US 3239271 A
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March 8, 1966 F. w. BERGERSEN CHAIR Filed Nov. 9, 1964 INVENTOR. F2 OPE/116E li iaa iasz-w 3,239,271 CHAIR Florence W. Bergersen, 650 37th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, Minn. 55421 Filed Nov. 9, 19M, Ser. No. 410,026 6 Claims. (El. 297-430) The present invention relates to a chair and more particularly to a chair for a mentally retarded or physically handicapped person.
The care of physically handicapped people, particularly mentally retarded children, presents some very serious problems. Many of these children are unable to support their body in an upright position and have relatively little control of their head. As a result, there has been a tendency to keep such children in bed in a reclining position in which they get relatively little exercise and do not have a good opportunity to observe their surroundings.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a chair for a mentally or physically handicapped person which is designed to permit the person to sit in any of various reclining positions with adequate safeguards against injury of the person.
A further object of the present invention is to provide such a chair which has a relatively flat base portion so as to permit the chair either to be located on its own special support or to be placed upon a bed or other supporting surface.
A still further object of the invention is to provide such a chair in which the person is securely fastened and cannot leave the chair but in which the person still has considerable freedom of movement.
A still further object of the invention is to provide in connection with such a chair a restraining means which is secured to the person and restrains him from excessive movement While at the same time permitting a reasonable amount of movement.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide such a chair in which there is an adjustable footrest which may be extended to any of various positions but which extends in the same general direction as the base of the chair so as to still permit the chair to be placed on any fiat surface, such as a bed.
A still further object of the invention is to provide such a chair in which the back rest may be dropped to a horizontal position when it is desired that the person be in a completely reclining position.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a combination of such a chair with a novel support therefor in which the chair may be lifted readily off its support for placing on a bed but in which the chair when placed upon the support is securely interlocked therewith so as to prevent relative movement of the chair and the support.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the acompanying specification, claims and drawing, of which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of my improved chair located on its special support;
FIGURE 2 is a front end view of the chair and the support with the chair shown as being removed slightly from the support;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional View of the chair taken along the line 3--3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view, the section being taken alon the line 4-4l, it being assumed that the back rest is in a completely vertical position;
FIGURE 5 is a View taken along the line 55 of FIG- URE 2 of a portion of the chair showing the manner in which the tray is secured in position on the side rails of the chair;
FIGURE 6 is a view of my restraining device forming a portion of the chair in which the restraining device is in an unfolded condition prior to being applied to the child; and
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of a portion of the chair with a child disposed therein and with the restraining means in use.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the chair proper is indicated by the overall reference numeral 10. This comprises a reclining back portion 11 which, as will be explained, is pivotally mounted onto the chair. There is also a sliding footrest 12 which can be maintained in any extended position. As best shown in FIGURE 2, the chair is normally adapted to rest upon a table-like support 13 having front legs 16 and 17 and rear legs 18 and 19. The legs 16, 17, 18, and 19 have casters 22 secured thereto so that the entire unit can be readily rolled. The casters are preferably of the hospital type having catches to prevent their rolling when the attendant is not moving the unit. The support member comprises a pair of cross frame members 20 (only one of which is shown) and a pair of longitudinal frame members 21 (again only one of which is shown). The legs 16, 17, 18, and 19 are secured to the frame members 20 and 21 in a rigid construction. A suitable table top 23 may be secured to the frame members and legs but this top should be slightly recessed from the tops of the legs and frame members, for reasons to be discussed later.
Referring back to the chair 1t] and referring particularly to FIGURE 3, the chair comprises a lower base member 25 to which are secured side panels 27 and 28. Each of these panels is provided with a plurality of vertically elongated apertures 29. As best shown in FIG- URE 2, the side panels 27 and 28 extend downwardly somewhat below the base member 25. An upper base member 30 is secured to the side panels 27 and 28 and secured with respect to the main base member 25 in parallel but slightly spaced relation thereto as best shown in FIGURE 3. The upper base member 30 provides a supporting surface for the person occupying the chair, as will be presently explained. Extending between the two base members 25 and 30 is a footrest member 32 which is freely slidable between the two base members 25 and 30. The footrest member 32 is provided adjacent its outer end with a vertical foot-stop member 33 as shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3. Secured to the underside of the inner end of the footrest member 32 is a perforated sheet metal plate 34 having a plurality of spaced perforations 35 as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. A pin 36, which may be biased downwardly by a spring, is slideably mounted within a bracket 37 secured to the upper base member 30. It will be readily apparent that the pin 36 can be extended through any one of the apertures 35 into an aperture 33 in the base member 25 to hold the footrest 32 against longitudinal movement. By selecting the aperture 35 into which the pin 36 can be dropped, the footrest 32 can be maintained in any of various extended positions. The footrest is shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 3 as being in an innermost position whereas, it is shown in solid lines as being spaced outwardly a substantial distance. It will be noted that regardless of its position, it always remains in the same general plane as base members 25 and 30.
