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One-touch computer screen bracket

The client earned her living with her computer and had a spinal condition that forced her to spend her working day supine or on her side on a divan.  She had to move frequently to ease her discomfort and therefore often needed to adjust her screen orientation herself easily over a wide range.  Commercial screen stands require two hands and/or significant force to adjust and do not have the range of movement necessary, making them impracticable for this application.

Play Station control

The client has muscular dystrophy. This makes it hard for him to press the buttons on his playstation controller and limits the range of games that he can play.

Modification of the controller itself was considered (either reduce the force of the existing buttons or wire in softer buttons from an external keypad) but rejected, as this would have to be repeated every time the client bought an upgraded controller. Instead an adapter was made that allows all the controller buttons to be actuated through two-to-one levers, the layout of the buttons being preserved. The two joysticks were replicated in their correct places within the area of the new buttons. Upgrades to the controller appear to retain the same physical layout and number of buttons, therefore whenever an upgraded controller is acquired it can be substituted on the existing adaptor.

The client reported that he has much better control and that he can play many games that he could not manage before.

Brent and Harrow

Pick up for walking stick

The client has weak legs and uses two walking sticks. However, he can stand for a short time without the sticks, allowing him to perform a task with his hands. At these times he leans the sticks against whatever is convenient within reach. Occasionally one or both sticks fall over, but he cannot bend down to pick them up. He asked whether a magnetic device could be made to enable him to pick up a fallen stick.

A small but powerful pot magnet was bought from a hardware store. It included a circular keeper plate. Lengths of 16 SWG galvanised steel wire were made into close-wound helices to be a tight fit on the walking sticks and forced onto the top and bottom of each stick. An aluminium handle was screwed to the magnet and a small hole was drilled through the keeper plate near the edge. A piece of cord long enough to reach the ground was tied between the handle and the hole in the keeper plate.

In use the keeper plate is held in the hand and the magnet lowered to attach to one of the helices on the fallen stick, whereupon the stick can be lifted to within grasp. When not in use the cord is wrapped round the handle and the keeper plate attached to the magnet. This reduces the risk of the magnet damaging magnetic stripes on plastic cards, etc.

The client said, “The magnet picking up is a great mechanism. Already I feel much more relaxed about walking around.”

 

Transfer board – folding

Client suffered from limb girdle dystrophy. He needed a transfer board, used from his wheelchair to his car to be able to folded, so he could travel with it more easily, and stow it in the wheel chair without it impeding the chairs use.

A board was made of 3/4 inch ply and hinged in two places. To accept the clients weight, two steel pins were inserted on one side of each hinged section and half round tubes set in the other section of the board to receive them. The hinges were protected from damaging the surface they rested on with a plastic film.

The board was compact when folded and fitted the space available.

 

Bedpan – modified

A young man with Cerebral Palsy has a home fully equipment for his disability, but goes away with his family. When he is in his wheel chair and needs to use a bed pan he elevates himself and a bedpan is positioned. However the shallow design of the normal pan makes it extremely difficult to clean him and remove the pan. His mother asked for a pan to be made which was deeper by 1.5inch.

A standard white plastic pan was purchased (made of High Density Polyethylene-HDPE). It was cut in half along a faint joint line and the handle on this line also removed. A plastic fabrication company in Redcar was contacted via a Cambridge based welding institute and kindly agreed to weld in the extension piece made of 6mm thick matching material

The client is now able to cope with toileting when away from home, and over a recent break the new pan proved to be excellent

 

Pump control

The client is now bedridden and fed nutrients via a peristaltic pump, but if this went into alarm when her carer was not present, her grip was insufficient to turn a control knob.

The pump was located onto a plywood base on which were mounted to simple bearing blocks to accept a spindle with a large knob accessible to the client. On the other end of the spindle a nylatron dog clutch was secured.

The client is now able to turn the pump control herself.

 

Toilet step for two year old boy

Toilet step for two year old boyAnne’s two year old son has one leg 18cms shorter than the other and the foot turned inwards. He was unable to stand in front of the toilet bowl on a standard child’s plastic step, while waiting up to a year for a special prosthetic from the USA.

A wooden platform with levels to suit the toddler’s leg length was constructed together with a support.

The little boy can now safely use the toilet bowl.

Shower chair handle grip

Shower chair handle gripThis client was unable to pull himself forward, in his shower chair, to have his back washed. There was nowhere for him to grip onto easily, due to limited use of his hands, at the front of the chair to pull himself forward.

