US 3787089 A
A rehabilitating chair for handicapped persons, comprising a combination of a wheel chair and a motor-driven lifting device mounted thereon, said lifting device comprising at least one toggled lifting arm having its lower part pivotally connected to the chair and its upper part slidable in a pivoted sliding attachment on the chair and having at its upper part an armpit support for the patient.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Wrethander 5] Jan. 22, 1974 REHABILITATING CHAIRS FOR 2,792,052 5/1957 Johannesen 297/010. 4 HANDICAPPED PERSONS 2,914,110 11/1959 Schulte 297/D1G. 4 3,379,450 4/1968 Jones et a1... 297/DIG. Inventor: Karl Edvln SlXten Wrethander, 3,406,772 10/1968 Ahrent et al.... 297/010. 10 Kallreda S ukhem 360 40, Rottne, 2,052,852 9/1936 Tracy 297/D1G. 4 Sweden 3,596,991 8/1971 McKee 297/D1G. 10 3,139,306 6/1964 Jennings et al. 297/DIG. 4  Filed: July 6, 1971  Appl' 159830 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney, Agent,.0r Firm-Ralph E. Bucknam et a1. Foreign Application Priority Data July 6, 1970 Sweden .1 9327/  ABSTRACT  us Cl 297/118 A rehabilitating chair for handicapped persons, com- [511 Int Cl A6lh 3/04 3362b H00 prising a combination of a wheel chair and a motor- Field /5 115 DIG 4 driven lifting device mounted thereon. said lifting de- 9 9 9112115191; 9 199 tq fi in a m having "/242 34 its lower part pivotally connected to the chair and its upper part slidable in a pivoted sliding attachment on the chair and having at its upper part an armpit sup-  References Cited port for the patient UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,913,738 11/1959 Wise 297/DIG. 4 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures :PATENTEUJAHZZ I974 SLTBTLOBS sum 1. or 3 meme PATENTEBJAH 22 I974 SHEEI 2 BF 3 REHABILITATING CHAIRS FOR HANDICAPPED PERSONS For many patients having e.g., extremity injuries of a transitory and rehabilitatable nature (such injuries may also be of the neurological type) but also injuries of a non-transitory nature, the movement from sitting position in a wheel chair to standing position in a so-called walker chair for walking exercises involves great or even insuperable problems if no assistance is available for the movement.
Of course in most cases the patient or the handicapped person will get this assistance from the nursing staff but various types of lifting devices are also known for lifting the patient up to standing position from sitting position in a chair or wheel chair or in some cases even from lying position. Mostly, such a lifting device is bulky, difficult to handle and expensive. In some cases the lifting device maybe combined with the wal- I ker chair, which of course offers great advantages.
A still better solution of the problem given resides in combining a chair (or preferably a wheel chair), a lifting device and a walker chair into a single unit.
Examples of prior art devices of the above indicated types are found in Swedish Pat. Nos. 157,382 and 312,399, German Pat. No. 248,434 and U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,914,110, 3,189,345, 3,394,933 and 3,397,883.
' The present invention relates to a rehabilitating chair for handicapped persons, comprising a combination of a chair, preferably a wheel chair, and a motor-driven lifting device mounted thereon and capable of raising and lowering the patient to walking position and sitting position, respectively.
Prior art devices of this type suffer particularly from the disadvantages that the construction of the lifting device makes them bulky and does not permit advancing the wheel chair all the way up to a table or the like, when the lifting device is in the lowered position, and does not produce any lifting movement that even remotely resembles the normal movement of the body when raising from sitting position.
These and other inconveniences with prior art constructions are overcome through the present invention which is characterised in that the lifting device comprises a lifting arm mounted at either side of the chair and consisting of two parts interconnected by means of a forwardly directed toggle joint, the lower part of which is also pivotally connected to the chair and the upper part is slidably fitted in a sliding attachment pivotally mounted on the chair, and the upper end of the lifting arm, which is provided with an armpit support for the patient, will describe a forwardly-upwardly directed movement as the toggle joint is straightened out.
