The simple act of sweeping is impossible when you only have the use of one arm – you can sweep a couple of times but the action quickly becomes exhausting.
As the result of a stroke six years ago, Chris has hemiplegia and has no use of his left arm – and to make things harder, he was left handed. He was frustrated at not being able to do simple jobs like raking and sweeping up leaves in his garden, so he asked TAD for assistance.
Chris had a good idea of what he wanted and together he and TAD volunteer Ken Hickson worked out the details. Ken started with the plastic sleeve and aluminium hand grip from a Canadian crutch, which is attached to the top and bottom of a slim steel rod.
Ken then welded a hollow steel tube into the steel rod to make a clamp for the broom handle, and sprayed all the metal components with black enamel.
The broom is held in place with wing nuts, which Chris can tighten with one hand. He fits the broom into the clamp, then slips his right arm through the plastic sleeve and grasps the hand grip firmly. The lightweight steel rod acts as a lever to operate the broom.
Chris says that he has found the device very useful, and it could be great for other people in a similar situation. He can also use it for other tasks around the house, such as cleaning windows – although he does find it tiring holding his arm up in the air.