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One Handed Brake

When Paul was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 12 years ago, things in his day to day life began to change.

MS affects the central nervous system and can result in impairment of motor, sensory and cognitive functions.

As Paul’s muscles weakened, he began to use a walking stick to get around. “This was OK at first,” explains Paul. “But I was leaning heavily onto the stick and this began to cause problems with my left hip as I wasn’t distributing my weight evenly as I walked.”

To solve this, Paul got a walker which helps him move around his house and helps him to get out of chairs. The seat on the walker also gives him the chance to rest if he is feeling tired. However, as Paul became weaker on his right side he no longer had the strength to pull the brake on the right handle. This meant that if he pulled just the left side brake the walker would skew to the side leaving Paul open to a fall.

A therapist at the MS Society referred Paul to TAD. This has become a very common request for the team, so much so, that volunteer Peter Bennett has now designed a pre-made “brake splitter”. This is a tiny contraption that enables both brakes to be activated by pulling only one brake lever. TAD volunteers can easily fit brake splitters to walking frames.

For Paul’s wife Rosemary, the splitter provides peace of mind. “It’s good to know that Paul has more control of the walker. If I have to go out on errands and leave him for a short while I don’t worry as much about him having a fall.”

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TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.