Title:
Human body washing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for washing a user with a washing liquid, including a longitudinally extending, open topped vessel having a mat member for supporting the user lying thereon. The mat member is provided with a multiplicity of openings for permitting the washing liquid to pass therethrough. A cover member defining an open space is rotatably secured to the vessel and is displaceable between an open position and a closed position where the cover member engages with the vessel such that the body of the user lying on the mat member is accommodated within the open space of the cover member. The cover member has a front opening such that, when the cover member is in the closed position, the neck of the user lying on the mat member is loosely fitted in the front opening with the head of the user being projected from the cover member. Upper and lower liquid injection nozzles are disposed above and below the mat member for injecting the washing liquid toward the user lying on the mat member.



Inventors:
Kitamura, Teruo (Hamamatsu-shi, JP)
Application Number:
09/875079
Publication Date:
10/04/2001
Filing Date:
06/07/2001
Assignee:
KITAMURA TERUO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61G7/00; A61H33/00; A61H35/00; (IPC1-7): A47K3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARENT FOX LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A device for washing a user with a washing liquid, comprising: a longitudinally extending, open topped vessel; a longitudinally extending mat member having front and rear ends and generally horizontally received in said vessel to define a lower space therebelow, said mat member having a longitudinal length sufficient for supporting said user lying thereon along the longitudinal direction thereof with the head of said user being placed near said front end thereof, said mat member being provided with a multiplicity of openings for permitting the washing liquid to pass therethrough; a cover member having a longitudinally extending top wall member, a pair of opposing front and rear wall members and a pair of opposing side wall members, said top wall, front wall, rear wall and side wall members being connected to define an upper space therebetween; said cover member being displaceable between an open position and a closed position where said cover member engages with said vessel such that the body of said user lying on said mat member is accommodated within said upper space of said cover member; said front wall member having a front opening such that, when said cover member is in said closed position, the neck of said user lying on said mat member is loosely fitted in said front opening with the head of said user being projected from said cover member; and upper and lower liquid injection means disposed within said upper and lower spaces, respectively, for injecting the washing liquid toward the user lying on said mat member.

2. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said upper and lower liquid injection means includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart injection nozzles.

3. A device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a hand shower for washing the head of said user lying on said mat member, said hand shower having a shower head connected to an end of a flexible washing liquid feed tube extending through and protruding from said vessel.

4. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cover member is formed of a foamed resin.

5. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vessel has a front detachable section at a location in front of said front wall of said cover member located in said closed position.

6. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cover member has a longitudinally extendible and shrinkable structure.

7. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said mat member includes generally rectangular frame means having a pair of opposing longitudinally extending side frames and a pair of opposing front and rear frames, and a net supported by said frame means for supporting said user thereon.

8. A device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said cover member is pivotally connected to said frame means.

9. A device as claimed in claim 8, wherein said cover member is pivotally connected to said rear frame.

10. A device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a pair of laterally spaced apart brackets secured to rear portions of said vessel and each provided with a vertically extending slot, a laterally extending rod inserted in and secured to desired position of said slots, a pair of extendible and retractable supporting arms each having one end rotatably secured about said rod and the other end fixed to rear portions of said cover member, so that said cover member is rotatable about said rod between said open and closed positions.

11. A device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a cover supporting frame member including a vertical rod extending from one corner of said vessel, a lateral rod extending horizontally from a top end of said vertical rod and terminating at the lateral center of said vessel, and a longitudinal rod extending horizontally from said terminal end of said lateral rod, wherein said cover member is longitudinally divided into halves each rotatably supported by said longitudinal rod.

12. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said top wall member and a pair of side wall members of said cover member form a smooth curved surface having a semicircular cross-section.

13. A device as claimed in claim 12, wherein said cover member is rotatable about an axis coinciding with the center of said smooth curved surface between said closed position and said open position where said cover member is received in said vessel.

14. A device as claimed in claim 13, further comprising a pair of drive gears provided adjacent longitudinal end portion of said cover plate, wherein said smooth curved surface has both longitudinal ends provided with threads which are meshed with said drive gears, so that said cover member is rotated by rotation of said drive gears.

15. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one of said side wall members of said cover member is provided with at least one side opening, wherein said side opening is covered with a pair of first and second flexible sheets overlapping each other, wherein each of said first and second flexible sheets has a periphery supported by an endless resilient string which in turn is supported with a tension by a plurality of pins fixed along an edge portion of said side opening, so that an assisting person can insert an arm of said person through the overlapping portion of said first and second flexible sheets to touch the user lying on said mat member within said washing chamber even when said cover member is in said closed position.

16. A device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising means for supporting and maintaining a leg of said user at an elevated position to facilitate the flow of the blood of said user.