A removable ‘pram type’ handle was clamped onto the chair using two special clamps/ brackets on either side.

With the handle in place, he was able to pull himself forward easily.

 

Shopping tray

Shopping trayRania lives alone and has weak muscles, but can push firmly. When shopping, a standard wheelchair tray proved inconvenient. Although a carer could fit the tray to the chair in the morning, Rania could not lift her purchases off the tray nor remove the tray itself on her return home.

A special tray and two lightweight supports fit existing sockets on the chair. The tray clips onto the supports and automatically locks in place. The tray is big enough to carry a supermarket basket, a surrounding rim preventing goods falling off. A lever lowers the front rim so that shopping can be slid off. This also releases the lock, which is then only held closed by a spring. Pushing on the rear rim opens the lock and the tray can be pushed off. Rania can then lift the support arms out of their sockets.

The client is now one happy shopper!

Securing walking frame and walking crutch

Securing walking frame and walking crutchDue to deterioration of hand muscles, this client would lose his grip on the handle after a short period of time.

A Velcro strap was fixed at one end to the walking frame and walking crutch to enable the client to loosely secure his hand to the handle.

The client is confident that if he loses his grip, the strap will prevent his walking aids falling away from him.

 

Scent applicator

Scent applicatorWinifred has a muscle wasting disease and could not operate the small plunger on her scent atomiser bottle.

The bottle was placed in an aluminium frame with a hinged lever to depress the plunger. Winifred can now apply her perfume herself.

Oven door opener rod

Oven door openerA lady with a muscle wasting disease was unable to bend and turn the oven door knob.

A rubber lined pipe clamp was secured around the door knob. A rod was fixed to the boss and located by a bracket riveted to the top edge of the door. This limited the movement and allowed the rod to open the door.

The client could open the door without stooping and without having to grip the low door knob. She could close the door with her knee.

Eye drop squeezer (capsules)

Eye drop squeezer (capsules)The client needs to regularly treat her eyes with drops. The drops are in capsules only 20mm long and the client is unable to squeeze the capsule due to arthritis. Commercial devices were too clumsy and would not fit in her handbag.

Two identical wooden arms 100mm long were hinged at one end to a metal block. The block has a cut out to locate the neck of the capsule (with the cap loosened by another device but still in place to keep the nozzle clean). With the capsule located, the arms provide the leverage to squeeze the capsule.

The client can squeeze the eye drops with perfect control.

 

Eye drop squeezer

Eye drop squeezerSudha needs to regularly treat her eyes with drops but cannot squeeze the 20mm long capsules because of arthritic hands. No compact commercial device was available.

The device consists of two handles hinged together at one end. An eye drop capsule is placed as shown.

The handles are aluminium and the “hinge” is made of stiff but flexible plastic sheet. The hinge sheet has a hole to admit the capsule with the cap in place but already loosened. The handles at the hinged end are grooved to trap the capsule and stop it sliding backwards as pressure is applied. To use it, Sudha removes the capsule cap and squeezes the handles.

Sudha can now squeeze the eye drops with perfect control.

Accessible buttons on entry phone

Entry phoneThis lady lives in a block of flats and is confined to bed. She cannot apply enough pressure to operate her entry phone.

A wooden base with two long operating levers fitted to a bracket was made and the phone screwed on to it. With the extended leverage, the client could push the buttons. She can now let people in to her flat.

 

Car door openers

Due to deterioration of hand muscles, this client could not open car doors – neither the driver’s nor tailgate.

A simple detachable extension to door handle, giving more leverage, was made. The client is now able to open doors unaided.

Car door openers 1Car door openers 2

 

Bath brush

Bath brushThe client’s original brush to wash herself with in the bath had worn out.

An aluminium brush mounting was fitted via 2 rotary clutch units to a handle. The clutch could be released via a locking lever. The main handle was sleeved with silicone rubber to improve grip.

The client can now brush herself easily when bathing.

Air cushion sit-to-stand aid

Air cushionWinifred, who has a muscle -wasting disease, needed assistance to stand up from her chair before using a walking frame.

An air bag made of tough boating material was placed on the chair seat and attached to a Bravo air pump to lift her.  A second low pressure suction pump was connected via a quarter turn block valve so she could deflate the cushion after rising.  A normal cushion was put over the air bag.  Winifred can now use her chair and has no difficulty rising from it or sitting down again.

 

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