Making A Crutch Holder For My Wheelchair…

In preparation for my surgery (or, more likely, my next emergency admission to hospital which, today, feels a bit further away than it has of late), I’ve made a pair of crutch holders for my manual wheelchair (they’ll also fit either powerchair). I don’t know how those who are actually dependent on a powerchair cope, but I’ve met with a flat-out refusal to accommodate mine – they even balk at my manual chair and I have to insist that where I go, it goes too.

That objection is even manifest in the hospital itself – nurses get monumentally pissed off finding it parked alongside my bed which might explain why I’ve never seen another patient with their own chair. On one occasion the ward sister insisted that I let them stash my chair in the store-room, until I told them in no uncertain terms what they could do with that idea. The “store-room,” by the way, was also the only wheelchair-accessible bathroom and, the one time I tried to use it, looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned for several months. Add that to the fact that the “accessible” toilets, if one is on wheels, are totally inaccessible and one could be forgiven for thinking that disabled people were not welcome – and you’d be right.

Anyway, in hospital for any reason, I need both chair and crutches and, if I’m to self-propel, that means finding a way to transport the crutches on the chair so, yesterday, I cobbled up this. Sorry about the poor pic – at ISO 400 noise begins to creep in but I just wanted a quick snap and didn’t want to dig out my dSLR and flashgun, so I used the little Canon Ixus that I use for my ulcer photos.

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It’s a fishing rod tube, cut in half and with the end-caps glued in place. It’s only a prototype, the final version needs to be about 8 inches longer so the crutches sit lower. I have another, much longer, tube I can cut in half, so that’s not a problem.

It’s simply tied to the chair’s push handles with a pair of bootlaces, and held in place at the bottom with elastic under tension, attached to the anti-tip castors. It can be quickly removed and just as quickly refitted (should I have to), but is held firmly in place when in use.

Also attached to the back of the seat, upside down, is a track pump for the tyres – you can see the handle between the red end caps – a bag for odds and sods (attached by karabiners for quick removal and refitting should the chair need to be folded), and the black and red webbing slings, with karabiners attached, are to enable me to carry my hospital bag slung in front of me.** There’s also a folding walking stick. All eventualities have to be covered.

**At least it was before my ulcer achieved its current monstrous size – so large I can no longer get it all in one photo – how that will work now I have no idea yet.

I also have to tinker with the chair’s geometry, as the crutches’ weight shifts the centre of mass too far back, so I need to move the wheels a couple of centimetres back to compensate. Then I’m good to go.

For a given value of “good” given the circumstances.

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4 thoughts on “Making A Crutch Holder For My Wheelchair…

    • It’s fine. It’s got the wrong chip in the electronics, though. Should do 4mph – does almost 6mph. Not complaining!

      Yep, used it for hospital, no problems (arguably the best powerchair I’ve had, and the cheapest). Except for the taxi – it won’t go up the ramp – when the front castors hit the ramp, the drive wheels come off the ground! Pretty obvious it would happen but didn’t even occur to me. Actually, it would go up the ramp if you could take a run at it – momentum would carry you past the critical point, but the driver was worried I’d cock it up and slam into the opposite door! So it was manhandled in at home, and again leaving the hospital – not fun. Same problem getting it out of the taxi – when the rear castors hit the ground, the drive wheels lifted off the ramp. Manhandled out!

      Luckily I’ve got an old rear-wheel drive chair – so put new batteries in it and that’ll do for taxis.

      • HI ron I used to have a pride jazzy 1121 and I find the lugano as good and it cost less, anyway where I live we have a disabled assessment centre called had herts and you can pay for there transport to collect you with a tail lift on it its about £15 locally to and from.
        Also can use the ambulance service which sometimes is a pain mind the pun haha as they take you there only for you to have to wait hours sometimes to be taken home.

        • I had a Jazzy 1120 and the Lugano is much better designed. My 1120 had a massive problem with the latch that held the seat down – mine would let go on a slope and the seat would tip back and smash the multi-pin plug behind it (until they finally brought out a modification). The remote levers to disengage the Lugano’s motors save grovelling in the crap behind the wheels, too, though after a while the rubber grommets shrink and they rattle – a bit of elastic fixes the problem.

          There’s a lot of thought gone into the Lugano, even though its design is quite basic. It’s the only powerchair – I’ve had about 8 – that I’ve been happy with right from the start.

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