Picking Up Larger Objects:
Picking objects up is a constant challenge for anyone with quadriplegia. After finding ways to pick up many different types of dropped objects I wanted to try and figure out a way to pick up bulky items. After watching my wife scooping dog poop on the lawn I decided to buy a Pooper Scooper and try to modify it. The oblong hole was just what was needed. A piece of threaded rod about a foot long was passed through the holes. The rod end in the single hole was fitted with a locknut and a washer and regular was fastened to the opposite side of the same handle. A large washer and wing-nut were placed on the outside of the rod on the opposite handle. Next, I tried to flatten out the bottom "feet" of the scooper which were angled. When the wing-nut was tightened it would hold the object in place while I lifted it. I encountered a problem, because of my inability to spin the wing-nut closed. No matter what I tried I couldn't seem to solve this problem.
One day it occurred to me I could make something similar to the device I use to Control a Book. It would be larger, a metal pan and have two big tall string loops each end tied to a hole drilled into the corner of the metal. Picking up would be done by sliding one edge under the object and when the object was on top of the pan lift if up with the loops. Marge bought a pan which was 12”x12” 28 GA (gauge). I would get a piece a little stiffer if I were going to do it over. The flexibility of the metal made it impossible to drill a hole in it so my nurse hammered a nail hole in each corner. Then it was possible to drill the corner holes. A file was used to smooth any rough edges after the drilling. Two sections of Para-Cord were cut at approximately twice the distance from my hand to the floor. To give a little more control we drilled a hole in the cap of a plastic bottle and fed the middle of the two loops through it. The cap could then be slid down the Para-Cord tightening control around the object. It is certainly okay to substitute a thin piece of wood or cardboard for the metal and most any hunk of string.
I’m planning on using this devise not only to pick objects up but also to put them down on the floor. When Marge is gone now I don’t have anyone “adult sit” anymore so I have to feed Foxy and Bosco myself. Bowls are filled before she leaves so I have to put them on the floor. It has been a disaster almost all the time with most the food going all over the floor. The dogs look at me as if saying "really". This I believe will change that.
The process works by sliding the pan, at an angle, under the object to be picked up. If object slides move it toward something that will not move and work the pan under it and then lift. To feed the dogs I just reverse the process. Finally, I'd like to thank my wife for her help with this project.
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