from room to room and fits all the valves in the house.

Deirdre can now adjust her heating to suit her needs.

Pushchair adaptation

Mandy is a registered blind mother who needed to be able to pull a child’s pushchair whilst using her guide dog. The twisting action involved in pulling the chair was giving her serious back problems.

A handle which is retractable, and can be locked in both positions, was made from aluminium and fitted to the handle of the pushchair with specially designed brackets and fittings. In use, the deployed handle curves round in front of Mandy and allows her to control the pushchair without twisting. With the handle retracted she is able to use public transport.

Mandy can now go out safely and in comfort.

 

Kettle filling aid

Kettle filling aidThe client has cerebral palsy and uses a standard tilting cradle for her kettle. She is able to pour boiling water from her electric kettle without much problem but is unable to fill the kettle with cold water.

A filling aid was constructed from a length of clear plastic tubing. A “push-on” rubber fitting at one end connects to the cold water tap and a piece of stainless steel tubing at the other end fits into the spout of the kettle. A wooden cross piece clamped to the steel tube ensures that end of the tube can be easily positioned in the kettle spout. In use, the client connects the tubing to the water tap, places the stainless steel end piece into the kettle spout and then turns on the lever operated tap to fill the kettle.

The client can now fill the kettle easily without aid and has gained a greater independence.

Hospital bell-push aid

Ken is regularly admitted to hospital and because of his poor hand/finger movement can not use the emergency call bell-push. He needed a simple aid requiring minimal hand and finger movement to operate. The surfaces also needed to facilitate easy decontamination.

An oak block was bored out to hold the hospital bell-push with the actuating button protruding beyond the end of the block. A hinged end piece top plate enabled the button to be depressed with a very simple downward hand movement, the bellpush providing sufficient spring action to re-set the unit. The wood items were varnished and together with the plastic top plate enable the unit to be easily cleaned and decontaminated.

Ken’s hospital stays are made less stressful knowing that he can now easily call for help at any time. The hospital was so pleased with the adaptation that they asked for another six to be made.

Heating control aid

Heating control aidMichael has severe rheumatoid arthritis and could not reach upwards and deep into his airing cupboard to operate a boiler control button. Being a rented property, rewiring, repositioning or modifying the unit were not options.

A sprung actuator was created from pieces of plastic angle and electric conduit pipe which were suitably cut, heated, remoulded and bent to form a cradle and sprung actuator arm. The components were riveted together, taped around the control box and fitted with a dowelling arm.

Michael can now operate his boiler without asking for help.

Head switch bracket

Daniel has poor control of his hands, poor neck and upper body strength and is unable to speak. He can only interact via head/eye movement and the limited use of hand operated switches. He needed a switch mounting bracket that could be fitted to his wheelchair headrest, on to which buddy-button head switches could be attached.

A switch bracket was fabricated comprising a 2 – piece backplate with side arm extensions for the buddy-button head switches, with a stiffening piece preventing any excessive flexing during use. The backplate was made to fit the wheelchair headrest with integral clips and Velcro straps to secure it. A cloth covered headrest cushion was riveted to it. Velcro pads hold the switches in place.

Daniel has found great joy in being able to use his head switch to operate teaching aids and he is progressing well. He now straightens his back, sits upright and has become far more attentive.

Foot operated toilet flush

Foot operated toilet flushThe client has rheumatoid arthritis and was unable to turn herself sufficiently to flush the toilet. She used to press the handle with her elbow while seated which was very difficult.

Two boards were hinged with a coil spring between them. A cord attached to the upper board was tied to the cistern handle enabling the client to operate the flush using her foot.

The client is now able to use and to flush the toilet with greater ease.

Emergency wireless alarm

Emergency wireless alarmThe client is a tetraplegic with asthma. His condition prevents him from shouting for help or even using a call button to summon assistance. His requirement was therefore for an alarm system that could be easily activated with a minimum of effort.

A wireless door bell push/sender unit was fitted into a purpose built plastic housing attached to a wrist strap. The client operates the unit by simply raising his wrist to his head and pushing the plastic housing against his chin or forehead until the bell sounds. By having two receivers, the client can have one by his bedside to confirm the alarm is working – while the other unit is located with the duty carer.

The client’s concerns have been greatly reduced and he can now go to bed and get to sleep with greater confidence and peace of mind.

 

Drum/percussion kit

Drum percussion kitThis boy with cerebral palsy spends most of his time in a wheel chair. He has poor control of his head and hand movements but wanted to play the drums and join his friends in playing in a band.

A comprehensive drum kit (snare and bass drums, tom-toms plus a cymbal and high hat) was bought by the client’s father. These were then ‘played’ using a series of drum sticks and strikers operated by a Bowden cable (for the snare drum), low voltage (12v) electric motor (for the snare roll) and 12 volt solenoids (for the bass drum, tom-toms, cymbal and high hat). Operation of these was achieved using a bank of sprung levers fitted to a central console. By using oversized pads on the actuators, the client was able to strike the desired levers despite his less than precise hand movements.

The client is now able to play the drums for the first time and has gained greater hand coordination from using the kit.

 

Cycle seat support

Cycle Seat SupportThe client is a child of about 8 years who has cerebral palsy. Her parents wanted to take her on family cycling trips using a ‘trailer bike’ towed by an adult bike. The child needed additional support to hold her in place on the bicycle seat.

A steel bracket was made which clamped to the cycle seat post and projected up behind the seat. This carried a three sided aluminium alloy support mounted at the child’s waist height. The support was padded with stiff foam and fitted with a lap belt at the front to hold the child in place. This was sufficient to hold the child upright and securely in place on the bicycle saddle.

The family is now able to go on cycle trips confident that the girl will stay in place on her seat and not flop to one side or the other.

 

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