John uses a walking frame to get around when he attends Miroma Day Programs, placing his forearms on its curved armrests and holding the front hand grips. With a carer to guide the frame in the right direction, he is able to carry out everyday activities such as going to the toilet.
There was, however, a difficulty for the carer. John is of short stature, and his walking frame is a suitable height for him. This meant that a taller person guiding John had to bend over, placing a continual strain on the carer’s back. Also, as John sometimes needs to reverse while using the walker, a second set of carer grips was needed at the back of the frame, while not intruding into John’s normal access and use of it.
TAD was asked if it could find a solution. The brief to volunteer Reg Gardner was to raise the handles at the front and provide ‘stow-able’ handles at the back of the walking frame.
The tricky bit at the back was juggling the distance between John and the carer,’ said Reg of the rear handles. His solution was to use two stainless steel clips to attach a 20mm tube handle topped with a hand grip to each of the back legs of the frame.
The lower clip is pivoted so that the handles can be swung into the upright position when needed, and they are then held in place by the top clip. The distance between the two clips was critical for the handles to work effectively.
For the carer’s handle at the front of the walker, Reg formed a 20mm tube bar into a wide U shape, covered it with rubber padding and fitted it across the space between the two hand grips used by John. The rubber padding makes it easier for the carer to grip and also protects John’s head when he uses his walker.