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Publication numberUS3176700 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 6, 1965
Filing dateJan 10, 1963
Priority dateJan 10, 1963
Publication numberUS 3176700 A, US 3176700A, US-A-3176700, US3176700 A, US3176700A
InventorsDrury Jr John H
Original AssigneeDrury Jr John H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walking aid device
US 3176700 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1965 J. H. DRURY, JR 3,176,700

WALKING AID DEVICE Filed Jan. 10, 1963 INVENTOR JOHN H. DRURY JR.

ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,176,7ilii WALKING All) DEVICE John H. Drury, Jr., 2121 Rush Read, Abington, Pa. Filed Jan. 10, 1963, Ser. No. 250,653 4 Claims. (Cl. 135-45) This invention relates to walking-aid devices used by invalids and more particularly to a walking-aid device which assists invalids in ascending or descending a stairway, in addition to Walking across flat surfaces.

Walking-aid devices which are used by invalids are commonly referred to as invalid walkers. An invalid walker generally comprises a tubular metal frame which closes on three sides of the user, the fourth side being open to allow the invalid or user to step into the frame. Such a frame usually has four legs that rest on the floor, or walking surface, and an upper structure, the top of which is normally waist high of the user and which provides gripping rails. The invalid can lift his weight from his legs by gripping the upper structure of the frame and straightening his arms to support his body weight, thus allowing his legs to be moved or advanced with a minimum of restraint from his body weight.

Heretofore the majority of invalid walkers" have not provided the best aid to invalids who have wanted to climb or descend a stairway, because such prior art walking-aid devices had to be placed at an angle (while resting on two adjacent stairs), in the normal course of the invalids stepping forward during said climbing or descending action. Obviously the user could not readily attain a position where he felt secure, with regard to lifting his weight from his legs, in a situation where the walking-aid device was disposed at an angle. The possibilities of falling down such a stairway because of an angularly-positioned walking-aid device gave impetus to this feeling of insecurity.

The recognition of the above described problem led to some attempts to provide an invalid walker which will accommodate an invalid who is attempting to either ascend or descend a stairway. One such scheme provides a device which has an additional adjustable leg (i.e., in addition to the normal four legs described above) on two opposite sides of the walking-aid device. These adjustable legs can be moved downward thereby raising the walker device from its normal position. With the additional leg lowered, the front legs can be positioned to rest on an upper stair tread while the additional leg is resting on the next lower stair tread. In this manner the upper frame of the walker can be held horizontal and parallel to the tread of a stair thereby enabling the user to acquire a better feeling of security. While this last described walking-aid device has answered some of the need for a walker which can be used by an invalid who is ascending or descending a stairway, it does have some inherent disadvantages; such as providing a gripping level much higher than the users waist thereby causing his pushing effort to be more strenuous than when the gripping level is at approximately the users waist height. Further, the above-described prior art device does not provide a means for readily adjusting the movable legs which proves to be a disadvantage since an invalid-user is normally not physically able to execute any but the simplest of body maneuvers.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved walking-aid for invalids.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an invalid walker which can be used to aid an invalid in ascending or descending a stairway or the like.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an invalid walker which is easily adjustable for fitting a stairway, or the like.

3,176,7fl0 Patented Apr. 6, M965 Yet another object of this invention is to provide a walking-aid for invalids for use in ascending or descending a stairway or the like which gives the invalid an increased feeling of security.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a more easily constructed walking-aid for invalids which may be used in ascending or descending a. stairway or the like.

In accordance with a feature of the present invention, there are provided two stationary front legs and two spring driven te1escopic-like rear legs, the latter of which can be readily contracted to the proper length so that when the gripping bars are positioned level with a stair tread or similar surface, the difference in length between the front stationary legs and the rear contractable legs is substantially equal to the riser of the stair to be ascended (or descended) or angularly equal to the incline of a stairway.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention the above mentioned telescopic-like legs are spring loaded to respectively move them to their full extent unless locked in their respective contracted positions and there is further provided a readily available and easily operable locking means to enable the invalid-user to conveniently and easily adjust the walker for ascending or descending a stairway or the like.

