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Cot/bed adaptation

  • bspringett
  • York
  • 7452
  • Complete

Our client self referred as young mother with an 8 month old baby. The mother has a fairly severe and painful spinal condition which means she mostly uses a wheelchair or occasionally a walking stick. Our client lives in Local Authority accommodation and has Local Authority support, however as the baby is in good health she is not entitled to any support with regard to caring for her baby and was in need of a cot for the baby in which she could care for it.

The Challenge

The mother had purchased a second hand cot bed that was well made and designed to be turned into a child bed as the child outgrew the need for a cot. The request was to modify the cot in such a way that the mother could attend to the baby from her wheelchair.

The solution

Gerry Van Hee and Brian Springett from the York branch devised the solution which was to modify the cot in two ways. Firstly to raise it to above the leg height of the client when sat in her wheelchair. Secondly to modify the front cot side so the baby could be placed/accessed in the cot from the wheelchair. In discussions with the client it was agreed to make the cot side to have a sliding gate so that it could be opened with the client close up to the cot and avoid a gap.

The cot is a nicely made varnished timber affair and it was decided to make all the alterations in timber so as to be both practical and as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Also to alter it in such a way that, when the baby outgrew the cot, the adaption could be reversed and the child bed not be damaged by the adaptation.

A major consideration was the possibility of the baby as it grew and became more active being able to scale the cot sides and falling a considerable height with potential for serious injury. This was discussed at length with both the mother and the Occupational Physiotherapist and it was decided to proceed with the raising of the cot on the basis of a watching brief by the mother and carers and the understanding that REMAP would modify the cot to a low level bed as soon as the baby was considered to be approaching the point of being able to scale the side.

To raise the cot timber legs were made each of approx. ex 75x 25 pse timber glued at 90 degrees and detailed so as to be stiff and stable and bolted to the cot legs. A further projecting horizontal brace was fixed at ground level to prevent against the cot rocking over when the baby became more active.

To alter the cot front the existing vertical bars of half the front were carefully sawn out and then framed in ex 50×25 pse into a ‘gate’, this then slid in a simple timber framing lined with plastic angle to allow it to move smoothly. It is secured in the closed position by simple barrel bolts top and bottom mounted so as to be out of sight of and difficult to access by the the baby.

The benefit

The adaptations have enabled the baby to have its own cot within which its mother can care for it from her wheelchair

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