The tiltable back member 11 comprises a back support member 40 which is secured to the upper base member 30 by a pair of spaced hinges 42 and 43 as best shown in FIGURE 4. Secured to the back support member 40 are two side members 44 and 45, as best shown in FIGURE 1. These side members 44, as will be pointed out in more detail, are to limit sidewise movement of the head of the person occupying the chair. In order to control the inclination of the back rest member 11, a hinged prop member 46 is secured by hinge 47 to the back of the back support member 40. This prop member 46 terminates at its lower end with a sheet metal tongue member 49 secured thereto. This tongue member 49 is adapted to cooperate with an inverted channel shaped member 51 having a portion 52 spaced from the lower base member 25 and provided with a plurality of slots 53 therein. The tongue 49 is designed to extend into any one of the slots 53 depending upon the desired angle of inclination of the back rest 11. The lower end of tongue 59 is bent forwardly to prevent accidental displacement of the tongue from the slots 53. In FIGURE 3, I have shown the back rest 40 in dotted lines in a position in which it approaches a horizontal. If it is desired to have the back rest portion 40 completely horizontal, the hinged prop member 46 is merely tilted upwardly against the underside of the back rest member 40 and the entire assemblage can be lowered until the back rest is in a substantially horizontal position.
As will be noted from the drawing, it is desirable that the chair be provided with upholstery. Suitable washable, padded upholstery 56 is applied to the side members 44 and 45. Similarly, padded upholstery 57 is applied to the upper side of the back support member 40 and similar padded upholstery 58 to the upper side of the upper base member 30. This upholstery serves to make the chair extremely comfortable for the person occupying it and to prevent any injury that might occur as a result of a child violently moving around within the chair.
My chair is also provided with a tray 59 having side rails 60. As best shown in FIGURES 2 and 5, this tray is supported by the side panels 27 and 28 and may be locked thereto in any adjusted position. As best shown in FIG- URE 5, each side rail is provided with a block 61 having a. plurality of downwardly opening slots 62. Carried by the tray 59 on the underside thereof are a pair of spring biased catches 64 and 65 which have a portion adapted to enter one or the other of the slots 62 when the catch is released and allowed to move by reason of its spring bias. In order to remove the tray, all that is necessary is for the operator to take hold of each of the catches and swing them so as to release the catch from the corresponding serrated slots. The tray may be then lifted 01?. Since, as will be apparent from FIGURE 5, the catches 64 and 65 are not centered with respect to the tray, further adjustment of the tray can be obtained by reversing the position of the tray. Thus, the horizontal position of the tray is determined both by the particular slot 62 into which the spring catch is allowed to enter and by whether the tray is in a position in which the catches 64 and 65 are ahead of center as shown or in the reversed position in which the catches are disposed rearwardly of the midpoint of the tray.
The chair is normally designed to rest upon the support 13 and be maintained on this support relatively free from sidewise movement of any kind. As was pointed out earlier, the side panels 27 and 28 extend below the lower base member 25, as shown in FIGURE 2. It will be readily apparent that when the chair is placed upon the support 13, these side panels 27 engage the outer edges of the legs and the longitudinal frame members 21 so as to prevent sidewise movement of the chair with respect to the support 13. In addition, as best shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, the lower base member 25 has secured to the underside thereof a plurality of downwardly projecting ridge members 64 and 65 which are assembled together to form a rectangular frame whose outer dimensions are approximately the same but slightly less than the internal dimensions of the support 13 within the frame members and 21. These ridge members 64 and 65 project downwardly below base member to the same extent as the side panels 27 and 28 and to the same extent as the table top 23 is recessed. Thus, when the chair is lowered, the ridge members 64 and 65 project downwardly resting on the table top 23 and with their outer edges engaging the inner sides of the longitudinal and end bars 20 and 21 of the support 30 so as to prevent any longitudinal movement in any direction between the chair and the support 13. Thus, even though the occupant of the chair may move around abruptly, the chair 10 will stay firmly in place upon the support 13. On the other hand, when it is desired to remove the same, all that is necessary to do is to lift the unit up vertically, grasping the two side rails 27 and 28 by the slots 29 provided therein and carry it to any desired location. As pointed out above, the footrest 12 remains in the same general plane as that of the base members 25 and 30 so that the chair may be placed upon a flat location such as a bed when it is desired not to have it on its support 13.
In connection with my chair, I provide a restraining device 70. This consists of a piece of flexible material 71 cut, as shown in FIGURE 6, with a center portion which is relatively narrow and with upper and lower portions which are relatively wide. The flexible material 71 may be of plastic covered on its outer surface with some fabric material such as nylon mesh. Secured to the upper and lower portions of the flexible material 71 are two straps 72 and 73. These straps extend through loops in the material formed by looping over the ends and stitching the looped material to the main portion of the material. The strap 72 is provided with a buckle 74 while the strap 73 is provided with a buckle 75. It will be noted that the buckle 74 of strap 72 is on the left-hand side while the buckle 75 of strap 73 is on the hight-hand side. In use, the two portions of flexible member 71 are brought around the lower portion of the body with the most narrow portion of member 71 in the crotch. The adjacent ends of the two belts are then brought through adjacent pairs of openings 29 and the loose end of strap 73 is fastened into the buckle 74 of strap 72 while the loose end of strap 72 is fastened into the buckle 75 of strap 73. If desired, the buckles 74 and 75 may be of the quickly releasable type commonly employed in automobile or aircraft safety belts.