In accordance with yet another feature of this inven tion, the open side of the walking-aid disclosed herein always faces a direction opposite to the travel of the invalid When the walking-aid is employed descending a stairway or the like, and faces a direction similar to the travel of the invalid when the walking-aid is employed ascending a stairway or the like.

The foregoing and other objects and features of this invention will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a pictorial view of the present invalid walker with the contractable legs in their uncontracted positions.

FIGURE 2 is a pictorial view of a user employing the present invalid walker to ascend a stairway.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view of one of the adjustable legs.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional view of the adjustable leg of FIGURE 3.

The general purpose of the present invention is to provide a walking-aid device which (in addition to aiding an invalid to walk across a normal flat surface such as a floor, sidewalk and the like) can be easily adjusted so that when an invalid ascends or descends a stairway, or the like, the gripping bars will be substantially parallel to the base of the stairway which the user is ascending or descending, and in addition will always be at the same fixed height relative to the users waist. This is accomplished by having two adjustable rear legs on the walker. Such an arrangement enables the invalid to feel maximum security while moving up or down a stairway and enables him to maintain his walking-aid device in the most adequate supporting position at all times. Further, the present invention provides a means for locking the adjustable legs easily which is obviously highly desirable for an invalid-user since he may be unable to make any extensive physical effort to adjust such legs.

Consider FIGURE 1 which is a pictorial view of the present invention. In FIGURE 1 there is shown a tubular metal walking-aid device 12 with two fixed front legs 11 and 13, as well as two adjustable or contractable rear legs 15 and 17. The two adjustable rear legs 15 and 17 respectively have slidable sections 15a and 17a, which walker 12.

3 are each slidably coupled to the respective fixed sections 15b and 17b.

Connected to the fixed sections 15b and 17b as well as to the fixed legs 11 and 13 is a lower support bar 19 which is approximately U-shaped, and which has the base 19a thereof forming one of the front bars of the walking aid device 12. The two fixed sections 15b and 17b of the adjustable rear legs are formed from one tubular bar piece which extends above the support bar 19 but which is similarly shaped thereto to provide an upper support bar 21 the base of which forms the upper front bar 21a of the Secured to the upper bar section 21 on either side of the walker 12 are two gripper devices 23 and 25. The gripper devices 23 and 25 can be made of some form of rubber or plastic such as is normally found on bicycle handles, etc.

The two fixed legs 11 and 13 are suitably secured by nuts and bolts to the front end of the sides formed by U-shaped members 19 and 21.

The two ends of lower support bar 19 are pressed together and bent over so as to rest against sections 15b and 17b of legs 15 and 17. The leg members 15 and 17,

are secured to the substantially flat pressed ends of lower support bar 19 by bolts 16 and nuts 16a (see FIG. 2). At the bottom of fixed legs 11 and 13 as well as adjustable legs 15 and 17 are placed gripper cups or tips 27 through 30 respectively. These latter members 27 to 31) which may be made of rubber, plastic or the like, prevent the walker from sliding on the floor when in use.

When the walking aid device shown in FIGURE 1 is used by an invalid to move across a fiat surface such as a floor or a sidewalk, etc., the walking aid device is adjusted to the position shown in FIGURE 1. That is to say that the adjustable legs 15 and 17 have their slidable sections 15a and 17a locked at their fullest extent so that the gripper bars 23 and 25 are positioned horizontal and parallel to the floor upon which the rubber tips 27 through 30 shown at the legs 11, 13, 15 and 17 are positioned.