Various systems for driving the lifting arm may be contemplated but for various reasons a hydraulic drive (by means of a hydraulic unit) is to be preferred.
As the lifting arm effects a forwardly upwardly directed movement (and thus displaces the centre of gravity of the patient forwards), the wheel chair must have a large wheel base in order not to tip forwards when raising the patient. However, such a large wheel base is not suitable in case the patient is seated (lifting arm lowered) because it will prevent moving the wheel chair sufficiently close to a table or the like.
To avoid this disadvantage, each of the front wheels of the wheel chair is adapted to be displaced forwardly in conjunction with the straightening-out of the toggle joint of the lifting arm, in order to increase the wheel base of the wheel chair only when such increased wheel base'is justified.
Such displacement of the front wheels of the wheel chair may be effected by means of a link system associated with the lifting arm or by means of a hydraulic unit which is operated synchronously with the hydraulic unit of the lifting arm.
When lifting the patient by means of the lifting arm, the wheel chair must of course be brought to a standstill, for instance by mechanically braking the chair wheels.
An electric motor is required for driving a pump producing a working pressure for the hydraulic system of the wheel chair, and this motor may suitably be used for driving the back wheels of the wheel chair, whereby the seriously handicapped patient will be able to move himself without help. The motor must of course be readily disengagable from the wheels.
The foot-rests of the wheel chair are a hindrance when lifting up the patient since it will be difficult for the patient to place his feet on the floor or ground if the foot-rests are not withdrawn. Such withdrawal may be effected by means of a link system associated with the lifting arm, or by means of one or more separate hydraulic units.
If desired, these hydraulic units may be disconnected from the foot-rests and be used in the following way: If the patient is seated for long periods it may be advantageous to move the joint of the knee and increase the blood circulation in the legs by imparting an oscillatory movement to the lower legs; this movement may be readily brought about by means of said hydraulic units the piston rods of which may be provided with e.g., U- shaped brackets at their ends for actuating the lower legs of the patient, and said piston rods may preferably be caused to operate alternatingly at a predetermined frequence. If it is difficult for the patient, after being carried up to standing position by means of the lifting device, to move his legs or feet in walking steps by his own muscular power, said hydraulic units (disengaged from the foot-rests) may be brought carefully but positively to move the lower legs in forward direction, at an appropriate frequence lower than that used for said lower leg oscillation, by means of the U-shaped brackets. This will enable even a very seriously handicapped person to make his way with a walking-like movement, standing (or rather hanging in the lifting arms); further assistance in walking is obtained if the wheels of the wheel chair also are driven by the electric motor.
As appears from the foregoing, this invention provides a rehabilitating chair which gives the handicapped person unsuspected possibilities to get along without help but nevertheless requires only little space and can be readily operated by operating means on an arm support fixedly mounted on the lifting arm.
The invention will be described in'more detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view of the device according to the invention, with the nearest back wheel, as seen in the plane of the drawing, broken away for the sake of clary;
FIG. 2 is a party sectional view of a detail of a means for advancing the front wheels of the wheel chair;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are respectively side and rear views of a patient supporting device.
In FIG. I there is shown a wheel chair provided with the lifting device according to the invention. The wheel chair is of the normal type having a tubular frame I, a pair of small turnable front wheels 2 and a pair of larger back wheels 3 of which only the farthermost wheel is shown. At 4 the wheel chair has a seat while the frame part 5 serves as an arm support.
The wheel chair is provided with a lifting device, generally designated 6, which substantially comprises a lifting arm mounted at either side of the chair and consisting of a lower part 7 and an upper part 8, said arm being adapted to be actuated by a hydraulic unit 9.
