An ingenious device designed and built by TAD volunteer Ted Furby enables Nick, a quadriplegic, to lift his own bedding when he becomes too hot during the night instead of calling for a carer to do the job.
The device involves the bedding being attached to a crossbar using four large bulldog clips suspended on straps. When Nick settles into bed for the night, his carer swings out the crossbar and attaches whatever bedding he wants – sheet, blanket, doona – to the clips.
Nick operates the device with a tube which is mounted a few centimetres from his mouth (another tube activates the buzzer for his carer). When he gets uncomfortably warm, he blows into the tube of a sip-n-puff switch, which controls a Linak™ actuator.
The actuator extends and lifts the arm carrying the crossbar, which in turn lifts the bedding. ‘It raises the blanket about two feet above me and allows air in,’ Nick said. If the temperature cools, he can lower the bedding again by sucking on the tube of the sip-n-puff switch, which reverses the actuator control, so lowering the crossbar.