It will be noted from FIGURE 7 that with the restraining device 70 fastened around the person occupying the chair and with the belts buckled together through the slots 29, it is impossible for the person to leave the chair. At the same time, a good deal of freedom of movement is permit-ted. The child can move up and down to a certain extent due to the ability of the belts to slide up and down along the slots 29. A child is able to sit up if he so desires without reliance upon the back rest 11. The position in which the child is restrained can also be varied by picking different pairs of the slots 29 through which the belt ends are passed.
When he is resting upon the back rest 11, as is normally the case, his head is protected from movement off of the back rest by the side members 44 and 45. Due to the padding both at the bottom of the chair and on the back rest, it is virtually impossible for the child to injure himself by sudden body movements.
It will also be noted that the support 13 is relatively low, its height being no greater than the overall height of the chair 10 resting upon the support. Thus, it is much more diflicult to tip over the chair and support by the person in the chair trying to rock it. Moreover, the chair support and chair are quite long from front to back and the back rest is in an intermediate point rather than close to the rear of the chair. Thus, it is virtually impossible for the occupant to tip the chair backwards.
It will be seen that I have provided a novel chair for mentally or physically handicapped people, particularly retarded children, in which provision is made for letting a person sit in any suitably inclined position. Furthermore, the chair permits relative freedom of movement while at the same time preventing any injury to the person occupying it due to sudden movements of the person. Furthermore, while the chair is normally held rigidly on a special support provided for it, its construction is such that despite an adjustable footrest provided for the chair, it can be removed merely by grasping the chair, and can be placed on any suitable fiat surface, such as a bed.
While I have shown a specific embodiment of my inven tion for purposes of illustration, it is to be understood that the scope of my invention is limited only by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A chair assembly for mentally or physically handicapped people including:
a relatively low and long tablelike support including a plurality of spaced legs and top outer edges includ ing a front edge,
a flat base member removably resting upon said support,
said base member and said support being provided with interlocking portions to prevent relative longitudinal movement thereof,
a reclining back support adjustably secured to said base member and adjustable to various angles of inclination,
said back support having side rails to limit sidewise movement of the head,
and a footrest slidably secured to said base member and which is extendable beyond said base member over the front outer edge thereof in a plane which is parallel to and closely adjacent to the plane of the base member.
2. The chair assembly of claim 1 in which the portion of the footrest extending beyond said base member is free of apertures of sulficient size to admit the foot of an occupant of the chair assembly.
3. The chair assembly of claim 1 in which means are provided for securing the back member at any of the various angles of inclination and in which means are also provided for securing the footrest in any desired extended position and in which both said securing means are located rearwardly of said reclining back member so that they are both accessible when the chair assembly is occupied.
4. The chair assembly of claim 1 in which the interlocking portions are such that the lower edges of said base member lie on a common plane so that the chair portion of the assembly comprising said base member can be removed from the support and be placed securely on any flat surface such as a bed.
5. A chair assembly for mentally or physically handicapped people including:
a relatively low and long tablelike support having top outer edges including a front edge,
a flat base member removably resting upon said support,
said base member and said support being provided with interlocking portions to prevent relative longitudinal movement thereof,
a reclining back support secured to said base member and having side rails to limit sidewise movement of the head,
a footrest slidably secured to said base member and which is extendable beyond said base member over the front outer edge thereof,
side wall members secured to said base member and having a plurality of vertical slots therein,
and restraining means including a portion adapted to pass over a portion of the occupants body with elongated flexible members extending therefrom and adapted to be passed through selected ones of said vertical slots and to be slidably secured to said side Wall portions between said slots.
6. The chair assembly of claim 5 in which means are provided for securing the back member at any of various angles of inclination and in which means are also provided for securing the footrest in any desired extended position and in which both said securing means are located rearwardly of said reclining back member so that they are both accessible when the chair assembly is occupied.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 487,625 12/1892 Kales 297-377 X 533,727 2/1895 McCaffery 297377 X 834,376 10/1906 Flindall 297430 X 917,184 4/1909 Tate 297-43O 1,549,146 8/1925 Miner 108-459 X 2,191,007 2/1940 Bussey 108195 2,451,007 10/1948 White 297385 X 2,521,422 9/1950 Strand 297-l49 X 2,530,592 11/1950 Aries 2971 18 X 2,575,953 11/1951 Haley et a1 297-377 2,790,484 4/1957 Pollack 297-153 X 2,915,154 12/1959 Holder 297-391 X 2,982,562 5/1961 Gladstein 297- X 3,101,972 8/1963 Laughlin 297-391 3,179,465 4/1965 Roberts 297377 X FOREIGN PATENTS 282,318 2/ 1931 Italy.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
J. T. MCCALL, Assistant Examiner.