At 10 the lower part 7 of each lifting arm is pivotally connected to the lowermost part of the frame I while the other end of the part 7 is pivotally mounted with the lower end of the upper part 8 by means of a toggle joint I I. The upper part 8 is slidably fitted in a sliding attachment 12 which is pivotally mounted on the chair frame and has a pivot 13 and two guideways 14.
At 16 the cylinder of each hydraulic unit 9 is pivotally connected to the wheel chair frame, while the piston 17 of the hydraulic unit is pivotally connected to the upper part 8 of the lifting arm at 18.
As the piston 17 of the hydraulic unit is pushed out, the toggle joint 11 of the lifting arm will, thanks to the construction shown and described herein, be straightened out and the upper end of the upper part 8 of the lifting arm will describe a forwardly upwardly directed movement. During this movement the upper part 8 of the lifting arm slides in the sliding attachment 12. The straightened-out position of the lifting arm is shown in dot-dashed lines in FIG. 1.
At its top the upper part 8 of the lifting arm is provided with an armpit support l9 for the patient, and to further support the patient there may be provided an attachment means 20 with straps, as indicated in dotdashed lines in FIG. I. The height position of the armpit support I9 may be adjusted because the lifting arm part 8 is divided into two portions which may be displaced relative to each other and be locked up by means of a screw 21. An embodiment of the device for supporting the patient is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Mounted on the lower part of the wheel chair frame are an electric accumulator 22, an oil tank 23, an electric motor and an oil pump 24. These units, together with an operating and line system, not shown, permit proper operation of the hydraulic unit 9.
It should be noted, however, that it may be suitable to mount the operating means for the hydraulic unit 9 on a stationary arm support on the upper part 8 of the lifting arm. The operating system may also include limit switches, mounted at suitable points, to prevent overtravel of the lifting arm.
It should further be noted that in the wheel chair shown in FIG. 1 certain details normally included in such chairs have been left out in the interests of clarity. Thus, for instance, there are no foot-rests for the patient.
When using the rehabilitating chair for lifting a patient seated in the wheel chair, the patient is placed (with assistance or by his own exertion) with the armpit support 19 in his armpits and, if desired, the patient is attached in the attachment means 20. After that the patient can himself put the hydraulic unit 9 in operation by simply actuating the operating means (not shown) on the arm support 25, so that the lifting device 6 is raised to standing position with a forwardly upwardly directed movement that is natural to the body.
When the patient is raised to standing position by means of the lifting device 6, the centre of gravity of 5 the entire device including the patient will be displaced so much in the forward direction that there is a risk of the wheel chair turning over. To counteract this tendency to turn over, the wheel base of the wheel chair should suitably be increased by moving the front wheels 2 forwards when the patient is being raised. In FIG. I it is indicated that a carrier 26 carrying the wheel 2 is slidable in the lower frame tube 27 but the constructional embodiment of a device for automatically advancing the front wheel 2 is not shown in FIG. 5 l but only in FIG. 2, which now is referred to.
FIG. 2 shows the lower frame tube 27, which is formed as a guideway provided with an upper slot 28, the front wheel 2, the wheel carrier 26, which is slidable in the guideway 27, the upper and lower lifting arm parts 7 and 8, respectively, the pivot 10 and the toggle joint 11. For obtaining a greater stability the toggle joint 11 runs in a toggle-joint guideway 29.
A link system comprising an operating lever 30 and an auxiliary lever 31 is provided for automatically operating the wheel carrier 26. The operating lever 30 is adapted to pivot about a fixed point 32, and its upper end has a slot 33 for cooperating with and entraining the toggle joint 11 Point 32 is a pivot, fixed on operating lever 30. At 34 the other end of the operating lever 30 is pivotally connected to the auxiliary arm 31 which, in turn, at 35, is pivotally connected to a fixed lug 36 on the wheel carrier 26, said lug projecting upwardly through the slot 28.