It will be noted in FIGURE 1 that the walking-aid device 12 closes on three sides of the user and the fourth side is left open to allow the user to step into the walking-aid device. 7

Consider now FIGURES 3 and 4 together. In FIG- URE 3 there is shown an enlarged view of the adjustable leg 15 which is identical to adjustable leg 17. The slidable section 15a of the adjustable. leg 15 is shown in FIGURE 3 extended to its fullest length and locked by the locking button31. When the user is desirous of contracting the slidable section 15a the button 31 is depressed and the frame is forced downward thereby forcing the slidable section 15a into the fixed section 15b until the slidable section 15a reaches such a position that the button 31 slips into the second hole 33. The holes 32 and 33 are spaced toaccommodate the height of most risers and therefore are about eight inches apart. This adjustment allows the walker to be used with stair risers that are two or three inches at variance with the dimension.

When such is the case the support bars 19 and 21 will beat a slight angle with respect to the, base of the stairs but none the less the walker may still be used safely and conveniently. Also in FIGURE 3 there is shown a bolt 16 which plays the dual role of guiding the slidable section 15a as well as bolting the lower support bar 19 to the fixed section 1512. i I 7 Consider now FIGURE 4 which is an enlarged sectional view of FIGURE 3. In FIGURE 4 the slidable section 15a is again shown in its locked position at its fullest extent. The locking button 31 is spring-loaded by the spring 35 which causes it to be forced out to lock the slidable section 15a whenever a hole lies opposite its position. As can be seen from FIGURE 4 the spring 35 rests against an inner wall of slidable section 15a and pushes the button 31 attached thereto through a hole in slidable member 15a as well as the hole 31 in fixed member 15b of leg 15. It should. be noted in FIGURE 4 the the slidable section 15a has a slot 37 cut therein which limits the travel of the slidable section 15a on the bolt 16. In other words, the bolt 16 passes through the slot 37 so that the travel of slidable section 15a is guided and limited thereby. Because the bolt 16 guides the travel of the slidable section 15a i.e. keeps slidable section 15a from twisting, there is an assurance that the button 31 will always be in proper alignment to plunge through a hole, either 32 or 33, when the button 31 lies opposite such a hole. In this way the invalid user is assured of an easy and readily operable adjustment.

In FIGURE 4 it can be further seen that there is a spring 22 which is inserted between the base of the slidable section 15a and the bolt 16. It will be recalled that at the base of each of the legs is a gripper cup, for example, cup 29. The inside of the cup 29 and the bottom of the outside of the slidable member 15a may be suitably threaded so that the spring 22 is restrained and held inside the hollow slidable member 15a. In the alternative, as

shown in FIGURE 4, a threaded plug 39 is screwed to the 7 inside of slidable member 15a which is also suitably threaded on the inner wall thereof. Thus, as shown, the spring 22 is restrained one end by plug 39 and at the other end by bolt 16. The bolt 16 thus serves a number of functions; namely as a stop for spring 22; a guide for slidable member 15a; and its obvious function of securing the leg 15 to lower support member 19.

As depicted in FIGURE 4 the spring 22 is in its normal position, that of being fully extended. When the slidable section is to be contracted or forced into the fixed section 15b pressure is exerted on the gripper bars 23 and 25 in FIGURE 1 and at the same time the button 31 is depressed thereby causing the spring 22 to compress and allow the slidable sections 1511 (and 17a) to be inserted into the fixed section 15b (and 17b). As the slidable section 15a moves towards its contracted position the spring 22 is compressed and eventually the button 31 is forced into the hole 33 thereby locking the slidable section 15am its full length he simply depresses the button 31 and the spring 22 forces the slidable section 15a to return to its extended position and further enables the button 31 to once again enter the hole 32 and lock the slidable section 1511 in its fully extended position.

Consider now FIGURE 2 which shows a user who is employing the walker shown in FIGURE 1 with its adjustable legs 17 and 15 contracted. It should be noted in FIGURE 2 that the gripping bar 25 (andtherefore gripping bar 2-3) is substantially horizontal and parallel to the treads 41 and 43 of the stairway. further noted in FIGURE 2 that the gripping bar 25 is approximately at waist height or at the same height that is most advantageous for the user as when the walker is being used on a flat surface such as shown in FIG- URE 1. It should be obvious from FIGURE 2 that the user has a feeling of maximum security because of the substantially horizontal position of the walker and also has his walker in the same comfortable pushing position that he is accustomed to when walking on a flat surface as shown in FIGURE 1.

