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Publication numberUS3497259 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 24, 1970
Filing dateJun 28, 1968
Priority dateJun 28, 1968
Publication numberUS 3497259 A, US 3497259A, US-A-3497259, US3497259 A, US3497259A
InventorsWilliam E Sherfey
Original AssigneeWilliam E Sherfey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Head or back support for wheelchairs
US 3497259 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 24, 1970 w. E. SHERFEY 3,497,259



United States Patent 3,497,259 HEAD OR BACK SUPPORT FOR WHEELCHAIRS William E. Sherfey, 3618 SW. 48th Place, Portland, Oreg. 97221 Filed June 28, 1968, Ser. No. 741,081 Int. Cl. A47c 7/36, 4/28 US. Cl. 297-391 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A wheelchair head or back support comprises a horizontal bar spanning the wheelchair handles, a clamp fastening the bar to the handles, a vertical standard secured to the bar, and padded head or back supports mounted on the standard. The supports are adjustable both horizontally, vertically and angularly to support fully the occupant of the wheelchair in a sitting position.

This invention relates to wheelchair head or back supports. It pertains particularly to wheelchair supports useful in supporting the back and head of a patient seated in the chair, thereby substantially increasing his general comfort.

The use is widespread of collapsible wheelchairs having a metal frame, a plastic or cloth seat, and handles extending rearwardly from the back of the chair at about the height of the shoulders of the wheelchair occupant. The satisfactory use of such chairs is limited, however, by reason of the fact that adequate head and back support is not provided. Thus in the normal use of the chair an infirm occupant who tires easily can not maintain himself erect in a comfortable sitting position.

This problem is particularly acute where the chair is to be used by a dental patient, or a patient who is to be subjected to medical examination or treatment. In this situation, it is essential that provision be made for supporting the back of the occupant in an erect position, and for holding his head at a desired angle.

It is the general purpose of the present invention to provide such a wheelchair support, i.e. a wheelchair head and/ or back support which is attachable to conventional wheelchairs of the class above described which supports the patient firmly and comfortably in an erect, sitting position and which supports his head in a position suited for medical or dental operations and for increasing his general comfort.

It is another object of this invention to provide a head and/or back support for wheelchairs which is fully adjustable horizontally, vertically and angularly as required to suit a particular patient or a particular operation.

It is a further object of the present invention to rovide a combination head and back support for wheelchairs which promotes the good health and comfort of the occupant by holding him erect and preventing him from slumping down with fatigue, which facilitates wheeling the chair and which prevents the occupant from falling.

The manner in which the foregoing and other objects of this invention are accomplished will be apparent from the accompanying specification and claims considered together with the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation of a wheelchair hav ing mounted thereon the herein described head and back support;

FIG. 2 is a view in rear elevation looking in the direction of the arrows of line 22 of FIG. 1, partly broken away to show interior construction;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and illustrating the construction of a headrest used in the herein described support;

FIG. 4 is a detail, transverse, fragmentary sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a detail perspective view of a retaining plate used in the herein described wheelchair support.

Generally considered, the head or back support of my invention comprises a horizontal bar removably clamped to the handles of a conventional wheelchair. A vertical standard is supported by the bar. A padded head support is attached to the upper part of the standard and a padded back support is fastened to the lower part of the standard. Both head and back supports are adjustable in three directions: vertically, horizontally and angularly. Thus the necessaly support is provided for the comfort and security of an infirm patient seated in the wheelchair.

Considering the foregoing in greater detail:

As is shown in the drawings, the head and back support of my invention is adapted for use as a removable attachment on a conventional, folding-type wheelchair which includes a wheeled frame 10, a foot rest 12, a canvas or plastic seat 14, and a canvas or plastic back 16. The rearward frame members are extended horizontally to form rearwardly-extending handles 18 located substantially opposite the shoulders of the occupant of the chair. These are employed as mountings for the herein described head and back support.

The general construction of the support is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. It comprises an endwise-adjustable horizontal bar 20 dimensioned to span the distance between handles 18. Clamp means releasably clamp the bar to the handles.

In the illustrated form the invention, the clamp means employed for this purpose comprise a pair of sleeves 22, elliptical in cross section and having a bore dimensioned for reception of the handles. A screw 24 is threaded through the lower portion of each of the sleeves. The inner end of the screw pivotally engages and supports a clamp block 26. The outer end of the screw mounts a knurled nob 28 by means of which the screw is operated. Thus the assembly conveniently may be mounted and demounted on the handles of a conventional Wheelchair as the occasion arises.

A vertical standard, indicated generally at 30, is supported centrally of bar 20. The upper segment 32 of the standard, i.e. the segment above bar 20, is substantially vertical. However, the lower segment 34 of the standard is angled rearwardly at an angle of from 1525, preferably about 17 from the vertical. This facilitates mounting the back support in its most effective, operative position, as will appear hereinafter.

