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chair modification

Footplate Shields for Activity Chair

  • paolor
  • Surrey
  • 6350
  • Complete

The client tried using a Rifton Activity Chair, but he kept getting his foot trapped underneath the wheels. The company makes a footplate box, but it wasn’t suitable as it would have prevented the client from standing and transferring on and off the chair.

Working closely with the family and the Occupational Therapist, the author designed custom panelling that would create an enclosure around the footplate while still allowing the footplate to flip up and down, and the various ways the Rifton chair can be configured (recline, footplate height, seat length).

The Challenge

The client could benefit from using a Rifton Activity chair, but his foot kept getting trapped underneath the wheels. A commercial solution would have involved a footplate box, but it wasn’t viable as it would have prevented the client from standing and transferring on and off the chair. All surfaces needed to be smooth and without any sharp angles. Surfaces also needed to be wipeable.

The solution

The solution involved creating four different kinds of shields to prevent the client from getting his feet trapped. The author started with a coroplast mock-up and then proceeded with cutting plywood to size and devising the proper hardware fixings to hold it in place. Throughout the construction, the author communicated directly with the family by sharing pictures and asking questions via a Google Document. This proved very effective.

The solution consists of 4 parts:

1. Side plates. Contain lateral movement and define a square region around the footplate.

2. Footplate extension. Closes the gap between the footplate and the side plates.

3. Back panel. Prevents the client from reaching behind the footplate with his feet.

4. Side shoulders. Close the gap between the side plates and the back panel.

footplate shields

All parts are secured using stainless steel bolts, brackets, and P-clips/Munsen rings. The wooden parts were then applied with several layers of varnish.

footplate shields detail footplate shields detail footplate shields detail

When the footplate is lifted, the client can be easily guided to and from the chair.

For extra safety when transferring on or off the chair, all hardware is padded with rubber cushions and protruding bolts are fitted with dome-headed nuts.

chair modification with Remap label

The benefit

The solution allows the client to benefit from an activity chair safely and without the restrictions of a footplate box.

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2 responses to “Footplate Shields for Activity Chair”

  1. John Palczynski says:

    Many thanks!
    You also took great care to make sure the gaps were kept small – to prevent toes and feet from getting trapped in any of the gaps.
    It was wonderful that you fine tuned the solution and kept us involved all the way through.

    Thank you!

    • molly.wakeman says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, John.
      We’re so happy that you’re pleased with how the process went, as well as the final solution!

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