Cornwall - REMAP - Custom made equipment for disabled people

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Standing Aid

A client’s left leg is 5.5 inches shorter than her right. A custom stand was made to make transfers from and onto her wheelchair a lot easier.

adjustable cuffs for crutches

A comfortable fit is an important part of using (elbow) crutches. The existing cuffs, which only come in one “universal” size consist of a flexible metallic material (probably aluminium) coated with plastic and have plenty of scope for enlargement -essential for when slipping the arm down into it . The standard cuff with internal diameter:10cms (circumference 31.4cm)  is suitable for a typical adult arm of ~ 30cm circumference . Unless the user has a very thin arm , it is unlikely to be too large but the converse for large arms is not the case.  Our client was a large man who had worked manually all his life and had gained additional weight on retiring on medical grounds. He now weighed 20stone  (126kg) and the circumference of his arms were 48cms, which is large and not uncommon! Used with only a shirt covering his arms the cuffs were an uncomfortable  tight fit and he certainly was not able to use them outside when wearing additional clothing. Although the cuffs could be stretched to accommodate his arms (and sprung back afterwards) what was needed was a means of holding the cuffs “open” to the required size and could be easily adjusted further for outdoor use. His mobility was already limited by his condition and difficulty utilising his crutches outside resulted in fewer social interactions and predictably had an adverse  effect on his mental health.

crutch for shortened forearm

Paradoxically crutches are used  on the contralateral side to relieve the pressure, hence our client got little benefit from using an elbow crutch on her right side whereas a  weight bearing walking aid  on her left side would be helpful. The initial referral was for a modified rollator but this was excluded due to lack of space and could not be used upstairs. In addition it did not suit weight bearing and her forearm could not be retained in the socket. Next the socket was transferred to a gutter arm crutch which also presented problems with retaining her arm in the socket and was “unwieldly” ie clumsy & difficult to use. Finally the socket was mounted vertically  to the hand grip of a standard elbow crutch. This optimised weight bearing as her body weight was transferred downwardsin a vertical direction . A tight fitting arm cuff was needed to secure the crutch to her arm and prevent it coming out when it was lifted up to move forwards. The end result enabled easy use and used in conjunction with her right sided crutch , she can now walk easily with minimal discomfort from her arthritic right hip. 

grass bowling rollator

All rollators come with skinny tyres and cannot be used on grass bowling lawns which specify wide wheels >90mm. However these are uncommon and can be expensive. The exception being dinghy launching trolley wheels -made from plastic, costing ~£8 each  . The downside -they are quite heavy and require a 1″ diameter axle.  Rollators are fitted with 8mm axle rods are not robust enough to take the heavy wide wheels and extensive modifications are necessary to adapt these wheels to fit..

Beach rollator

A stroke client with dense left sided weakness purchased a lightweight rollator with balloon tyres (£700) for exercising on nearby beaches. This required the addition of a dual pull brake lever on the right side to control both brake cables and gutter arm support on her left side to rest her weak arm. Thereby she could control the rollator with both arms and brake in a straight line- essential for safe usage.

Up-and-over garage door opener

Up-and-over garage door openerClient has left hemiplegia resulting in right-sided weakness in her upper limbs. She has difficulty opening garage door for storage of wheelchair/mobility scooter.

A long handled activating lock, with a removable handle, was made from mild steel to replace the existing lock.

The client is able to access and secure her scooter for first time in seven years. This has improved her confidence and independence and upgraded the security of her mobility aid.

 

Safety sailing chair

Safety sailing chairClient has very poor seating balance. The whole family enjoy sailing and were using a car seat to enable the client to sit in the boat but could not attach this to the boat.

A tumble-form chair was used (which is also buoyant if dropped into the water) and a safety harness was fitted for rapid release. The chair was mounted by a safety strap that enables it to be secured in any position on the boat.

The client can now safely and comfortably sit on the family boat and enjoy trips out even in less than calm seas.

Play football with wheeled walking frame

Football walkerA young man with cerebral palsy wanted to participate fully in games, especially football.

A  detachable scoop was made to attach to his  existing walking aid, to enable him to run with the football. The young man is now able to participate fully in games at school, and his range of movement and co-ordination have improved.

Fine craft steady grip

Client has Parkinson’s disease. She has prominent tremor in left hand. She has a keen interest in craft especially for dolls houses. She was having difficulties completing work to a satisfactory standard.

A fine gripper was made to hold steady small pieces of furniture.

Client can participate in her hobby with improved standards of work. Sense of self improved and reduction in tremor whilst working. Improved levels of concentration and activity tolerance.

(Cornwall)

Fine craft steady grip 1Fine craft steady grip 2

Beach wheelchair

Beach WheelchairThis lady has difficulty walking following a stroke. Her husband requested a wheelchair with which she could access the beach so that she could join in with family activities.

Due to the lady’s size an attendant chair was adopted with sand wheel roller system. The provision of the sand wheels allowed the client to participate in family activities that centred around beach. This increased her sense of self and she has no loss of role within family. She was also impressed that chair could be easily dismantled for storage in the car and for everyday use.

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