The upper segment 32 of the standard supports a headrest indicated at 36, while the lower segment 34 of the standard supports a back rest 38. The construction and manner of mounting these two elements of the assembly is somewhat similar.

Thus headrest 36 comprises a U-shaped padded member 40 encased in a plastic or cloth case 42. The case has a zipper opening 44 in its rear panel, and another opening 46 immediately adjacent. Headrest 36 is mounted for adjustment vertically, horizontally and angularly.

To this end it is supported on a block 50 which, in the illustrated form of the invention, comprises a metal disc of substantial dimensions. The disc is provided with a central vertical opening 52 and with a pair of spaced, horizontal openings 54, one on each side.

Vertical opening 52 receives vertical segment 32 of the standard in sliding engagement. A clamp screw 56 threaded through block 54 locates the headrest in the desired vertical position.

Horizontal openings 54 slidably receive a U-shaped horizontal arm 60. The inner ends of the arm are bent to form short shaft segments 62 which extend outwardly in diametrically opposite directions.

Pad 40 is supported on arms 60 through the agency of a retaining plate 64, FIG. 5. The plate is introduced through zipper opening 44 and has on its back side a pair of spaced bearings 66. These house friction pads 68 of rubber or other resiliently deformable material which frictionally engage shaft 62.

The mounting involving arm 60 thus provides for both horizontal and angular adjustment of the head rest. The desired horizontal location is obtained by sliding arm 60 in block 50, and tightening down on clamp screw 70. Angular adjustment is obtained simply by rotating the head rest about shaft 62, whereupon it is maintained in the selected position of angular adjustment by frictional bearing of resilient pads 68 against the adjacent surfaces.

The general manner of mounting back rest 38 is similar.

As shown particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2, the back rest comprises a pad 74 enclosed in a plastic or fabric case 76.

The pad is generally rectangular in outline and is of suflicient extent to bear against and support the back of the occupant of the wheelchair.

Case 76 is provided with a long zipper opening 78 and with a smaller adjacent opening in its back panel.

The back support is mounted in the desired location on outwardly angled, lower segment 34 of standard 30.

To this end there is provided a disc-shaped block 80 which is analogous in its construction and function to block 50, above described. It has a central, vertical perforation which receives in sliding engagement segment 34 of the standard, to which the block is clamped by means of clamp screw 82.

The block also is provided with a pair of spaced, substantially horizontal openings which receive in sliding engagement a substantially U-shaped arm 84. The desired horizontal position of this arm is maintained by means of a clamp screw 86.

Arm 84 corresponds in construction and function to arm '60, above described, which supports the head rest. Its inner end extends through the opening in the back rest case and is formed with two short shafts which extend outwardly in diametrically opposed directions. These in turn mount a retaining plate 88 which corresponds to plate 64 and is introduced into the interior of the pad through zipper opening 78. The mounting of the shafts to the plate is frictional so that the back rest may be adjusted to any desired angular position which it maintains until shifted to another such position;

It thus will be seen that the support of my invention has advantages which determine substantial usefulness.

It easily is mounted on and demounted from a conventional folding wheelchair without alteration of the latter. It effectively supports either the head or the back, or both, of the wheelchair occupant. It is adjustable horizontally, vertically and angularly, as required to suit the size of the occupant or to perform given functions.

The back rest serves as a fulcrum so that the head may be pressed back against the head rest when it is desired to use the chair for dental or medical applications.

In the normal use of the chair, the occupant is fully supported so that he may sit erect for long periods of time without slumping over.

All of these advantages are obtained, furthermore, through the agency of a support of relatively simple construction which easily may be applied and used by wheelchair occupants and attendants.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A head or back support for wheelchairs provided with a pair of rearwardly extending, substantially horizontal, push handles, the support comprising:

(a) a horizontal bar dimensioned to span the distance between the handles,

(b) first clamp means fastened on each end of the bar for clamping the bar to the handles,

(c) a vertical standard secured to the bar centrally thereof,

(d) a padded support member having a case, the back of which is provided with an opening,

(e) a plate mounted non-retractably inside the support member case opposite the opening,

(f) slide means mounted on the standard,

(g) second clamp means on the slide means clamping the same in a selected position of vertical adjustment on the standard,

(h) a horizontal arm slidably mounted on the slide means,

(i) third clamp means on the slide means clamping the arm in a selected position of horizontal adjustment,

(j) the inner end of the arm extending through the case opening into proximity with the plate,

(k) and hinge means on the inner end of the arm hinging the arm to the plate for angular adjustment with respect thereto.

2. The support of claim 1 wherein the first clamp means comprise sleeves of elliptical cross section dimensioned for telescoping over the handles and screw-operated clamp blocks mounted Within the sleeves for clamping engagement against the handles.

3. The support of claim 1 wherein the vertical standard extends below the bar and the support member comprises a pad of substantially rectangular outline positioned for contact with the back of the wheelchair occupant.

4. The support of claim 1 wherein the standard extends upwardly from the bar and the support member comprises a pad of U-shaped outline extending forwardly of the standard and positioned for receiving the head of the wheelchair occupant.

