US 3516425 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 23, 1970 w. A. RIGAL 3,516,425
FOLDING WALKER ASSEMBLY Filed Nov. 12. 1968 United States Patent 3,516,425 FOLDING WALKER ASSEMBLY Waldo A. Riga], 408 E. Jefferson St., Mount Pulaski, Ill. 62548 Filed Nov. 12, 1968, Ser. No. 775,026 Int. Cl. A61h 3/00 U.S. Cl. 13545 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A folding walker assembly for use by an invalid requiring assistance in walking which can be easily and quickly folded or opened for use forming a generally U-shaped enclosure to support the invalid in a stable manner. The Walker includes two inverted U-shaped frame members providing the sides of the walker and the four supporting feet, the frames being joined by a collapsible connecting bar assembly pivotally mounted at each end on each frame member. A folding table having a generally rectangular shape may be secured along one edge to a connecting strip on one frame member, and the opposite edge is supported upon a connecting strip in the opposite frame member; the table being hinged intermediate the adjacent edges to collapse upon the folding of the walker unit.
The present invention relates to a walker assembly for invalids, and more particularly to a folding walker assembly which is easily and quickly folded or opened for use and is easily carried or held when in its folded condition.
Among the objects of the present invention is the provision of a folding walker assembly of much lighter weight than conventional commercially available models and which can be quickly and easily folded and unfolded. When folded, the assembly is compact and easily carried in an automobile, bus or train or to a meeting without taking up an undue amount of extra space. The assembly can be quickly folded upon entering a bus or train without causing undue delay and inconvenience to others.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of a folding walker unit having a pair of inverted U-shaped frame members forming the four legs of the walker and a collapsible connecting bar assembly pivotally mounted on one leg of each frame member to form the intermediate side of the three-sided assembly. The ends of the legs of the frame members have conventional rubber protective feet thereon for stability, or the front two legs or all four legs can have casters secured thereon for an easily movable unit. It appears preferable to have casters on the front legs and rubber feet on the rear legs with the casters providing ease of mobility and the rubber feet providing a brake for the casters.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a folding walker assembly having a collapsible table thereon to carry small objects and which is hinged to collapse as the walker unit is folded. The table includes a generally rectangular surface hinged at spaced points along parallel lines with the opposite end edges of the rectangle being supported on support strips on the walker frame units. One end edge of the rectangle is secured to 3,51,425 Patented June 23, 1970 the support strip in one frame member and the opposite edge rests on the other support strip.
The present invention also comprehends the provision of a folding walker assembly having a novel method of height adjustment which is solid and rattle-free. To adjust the height of the legs, a foot stump is formed having an upper portion telescoping into the leg of the frame member and terminating at its lower end in a collar which will abut the lower end of the leg. The stump includes a spring member with ends protruding through the telescoping portion to frictionally retain the stump in the leg. Also, additional rings may be positioned over the telescoping portion to abut the collar and raise the height of the frame member.
Further objects are to provide a construction of maximum simplicity, efiiciency, economy and ease of assembly and operation, and such further objects, advantages and capabilities as will later more fully appear and are inherently possessed thereby.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the folding walker assembly of the present invention in an opened out position to more clearly see the structure including a collapsible table unit.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the walker assembly in the normal three-sided position of the walker in use and showing in dotted lines the opened position of the walker of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the walker assembly in its folded position.
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the collapsible table unit for the walker assembly.
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the free edge of the table unit taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is front elevational view of a foot stump for the walker unit position in a leg of the Walker assembly.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the foot stump.
Referring more particularly to the disclosure in the drawing wherein is shown an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 1 discloses a folding walker assembly 10 formed of a pair of frame units 11 and 12 joined by a collapsible connecting bar assembly 13. Each frame unit 11 and 12 is of an inverted U-shape having a pair of legs 14 and 15 joined by an upper connecting portion 16 having one or more suitable hand grips 17 thereon. A connecting brace 18 extends between and is secured at its opposite ends to the legs 14! and 15 adjacent but spaced above the rubber feet 19 located on the ends 21 of the legs. The braces may extend through the legs and be secured by cap screws, not shown, although welding or other securing means could be utilized.