Through this construction, the front wheel will be advanced a distance, as appears from FIG. 2, as the lifting arm is straightened out, so that the wheel base and thus the stability of the wheel chair are increased. It should be noted, however, that the front wheel advancement may be larger than that indicated, by dimensioning the various lever lengths in another way. The stability is also increased in that the guideway 27 is inclined somewhat in the forward direction, whereby the wheel chair tilts rearwardly to some extent as the lifting arm is straightened out.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show an embodiment of a patient attachment means. Since this means does not directly form any part of the invention it will be described rather summarily.
The latter figures show the upper parts 8 of the lifting arms, the pistons 17 of the hydraulic units with the pivots l8, and the screw 21 for vertically locking the uppermost portion, designated 8', of the part 8. The armpit support, which is of a slightly different shape, is here designated 19'.
In addition to the armpit support, the patient attachment means includes a cup-shaped back rest 37 which is fixedly connected with a pelvis seat 38 which fits in a recess in the wheel chair seat 39 indicated in dotdashed lines in FIG. 4. The back rest and the pelvis seat are attached, so as to be vertically adjustable, to a main post 40 which is pivotally connected to the portion 8 (the vertical locking operation is effected by means of a screw 41).
Mounted on the main post 40 is a vertically adjustable hydraulic unit 42 controlling a shoulder yoke 43 (laterally adjustable, as appears from FIG. 4) through the intermediary of a shoulder yoke guiding means 44 and a hydraulic piston shaft 45. It should be noted that the two details 43 and 44 belong together and turn about a common point. The armpit supports 19' are suspended in arms 46 which are laterally adjustable, as indicated in FIG. 4. A supporting bar 47 is provided to stay the main post 40 in rest position.
Of course, various modifications of the rehabilitating chair may be made within-the scope of the appended claims; these modifications have been suggested in the introductory part of the specification, and it would carry too far to enter into the details of the constructional design of these developments of the basic inventive concept. It should be noted, however, that the operation of the front wheels of the wheel chair may advantageously be effected by hydraulic means instead of purely mechanical means as in the case shown. The hydraulic units used for the front wheel operation might thereby also be used for operating the foot rests which should be removed before the patient is raised to standing position.
One may of course also use a mechanical transmission from the toggle joint 11 to the foot rests (not shown) so that the latter are withdrawn mechanically as the toggle joint is straightened out.
In the case shown a hydraulic unit has been used for the operation of the lifting device but of course any other driving system may be used.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent l. A wheel chair for supporting an individual in the sitting position, in the walking position and for lifting said individual from the sitting to the walking position, which comprises a frame, a seat mounted thereon, rear wheel means for rolling the wheel chair and front wheel means of size smaller than said rear wheel means, said front wheel means being slidable forwardly to increase the wheel base when the individual is in the walking position, lifting means mounted at one side of said frame comprising a lower member pivotally connected to the lower end of the chair and an upper member slidably fitted to said frame, means for pivotally connecting said lower and said upper member of said lifting means which comprise a forwardly directed toggle joint, hydraulic means for actuating the upper member of said lifting means comprising a piston and a cylinder, said piston being pivotally connected to said upper member, said cylinder being pivotally connected to said chair, said piston and said toggle joint being adapted to co-act and cause said upper member of the lifting means to perform a forwardly-upwardly directed movement, means for moving said front wheels which operate synchronously with the hydraulic means actuating the lifting means and means for braking said chair.
2. The chair according to claim 1 wherein the means for moving said front wheels is a link assembly comprising a wheel carrier pivotally connected with said toggle joint, said wheel carrier being displaceable forwardly when said lifting means are moved to the walking position.
3. The chair according to claim 1 wherein said upper member of the lifting means is an arm and the actuating means for said lifting means are connected thereto.
4. The chair according to claim 1 additionally comprising electrically controlled means for driving the rear wheels.
5. The chair according to claim 1 wherein said upper member of said lifting means is provided with armpit support means of adjustable height.
6. The chair according to claim 1 additionally comprising foot rests which are associated with said lifting means and'which are withdrawn when the lifting means are in the walking position.