Suffolk East - REMAP - Custom made equipment for disabled people

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Angina Spray dispensing aid

The client found it difficult to depress the spray when having an attack. He wanted a device to help him operate it without having to push down on the tiny button at the top of the small spray bottle.

Photo of client's spray

Powered scooter lateral support

The client had mobility difficulties and asked for help to support him more centrally on his scooter. He had a tendancy to slip to one side, and there was a worry about the stability of the scooter.

Low Level Ride On Scooter

The project was to provide a scooter for a two year old child with low growth. The ride-on scooter was suggested by their physiotherapist to help the child gain leg strength.

Overview of finished Rollator

One-handed Rollator brake – one brake, two wheels

The client could only use one hand to brake his four-wheel Rollator. This meant that sometimes, the Rollator would swing wildly and had resulted in occasional falls.

The solution made the Rollator much more stable when the right-hand brake was applied, because BOTH wheels had their brakes applied, instead of one.

The Rollator was a “Drive R8” model.

Head Support

The Suffolk East group was asked by an occupational therapist to provide some head support for use when walking. Neck collars and chin supports are available by they tend to be very uncomfortable.

A support was not required when sitting back in a lounge chair or on a mobility scooter. In fact a support would probably hold the head too far back when sitting.

The client had already adapted a baseball cap with a strap to a waist belt but this was proving to be inadequate.

Very bright bedside reading lamp

This client required a bright light to be able to read easily. Her existing lamps were too dim.

Mattress Spacer

This elderly client required a spacer to fill a gap in her mattress. She had been supplied with a pressure-reducing mattress topper, which (strangely) was 6″ too long for a standard double-bed.

Normally, this would not cause too much of a problem, but the client had balance problems and she perched on the end of the bed to get dressed. On several occasions, she had fallen off the end of the bed, because the topper was made from very floppy foam which hung over the edge of the bed and gave her no support. We were not permitted to cut the mattress topper as it had been provided by the Council services.

Leg Exerciser for Standing Exercises

 

The Leg Exerciser folds flat for storage or transport.

To use, raise the frame to the vertical position and secure with the bolts and wingnuts. The bar adjusts from 22cm to 50cm in height. Adjust to a comfortable level below knee height and secure with the four bolts and wingnuts.


Place the Exerciser on a non slip surface and wear non slip footwear. Stand as shown and with the bar supporting the lower leg, move your weight forward to exercise the upper leg muscles then return to a normal stance, repeat as directed. Use an adjacent support such as a table or worktop to aid balance.

Modified Bariatric Walker for 6′ 8″ man

Remap were asked to modify a bariatric walker to assist a 6 feet- 8 inch tall man. The existing walker could be adjusted to a maximum of 950mm height to top of handles, a dimension of 1010mm was required.

 

To achieve this Remap spliced and welded extension tubes to the existing handles and reinforced them with a hardwood dowel resin bonded into the tube.

 

Modified Pedals for an Exercise Machine

Remap were asked to modify a pedal exercise machine. The brief was to help the user to retain their feet on the pedals during exercise whilst in a sitting position. This was achieved by securing a pair of the user’s shoes to the pedals as shown.

Unmodified pedal

Pedals in use

To use, with the user in a sitting position place the feet in the shoes and secure with the shoe’s own Velcro fastenings. (Depending on their mobility the user may require assistance with this.)

The shoes can be removed by unscrewing the securing nuts.

Boy-Proof Secured Safety Gate

This young client had some learning difficulties but was very inquisitive and adept at some tasks, including opening his safety gate. To ensure he is safe in his room at night a standard type of safety gate has been used. However he had learned how to undo the latching system and a more secure arrangement was required. It was not desirable to use a lock, and some sort of latch was needed.

A gate was preferred so that he could see out and he could be seen easily. Remap were asked to help. The solution proposed was a solid gate that could have a securing bolt at low level on the adult side. A similar arrangement was also requested to secure the landing adjacent to the stairs.


The client likes cars so Remap provided a car motif with rotating wheels and a removable driver as extra décor. This he loved!

 

Bed Mounted Foot Support

This client’s posture is bent forward and this means his centre of gravity can incline him to fall forward. He normally sits on the side of his bed to get help with his personal care. It would be helpful if the bed could be raised to assist with the care but there was a risk he would fall forward if his feet were unsupported. Remap were asked if they could design a foot support that could attach to the bed and support him and to fold away when not in use.

Remap designed a suitable support which could be clamped to the centre section of the adjustable bed.