The front leg 14 is joined to the upper connecting portion 16 at an angle of approximately while the rear leg 15 is joined to the connecting portion at an angle of approximately to improve the stability of the unit. The connecting bar assembly 13 includes two pair of upper and lower connecting bars 22 and 23 connected at their opposite ends in a pair of generally T-shaped hollow pivot members 24 with a stem 25 receiving the bar 22 or 23 which is secured therein, and a cross bar 26 encompassing the leg 14 of the frame unit or a center pivot rod 27. The pivot member 24 is positioned on the leg 14 or pivot rod 27 by a pair of collars 28, 28 secured on the leg by rivets or set screws 29 above and below the pivot member 24 at the ends of the cross bar 26.
Extending between the legs 14 and 15 above the upper pivot member 23 in each frame unit 11 and 12 is a support bar 31 and 32, respectively, for supporting the edges of a folding table unit 33 (see FIGS. 1, 2 and 4). The folding table unit 33 is an optional attachment and FIG. 3 discloses the walker assembly 10 with the table unit 33 omitted. The table unit 33 has the general form of a rectangle and includes a generally rectangular section 34 having an edge 35 defined by an angle member 36 secured thereto, and having a pair of spaced depending bolts 37, 37 which extend through aligned vertical openings in the support bar 31 and are secured thereto by wing nuts 38, 38. This table section 34 is always retained in a horizontal position on the walker. A rectangular center section 39 is hinged to section 34 by a continuous or other suitable hinge 41 secured to the undersides of the sections 34 and 39.
A rectangular section 42 is hinged to the section 39 by a continuous hinge 43 similar to hinge 41, and the edge 44 of this section 42 also is defined by an angle member 45 which will engage the support bar 32 to limit opening of the walker assembly. When the walker assembly is folded, the hinged sections 42 and 39 are progressively collapsed as later described. The angle member 45 includes a pair of spaced depending pins 46, 46 adapted to be received in spaced openings 47, 47 when the walker assembly is in fully open position (see FIGS. 4 and FIG. 2 discloses in partial dot-dash lines the position of the walker assembly in the open position of FIG. 1, and the normal three-sided position in solid lines with the frame units 11 and 12 parallel and at right angles to the connecting bar assembly 13. When the assembly is folded, the frame unit 12, as seen in FIG. 2 is moved laterally relative to the frame unit 11 while the connecting bar assembly 13 is collapsing by the pivot rod 27 moving inward toward the user and the bars 22, 22, 23, 23 pivoting on the pivot members 24 about the rod 27 and the front legs 14, 14. This folds the walker assembly 10 into a relatively flat compact unit as shown in FIG. 3.
If the table unit 33 is attached to the walker assembly 10, the table unit 33 is extended flat with the angle mem- 'ber 36 secured to the support bar 31 and the angle member 45 engages the support bar 32 with the pins 46 engaging the openings 47 to stabilize the walker assembly 10 in the normal three-sided position as previously described. When the Walker assembly is folded, the connecting bars 22, 22, 23 and 23 are rotated inwardly between the frame units 11 and 12 and the table begins to slide over the support bar 32, once the pins 46, 46 are released, until the hinge 43 is reached. Upon further rotation, the section 42 is folded downward over the bar 32 due to hinge 43. Upon continued rotation, the section 39 is also folded downward over the bar 32 due to the hinge 41, and the sections 39 and 42 hang downwardly from the horizontally disposed section 34. The width of section 34 is such as not to interfere with the closing movement of the connecting bars 22, 22, 23, 23 or the frame member 12.
