Alan Catharine, Chair of Brighton and District, has had the following suggestion from a client for adding motorised armrests to an electric wheelchair. Has anyone had experience of anything similar?
Summary of difficulty:
I am living with Motor Neurone Disease and have reached a point where I use an electric wheelchair, have no power over my legs and very little power in my arms or hands. My occupational therapist had supplied me with moveable arm supports to help with typing, playing the keyboard and eating/drinking. However, the apparatus supplied relied on a vertical post fitted to the back of the wheelchair, with metal arms coming forward and around the chair to my own arms. These are not only bulky but can stick a long way behind the chair if I move my arm or arms back. They also add width to the chair, making it difficult to pass through doorways. If I choose not to use the arms for a period, then they have to be fitted back on by someone else.
Details of need to be met:
I have been thinking that there must be a simpler and much more compact solution which could be attached to the chair’s own armrests and I have come up with a very outline design. It may well be that you have already encountered this problem and have a solution, but if not, I’d be grateful for any thoughts that you might have.
I suspect that this sort of aid might well assist those in wheelchairs with neurological conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s, MND or similar.
I have attached a very basic drawing (I can no longer draw by hand or write) to show the sort of thing I am thinking about.