Claire has a walker that “only goes straight”.
Claire has both a wheelchair and a walker. At home, she likes to use her walker. Compared to the wheelchair, the walker is smaller and easier to maneuver. But she doesn’t like it that it “only goes straight”.
When Claire mentioned this to me, I was confused … until she showed me what she meant. Like many people who use walkers, Claire self-propells while seated. That is, she sits on the walker and pushes the walker using her feet — some people refer to this as “scooting” – to get around.
The walker has four wheels: two that swivel and two that only moves forward and back. When the walker is being pushed, the swivel wheels lead and the person pushing the walker is able to turn. However, when seated, the swivel wheels follow the wheels that only moves forward and back. This is what limits her movements – to only forward and back — while seated.
I explained to Claire that the Safety Instructions in the User’s Manual of her walker specifically warns against “self-propelling the walker while seated”. In addition, “[t]he brakes must be in the locked position before sitting on the seat” which prevents “self-propelling”. As I explained these limitations, it occurred to me that if my own mother, who is a few years younger than Claire, told me of similar problems, I would do whatever I could to help her. So, I took a closer look at Claire’s walker.Note that additional questions may arise as we iterate between brain-storming, fabrication, testing, and questions/comments from subscribers. As we post prototypes, feel free to fabricate it for yourself. However, please use at your own discretion. Our responsibilities for this device is to Claire for whom this custom device is specifically designed.