5. The support of claim 1 wherein the slide means comprises a block having a central opening therethrough slidably receiving the standard and a marginal opening therethrough at right angles to the central opening and slidably receiving the arm, and wherein the second and third clamp means comprise screw clamps threaded into the block.

6. The support of claim 1 wherein the arm comprises a U-shaped arm having its inner ends turned out to form short shafts and wherein the back of the plate is provided with spaced bearings friotionally receiving the shafts.

7. The support of claim 6 wherein the bearings are provided with rubber liners frictionally engaging the shafts.

8. A head and back support for wheelchairs provided with a pair of rearwardly extending, substantially horizontal push handles located at about the height of the shoulders of the wheelchair occupant, the support comprising:

(a) a horizontal bar dimensioned to span the distance between the handles,

(b) first clamp means fastened on each end of the bar for clamping the bar to the handles,

(c) a vertical standard secured to the bar centrally thereof,

(d) the standard being formed in two sections, a su stantially vertical section extending upwardly from the bar and a rearwardly angled section extending downwardly from the bar,

6 (e) a padded head support member adjustably se- References Cited cured to the upper segment of the standard and, UNITED STATES PATENTS (f) a padded back support section adjustably secured to the lower section of the standard, 1 g i g (g) head and back SuPPO" extending 5 2 561 616 7/1951 Everezt 61 3 1 297-45 X forwardly in the direction of the occupant of the wheelchalr- CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner. 9. The support of claim 8 wherein the angle of the lower segment of the standard is from 15-25 from the US. Cl. X.R.

vertical. 2 1 8

Patent Citations
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US527056 *Dec 9, 1893Oct 9, 1894 Photographic head and body rest
US1721221 *Feb 8, 1927Jul 16, 1929Pedro JaureguiSurgical arm chair
US2561616 *Nov 1, 1946Jul 24, 1951Herbert A EverestConvertible wheel chair
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3643996 *Feb 27, 1970Feb 22, 1972William CarnahanHeadrest apparatus for a wheelchair
US3674310 *Sep 28, 1970Jul 4, 1972Anthony MontaganoHead rest attachment for wheel chairs
US3730589 *Dec 9, 1971May 1, 1973Avco CorpHead or back support for wheelchair
US3761126 *Mar 1, 1972Sep 25, 1973L MulhollandAdjustable chair for children with cerebral palsy
US3764180 *Jul 31, 1972Oct 9, 1973L MulhollandNeck rest and shoulder support structure for physically handicapped patients
US4227740 *Apr 12, 1979Oct 14, 1980East Robert CAttachment for a wheelchair
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US4750478 *Jun 13, 1986Jun 14, 1988Bergeron Timothy JSeat support and restraint system for the handicapped
US4944554 *Jul 12, 1989Jul 31, 1990Gross Clifford MActive biomechanical chair
US4989836 *Apr 4, 1989Feb 5, 1991Premier Solutions, Ltd.Detachable wheelchair headrest
US5074574 *Sep 11, 1990Dec 24, 1991Carwin Gene FHeadrest system for wheelchairs
US5301975 *Dec 11, 1991Apr 12, 1994Eddy RiveraOverhead screen for a wheelchair
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US5511854 *Jun 20, 1994Apr 30, 1996Cordia; James M.Head support and feeding aid
US5967613 *Aug 11, 1997Oct 19, 1999Piccard CorporationWheelchair support and attachment system
US6288786Mar 2, 2000Sep 11, 2001Cyberoptics CorporationDigital range sensor system
US6419321Mar 2, 2000Jul 16, 2002Wonderland Nursery Goods, Co., Ltd.Adjustable head support for connection to a wheelchair
US6460927 *Mar 21, 2000Oct 8, 2002Michael C. GrothSupport assembly for use with wheelchair
US6520465Dec 15, 2000Feb 18, 2003Wonderland Nurserygoods Co., Ltd.Rotation and translation bracket
US7207630 *Mar 23, 2006Apr 24, 2007Robert ReynoldsRemovable adjustable headrest for wheelchairs having a neck roll
US7717450 *Mar 16, 2007May 18, 2010Shiva AmiriWheelchair luggage towing device
US8517469Sep 6, 2012Aug 27, 2013Aspen Seating, LlcThree-axis adjustable back support assembly and method
US8979196 *Feb 9, 2012Mar 17, 2015William SimpsonRemovably engaged wheelchair headrest
US20110260519 *Apr 26, 2010Oct 27, 2011Carrigan Sr Gregory WilliamPortable and adjustable headrest
US20120200133 *Feb 9, 2012Aug 9, 2012William SimpsonRemovably Engaged Wheelchair Headrest
U.S. Classification297/391, 297/408, 297/DIG.400, 297/45
International ClassificationA61G5/12
Cooperative ClassificationY10S297/04, A61G2005/1054, A61G2005/128, A61G5/12, A61G2005/121
European ClassificationA61G5/12