When an invalid uses the present walker to descend the stairway the adjustable legs 15 and 17 are contracted in a manner which is quite similar to that shown in FIGURE 2 and the user simply descends the stairway with the bars 2 1 and 19 in front of him. It has been found that the presence of the bars 21 and 12 in front of the invalid as he descends the stairs also gives a feeling of security which is obviously highly desirable.

In summary, then, the present walking-aid device 12 provides a means for an, invalid to ascend or descend an incline such as a stairway while being able to use his walker in the same comfortable position to which he is accustomed when he is walking on a fiat surface and in addition with a feeling of maximum security while engaging in an inherently (for an invalid) diflicult physical action.

It should be While I have described above the principles of my invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as in limitation to the scope of my invention as set forth in the objects thereof and in the accompanying claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or'privilege is claimed are defined as follows:-

:1. A walking-aid device to be used as an aid for walking on fiat surfaces and for ascending and descending stairways comprising:

(a) a rigid framework having three closed sides and one open side;

(b) at least one vertical support means secured to one of said closed sides and disposed opposite to said open side to rest on a surface to be walked upon;

(0) two vertically adjustable rear legs, between which lies said open side, secured to said rigid framework, said vertically adjustable rear legs having slidably coupled parts to be adjusted to a contracted position, each vertically adjustable leg being springloaded to cause an automatic extension thereof to an extended position which is the length of said at least one vertical support means, when said vertically adjustable rear legs are not locked in said contracted position;

(d) operable positioning means a part of which is secured to the upper portion of each of said two vertically adjustable rear legs to enable said adjustable rear legs to be readily adjusted to said contracted and extended positions and locked thereat.

2. A walking-aid device to be used as an aid for walking on fiat surfaces and for ascending and descending stairways comprising:

(a) a rigid framework having three closed sides and one open side;

( b) two front fixed legssecured to said rigid frame and disposed opposite said open side to rest on a surface to be walked upon;

(0) two rear fixed support members forming the rear extremity of said rigid frame member and defining said open side, said rear fixed members being formed of hollow tubular means and each having at least two apertures located at fixed distances from the ends thereof to provide, respectively, contracted and extended locking locations, each of said rear fixed members having at least one or said apertures in the upper portion thereof;

(d) two slidable rear legs each fitted to slide up and down in an associated one of said two rear fixed support members, each of said slid-able legs having a spring-loaded button member formed to fit into said apertures so that said slidable legs can be positioned in at least a contracted position and an extended position and locked at each position;

(e) and said two slidable rear legs each being springloaded to cause said rear slidable legs to be automatically extended to the length of said fixed front legs when said slidable legs are not locked in said contracted positiom 3. A walking-aid device according to claim 2 wherein each of said slidable rear legs has a slot cut therein and wherein each of said hollow rear support members has a stud member therethrough fitted into said slot of its associated slidable rear leg such that the extent of travel in a vertical direction for each slidable member is determined by the ends of its slot abutting its associated stud member and wherein each of said stud members guides its associated slidable member from twisting thereby enabling each of said button members to be aligned with the apertures in its associated rear fixed support members.