The client can now sit safely on the side of the bed which can be raised to a convenient height without the fear of him falling forward. The step folds away when not in use.

Modified Wheelchair Footrests

This client uses a conventional wheelchair for mobility, inside and outside the home. He likes to spend time cooking but finds it difficult to access the worktops and appliances from his wheelchair. In particular the conventional footrests prevent close approach to the units.

As he requires foot support, Remap were asked if they could provide less protruding footrests. After testing it was found the only workable position for his feet would be above the castors, this prompted experimenting with a higher seat position which also had significant benefits for accessing the worktops. Based on this, Remap provided a 70mm removable booster seat and bespoke removable footrests. The footrests are interchangeable with the standard ones and allow transfer by folding to a vertical position retained by magnets.

 

The client can now manoeuvre more easily in the kitchen and approach the units more closely, he also has a better and safer view of what’s cooking on the hob and can use the worktops and sink.

The client was warned, only to use the seat raiser and modified footrests inside on a level floor. He was told that rear anti-tip stability wheels are to be used, and he acknowledged and understood the potential reduced stability caused by the modification and accepted this because of the benefits of improved access within his kitchen.

Reverse-Braked Walker

 

 

This project was to help a young woman regain walking skills after many years in a wheelchair. Several wheeled walking aids had been tried and it was established that the walker needed to be parked with brakes on, to enable the user to rise from the sitting wheelchair position. The user also felt more confident if the brakes were normally on and were released by her during walking. Walkers which are otherwise suitable, all had conventional braking i.e. the user applies the brakes to stop . To resolve this, Remap were asked to “reverse” the braking of the preferred walker.

The existing brake was removed and replaced with a purpose made part, engaging with the other side of the wheel. This enabled the existing cable and spring mechanism to be retained with the function reversed. Brakes normally ON-Raise levers brakes OFF-Lower levers Brakes locked OFF.

Adjustments and maintenance are as the original walker except the access to the cable clamp which is now through the hole in the brake.

A warning label was attached to warn about the reverse braking of the walker.

 

Dexterity and Thinking Aids

 

Four dexterity aids were requested to help clients practice fine manipulations. The four aids were a ‘Tower of Hanoi Puzzle‘, ‘Buzzer and Wire“, ‘Nuts and Bolts‘ and a ‘Door Lock‘.

The request was, that the small scale door that could be easily transported and positioned on a table top. The door was to have locks and handles to enable users to practice opening/closing/locking the door. To transport the door the support legs are rotated to be in line with the frame. To use -rotate the support legs 90 degrees with the longer section of the leg projecting on the face the door opens to.

Hanoi Puzzle-Move the discs from A to B to finish as shown with the smallest disc on top. At no point can you place a larger disc on top of a smaller one.


The Buzzer Test-Move the hoop from one end to the other without touching the wire. The second rig can be mounted to test either vertical or horizontal movement. Select a ring size to test your skill level.

The Nuts and Bolts task included two sets of bolts of differing size and sets of nuts which could be screwed on and off.

 

Interactive Display Board

This project takes the form of a vertical board, ideal for use in an educational environment. Various different interactive elements can be easily fixed onto the board.

The interactive display board will fold flat for storage and can be adjusted for distance and viewing angle.

A Velcro tray can be slid into the guides and use for sound boxes or any Velcro base items.
Use the lower guides to display personalized images etc.
The iPad holder is secured using the washers/wingnuts.
The rotating discs, secure using one washer each side of board and a tightened wingnut.

 

Integral Swivel Chair Transfer Board

The Transfer board addresses the issues of transferring to and from a wheelchair to an office type chair which rotates and is on castors-the office chair has no brake. The user must have sufficient upper body strength to affect a transfer. The user has opted to use an office chair for short movements in their home and wants a safer transfer

 

The office chair is modified for a specific user by the addition of a transfer board attached to one side of the chair’s frame. The board is hinged to fold down when not in use. The seat is replaced with a plywood base to support a pressure cushion. The board can be raised to affect a transfer. The board has a locating pin on the underside and the board is slotted to engage with the wheelchair wheel.

To use, position the chairs adjacent to each other-LOCK THE WHEELCHAIR WHEELS-raise the transfer board and then lower it to engage the pin in the wheel chair stem and locate the board around the wheelchair wheels –CHECK THAT THE SWIVEL CHAIR IS SECURE

 

 

 

Pivoting Table for Powered Armchair

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This client had very limited strength in her upper body and wanted a table which had a reasonably large surface area but could be pushed aside rapidly if she wanted to vacate the seat. It also had to be fitted to a particular seating position of her powered armchair.

