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Custom furnishings and home items for people that can't bend over. Answered

My mother has recently developed a kidney issue which causes a severe level of pain whenever she tries to bend over.  We basically need some ideas on re-outfitting the house with better possibilities so she can easily get to her household items without too much discomfort.  She is a stubborn one, and we will catch her writhing in pain before she asks anyone for help.  Because she will try to do these things anyway, we would like to make it alot less painful for her.  It is hard for her to get things out of her bottom cupboards.  I've been envisioning a pull-out platform with a round hole for her cane where she can insert her cane and pull the platform out and grab what she needs, but it would be even better if somehow this stuff could actually come up to her at a standing level.  My mind doesn't quite wrap around it.  I've seen an instructable for her to get things down from the top cupboards and I'm considering trying these out.  We also need a way for her to feed her pets, to set the dogfood bowls down onto the ground and retrieve them without pain.  I was picturing sort of a dolly-looking thing with a crank so she can forklift things up and down to herself.  I can see some of what we need in my head but I don't have the mechanical skills to put these things together.  I'd appreciate seeing some instructables of this nature or geared toward solving these types of problems.

Thanks! If you see anything that may be use for me, please post a link and I will also share my findings.



6 years ago

For feeding pets - put the dishes in an Easter basket with a tall handle or attach tall, rigid handle loops to the pet dish itself. This would make it very easy to pick up and set down.

(Smacks forehead) why didn't I think of that!

Not only have you helped sann6's mom, you have also helped everyone else on the site whose back goes AWOL from time-to-time.

brilliant! Oh my gosh! Thanks for all the ideas. Sometimes we're too close to the issue to see a good solution. I get a little tunnel vision. I really appreciate the suggestions. I'm going to construct a basket-like tool for her to feed her pets and see if that works. I will post photos for ya when complete.

If she's got a cane, then the pull out hole is a nice idea but a set of cheap door handles that can be hooked by it would be just as effective.

For picking stuff like clothes and other cupboard/drawer items up. Shopping bags, make use of the can again, think those "for life" bags, usually have large handles easy to hook with a cane.

For small chests and low tables, stick them on a platform or add legs to bring them within grabbing height at standing.

Small shelves or hooks around chest height mean no bending for stuff.

For smaller items, a reacher-grabber works great. Most home medical supply stores and even some drug stores carry them.


Mine is good for picking up empty pet dishes, but to put a full dish back on the floor would require minor modifcations on the dish.


6 years ago

I think so...as I've looked around, I found the shelevator, and I think it could be modified also to bring things up as well as pulling them down from shelves. It seems like a pully system thing might work. Please post more ideas if you get them, and thanks!

Ok, I will, and a side point, if you use the "add comment" below the Right side of a comment, it will notify the person whom you are replying to that they have a reply. It makes the conversations go much smoother. Just a small tip from an old timer :-)