FIGS. 6 and 7 disclose a foot stump 48 utilized for adjusting the height of the legs of the walker assembly 10. The legs 14 and of the frame members 11 or 12 are hollow tubular legs having rubber feet 19 on the ends 21 thereof. The foot stump 48 includes a tubular insert 49 of an external diameter to telescope within the hollow end 21 of the leg 14 or 15 and an integral collar 51 of th same diameter as the leg. The collar 51 receives the rubber foot 19 at the lower end and forms a shoulder 52 against which the end 21 of the leg 14 or 15 abuts. A worm-like spring 53 is positioned in the upper end of the insert 49 and has ends protruding through openings 54 in the insert 49 to frictionally engage the internal wall of the end 21 and retain the insert 48 therein.
To provide greater adjustability in height of the legs, a series of rings or collars 55 of varying height are provided of the same internal and external diameters as the leg end 21, and which are slipped over the tubular insert 49 to abut the shoulder 52 of the collar 51. The leg end 21 then will abut the edge of the ring 55 thus raising the height of the leg. One or more rings 55 could be utilized on each foot stump 48. The stump is also provided with opposite transverse openings 56 in the collar 51 adjacent the rubber foot 19 for the insertion of a tool to aid in inserting or extracting the stump 48 from the leg end 21.
If desired, the rubber feet 19 can be replaced with casters, not shown, for greater ease of mobility. All four legs 14, 14, 15, 15 could have the casters thereon, however, it is preferabe to use the casters only on the front legs 14, 14 and retain the rubber feet 19 on the rear legs 15, 15. In this manner, the rubber feet 19 will serve as a brake to prevent uncontrolled movement of the walker. Thus, by raising the rear legs off of the floor, the walker can be moved forward on the casters, and by returning the rear legs to engage the floor, movement stops.
Having thus disclosed my invention, I claim:
1. A folding walker assembly comprising a pair of inverted generally U-shaped frame units having front and rear legs, a collapsible connecting bar assembly pivotally mounted at each end onto the front legs of the frame members, a collapsible table unit, a first support bar extending between the front and rear legs of one frame unit and a second support bar extending between the legs of the other frame unit to support said table, said table having a generally rectangular configuration with two 0pposite edges supported on said support bars.
2. A folding walker assembly as set forth in claim 1, in which said table includes a generally rectangular first section secured at one edge on the first support bar, a central rectangular section hinged at one edge to the opposite edge of the first section, and an outer rectangular section hinged to a second edge of said central rectangular section and supported on its outer edge on said second support bar.
3. A folding walker assembly as set forth in claim 2, in which the outer edges of said table have metal angle reinforcing members with outer depending edges adapted to engage said support bars and limit the extent of opening of the walker assembly.
4. A folding walker assembly as set forth in claim 3, in which said edge of the table supported by said second support bar has at least one depending bolt, said first support bar having at least one opening to receive the depending pin.
5. A folding walker assembly as set forth in claim 3, in which the edge of the table supported by said first support bar has at least one depending bolt, said first support bar having at least one opening to receive the depending bolt projecting therethrough, a nut threadingly engaging the end of the bolt below said first support bar, the opposite edge of the table having at least one depending pin, and said second support bar having at least one opening to receive the depending pin.
6. A folding walker assembly comprising a pair of inverted generally U-shaped frame units having front and rear legs, and a collapsible connecting bar assembly pivotally mounted at each end onto the front legs of the frame member, including two pair of upper and lower connecting bars, a central pivot rod, and a pivot member at each end of each connecting bar, said connecting bars each being pivoted at one end on said pivot rod and at the opposite end on the front leg of a frame unit.
7. A folding walker assembly as set forth in claim 6, including a stump comprising a tubular insert telescopically received in the lower end of a leg of a frame unit, a collar integral with the tubular insert and adapted to abut the end of the leg, means frictionally retaining the stump in the leg, and one or more spacer rings encompassing said tubular insert between and abutting the end of the leg and the integral collar to adjust the height of the leg of the walker assembly.
References Cited UNITED Spiselman 248161 X 6 FOREIGN PATENTS 7/1955 Australia. 2/1963 Great Britain.
5 J. KARL BELL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 248-157; 297l55