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A steel hollow-section frame was constructed to support the table-top. The weight of the chair held the base of the frame securely. The frame has a vertical tube into which a steel bar (fitted to the underside of the table-top) slotted.

The table pivoted out of the way horizontally.

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With a large surface area, the extreme unsupported end of the table-top required support, and it was designed to sit on the arm of the chair.

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In operation, the client found it easy to pivot the table away from her.

 

 

Wheelchair Transfer Board

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This client has had a stroke. He wants to be able to transfer himself from wheelchair to bed. He uses a motorised wheelchair, the chair has drive wheels which project beyond the width of the wheel chair seat, because of this, there is a gap between the wheelchair seat and the bed.

He is unable to use a conventional transfer board as he has no use of his right arm, wheelchair controls are on the left and he therefore needs to transfer on the right. Remap were asked if they could make a short transfer board which this client could use that would attach to the wheelchair and bridge the gap.

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The board is provided with a metal “peg” that locates in the wheelchair arm support bracket and an additional support bracket at the front of the seat. To use remove the standard arm support and insert the support peg. The peg is tapered and long to help with location using the right hand-sitting adjacent to a mirror may help with alignment. Adjust the bed height to be just below the board and position the wheelchair so the board overhangs the bed. Transfer by sliding across.

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Walker Brake Handles Modified

The finished modification

The finished modifications

This elderly client had very limited ability to use his fingers to pull up on the brakes of his walker. He mainly used the walker by resting his knuckles on top of the handles as a support. This was fine when he was moving on level ground, but the walker tended to run-away on a down-hill slope. He wanted the brakes to be knuckle-operated and to work when he pushed them downwards. He hoped that the solution would not be too visually obvious to other people.

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The brake handles were extended upwards by adding wooden platforms just alongside the top of the walker grips. Plywood inserts were manufactured and wooden members were glued and screwed to the inserts. The inserts were a push-fit in the brake handles, but were secured with two screws through the plastic mouldings.

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Testing the handles before painting

Testing the handles before painting

 

In operation, the modified handles proved to work well.

Baby Lifting Aid for Wheelchair-bound Mother

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Front view

Front view – before adding the leg-strap

Rear view

Rear view before adding the leg strap

This client was a wheelchair-bound mother with one strong and one weak arm. She had a 6 month old daughter, and it was difficult to lift her up onto the client’s lap without putting a considerable strain on the child’s arm.

The client requested a harness with handles so that the handles could be used to lift the child. A rear fabric loop was also needed so that the wheelchair lap-belt could be slipped through and prevent the child from falling off the client’s lap. Ideally, the solution would be suitable for use over many months, not just for a 6 month old baby.

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A toddler walking aid in the form of a harness and reins was purchased as a basis for the lifting aid. This was heavily modified by adding two handles on the front, shortening the over-shoulder straps, adding a rear loop and adding a between-leg-strap to stop the harness lifting over the child’s head. The harness was reversed for this application with the intended front of the harness actually being used at the back of our modified version.

Several photos of the modifications

Slide-show displaying several photos of the modifications

 

Electronic Cable Release for a Nikon Camera

This client took excellent photographs from his powered wheelchair. He could line up the camera before the shot,  but a helper had to press the shutter-release button on his behalf because his fine motor control was not sufficiently good. He requested a large shutter-release button to connect to his Nikon camera.

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The camera has a socket which is designed for the purpose, and a cheap (around £5) electronic button was purchased from eBay. This was opened, remodelled and fitted in a new, large enclosure. A large button was manufactured to operate the original contacts.

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Once connected to his camera, the large button operated the shutter and he could now frame and take his own images.

 

 

Lightweight Table for a “Neater Eater”

This client wanted to use a “Neater Eater” (a device to steady her hand as she fed herself). She wanted the device to be positioned higher than a typical table and to be able to remove and engage the support rapidly with the minimum of help.

Client sitting with the Neater Eater attached to the new lightweight table

Client sitting with the Neater Eater attached to the new lightweight table

A strong but lightweight table support was made from glued-and-screwed plywood. The hollow construction was reinforced in the two areas which held the Neater Eater‘s clamps. The support lifts off the client’s existing table easily, because it is held by a steel bracket sliding onto the existing table and a hinged leg to carry the weight of the ‘free’ end.

Strong but lightweight construction

Strong but lightweight construction

The client is now able to feed herself comfortably.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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