4. A walking-aid device to be used as an aid for walking on flat surfaces and for ascending and descending stairiways comprising:

(a) a rigid framework having three closed sides and one open side;

( b) two front fixed legs secured to said rigid frame and disposed opposite said open side to rest ona surface to be walked upon;

(c) two rear fixed support members forming the rear extremity of said rigid frame member and defining said open side, said rear fixed members being formed of hollow tubular means and each having at least two apertures located at fixed distances from the ends thereof to provide respectively contracted and extended locking locations, each of said rear fixed members having at least one of said apertures in the upper portion thereof;

(d) two slidable rear legs each fitted. to slide up and down in an associated one of said two rear fixed support members, each of said slidable rear legs having a slot cut therein;

(e) two stud members with each respectively located in one of said rear fixed support members, each of said stud members fitted into the slot of its associated slidable rear leg thereby determining the extent of travel of said slidable rear leg as said stud abuts the ends of said slot;

(1) two spring means each respectively secured within one of said two slidable rear legs and further secured within one of said rear fixed legs to cause said rear slidable legs to automatically extend to the length of said front fixed legs when not locked in a contracted position;

(g) and two spring-loaded buttons each of which is respectively secured to one of said slidable rear legs and disposed within an associated rear fixed support member, said buttons formed to fit into said apertures to lock said slidable rear leg in either a contracted position or an extended position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 973,283 10/10 Loftin -5O 2,674,253 4/54 Hopkins 13550 2,771,089 11/56 Magida l3550 2,960,148 11/60 Murcott 135-45 HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2674253 *May 7, 1951Apr 6, 1954A C BuckCrutch
US2771089 *Jan 14, 1954Nov 20, 1956Magida Herbert NCrutch
US2960148 *Oct 28, 1958Nov 15, 1960Murcott Charles ECollapsible invalid walkers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3387617 *Nov 18, 1966Jun 11, 1968Edward W. ReiberAdjustable leg invalid walker
US3455313 *Aug 3, 1967Jul 15, 1969King Harold LWalker for ascending and descending ramps and staircases
US3517677 *Jan 21, 1969Jun 30, 1970Smith Alfred AInvalid walker
US3800815 *Jul 26, 1972Apr 2, 1974Royalty Designs CorpInvalid walker
US4094331 *Feb 16, 1977Jun 13, 1978Peter RozsaDual purpose walking frame for handicapped persons
US4777973 *Jul 28, 1987Oct 18, 1988Kotaro NakajimaAlternate walker having extensible/contractible front and rear legs
US4922940 *Jul 31, 1989May 8, 1990Lewy Michael MInvalid walker
US5263506 *Sep 4, 1992Nov 23, 1993Daniel NarramoreStairs walker
US5349977 *Apr 5, 1991Sep 27, 1994Wood Maurice SAdjustable walker
US5402587 *Feb 10, 1994Apr 4, 1995Buschbacher; RalphHinged flexible walker assembly
US5599063 *Mar 14, 1995Feb 4, 1997Lister; GaryBaby bathing, feeding, sleeping and seating chair
US5603517 *Oct 20, 1995Feb 18, 1997Siudon Ltd.Walkers
US5649558 *Sep 27, 1995Jul 22, 1997Richard; Reginald L.Accommodation walker for irregular and inclined surfaces
US5740825 *Feb 12, 1997Apr 21, 1998Brunengo; P. J.Articulated stair walker
US6453921 *Nov 16, 2000Sep 24, 2002Brian M. RostStair walker
US6705336Apr 9, 2002Mar 16, 2004Piter GoligorskiSelf-aligning stair compatible walking aid
US7490617Oct 3, 2002Feb 17, 2009Step Extender, LlcStep extending apparatus
US7870695Jul 21, 2006Jan 18, 2011David Christopher MansonSupport apparatus and method for assisted traversal of a structure
US9119757Oct 22, 2013Sep 1, 2015The United States Of America As Represented By The Dept. Of Veterans AffairsSelf leveling walker
US20030111100 *Oct 3, 2002Jun 19, 2003Bell Frank BrabsonStep extending apparatus
US20070017170 *Jul 21, 2006Jan 25, 2007Manson David CSupport apparatus and method for assisted traversal of a structure
WO1999060981A1May 26, 1999Dec 2, 1999Rehab KftDual purpose invalid walker
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/67, 135/69, D03/9
International ClassificationA61H3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2003/001, A61H3/00
European ClassificationA61H3/00