Velcro Shoe Grabber
Modification of a mechanical grabber to allow velcro shoes to be removed independantly. Completed by Scott Elliot of the Cleveland REMAP panel.
The client has reduced grip and mobility and was seeking help to regain independence in putting on and taking off his shoes. He required a device that would allow him to easily fasten and undo Velcro footwear.
The lower jaw of a standard grabber stick was extended by attaching a thin metal strip to it which is squeezed between the two halves of the Velcro (the strap and the body of the shoe). The strap can then be separated and lifted allowing the shoe to be pushed off.
The metal extension was made as a single piece from a thin sheet of aluminium alloy, cut, shaped and folded to match the profile of the grabber’s lower jaw. It included four tabs to hold it firmly in place and was given a few coats of black paint to colour-match it to the grabber jaw. A prototype was left with the client to assess for one week. He found it very useful and can now easily change his shoes and slippers.
The client was very pleased with how user-friendly the solution was. Now that he is able to change his shoes independently, he feels much more confident.