Heel Grip

Pretend you’re sitting in your wheelchair in the nursing home where you’re staying. Your arms are too weak to propel the chair so you’re dependent on your heels for getting the chair to move. But that turns out to be too difficult to accomplish so after some attempts you stop, exhausted and frustrated. As a PT, I saw this scenario many times. It gets repeated daily in most ( all?!) nursing homes/extended care facilities or private homes – everywhere.

 One morning, as I walked into the nursing home, and was greeted by the same line of patients in their wheel chairs, facing the new day and the nursing station which they struggled to approach, it suddenly hit me : if we attach a rubberized cup (with a high friction coefficient for most floors) to the heels of all patients who struggle propelling their wheel chairs thereby improve the grip of the heel on the floor, we could drastically improve the independent mobility of those patients ! – With all the other benefits which would come with improved mobility.

I experimented with a few prototypes to accomplish that goal, tested the finished product in a few nursing homes ( with obvious success) and – voila – hear we are !

Try it ! Your ( struggling ) wheelchair patients will love it ( and you will too ).