17. A device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising first pump means to be connected to a water source for increasing the pressure of water supplied thereto, first controlling means connected to said first pump means for controlling the pressure of the water fed from said first pump means, second pump means to be connected to a hot water source for increasing the pressure of hot water supplied thereto, second controlling means connected to said second pump means for controlling the pressure of the hot water fed from said second pump means, a mixer connected to said first and second controlling means for mixing the water having a controlled pressure with the hot water having a controlled pressure to obtain warm water having a predetermined temperature, and pipe means for feeding the warm water having the predetermined temperature to said upper and lower nozzles as said washing liquid.

18. A device as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a high temperature sensor connected to said pipe means for detecting the temperature of the warm water, and a shut off valve disposed in said pipe means and coupled to said high temperature sensor for stopping the passage of the warm water therethrough when the temperature detected by said high temperature sensor exceeds a predetermined temperature.

19. A device as claimed in claim 18, further comprising a low temperature sensor connected to said pipe means at a position downstream of said high temperature sensor for detecting the temperature of the warm water, and a switching valve disposed in said pipe means and coupled to said low temperature sensor for directing the passage of the warm water to said plurality of nozzles when the temperature detected by said low temperature sensor is not lower than a predetermined temperature and to a discharge side when the temperature detected by said low temperature sensor is below said predetermined temperature.

20. A device as claimed in claim 17, further comprising an automatic discharging valve connected to said main tube and adapted to automatically operate to release the warm water from said main tube when the pressure within said main tube is below a predetermined pressure.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to a device for washing a human body (user) and, more specifically, to a body washer adapted to inject a washing liquid such as warm water through a plurality of nozzles toward the user lying on a mat of the washer.

[0002] JP-A-8-22303 discloses a body washer as shown in FIGS. 23 and 24. In FIGS. 23 and 24, designated generally as 1 is a body washer including a washing chamber 5 made of a soft material such as air bags 7, and a support 2 for supporting the washing chamber 5 thereon. The support 2 is composed of a longitudinally extending, rectangular, hard plastic or metal plate 3 and height adjustable legs 4. The air chamber 5 is composed of a mat for supporting a user 15 thereon and a longitudinally extending cover 6 having a U-shaped cross-section. The cover 6 has a plurality of windows 8 each covered with a flexible transparent sheet having a slit 9 through which an assisting person can insert a hand for touching the user 15. The front and rear openings of the cover 6 are each covered with a curtain (not shown). Secured to a ceiling portion of the cover 6 is a flexible -tube 12 provided with a plurality of injection nozzles 13. The tube 12 longitudinally extends inside the cover 6 and is connected to a washing liquid source through a pump (not shown). Designated as 10 is a fastener along which the cover 6 may be divided into halves. The divided halves can be opened as shown by the two-dotted line in FIG. 24, so that the interior surfaces of the cover can be easily cleaned and disinfected after use.

[0003] In use, the fastener 10 is closed to form the washing chamber 5 as shown in FIG. 23. The user 15 is placed on the mat 11 supported on the plate 3 of the support 2. The washing liquid is then injected downward through the nozzles 13 for washing the user 15.

[0004] The above device has merits that the cover 6 can be folded after deaeration of the air bags 7 and that the washing can be carried out in safe manner, but suffers from the following defects. First, it is necessary to use a specifically designed stretcher to place the user 15 in the washing chamber 5. Further, since the longitudinally extending stretcher on which the user 15 lies is introduced into the washing chamber 5 through the opening at one longitudinal end thereof, the washer 1 cannot be used in a small room. Second, since the washing liquid is showered only downward, it is necessary to turn the user 15 upside down in order to wash both sides of the body. Third, cleaning of the interior of the washing chamber 5 requires a large space so as to spread the cover 6 after the opening of the fastener 10. Fourth, the temperature and the flow rate of the warm water discharged from the nozzles 13 are apt to change when the water pressure of the city water is varied.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a washing device which is devoid of the above-described defects of the conventional washer.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is to provide a washing device which requires only a small installation space.

[0007] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a washing device of the above-mentioned type, which can efficiently wash a user within a short period of time.

[0008] There is provided in accordance with the present invention a device for washing a user with a washing liquid, comprising:

[0009] a longitudinally extending, open topped vessel;

[0010] a longitudinally extending mat member having front and rear ends and generally horizontally received in said vessel to define a lower space therebelow, said mat member having a longitudinal length sufficient for supporting said user lying thereon along the longitudinal direction thereof with the head of said user being placed near said front end thereof, said mat member being provided with a multiplicity of openings for permitting the washing liquid to pass therethrough;

[0011] a cover member having a longitudinally extending top wall member, a pair of opposing front and rear wall members and a pair of opposing side wall members, said top wall, front wall, rear wall and side wall members being connected to define an upper space therebetween;

[0012] said cover member being displaceable between an open position and a closed position where said cover member engages with said vessel such that the body of said user lying on said mat member is accommodated within said upper space of said cover member;

[0013] said front wall member having a front opening such that, when said cover member is in said closed position, the neck of said user lying on said mat member is loosely fitted in said front opening with the head of said user being projected from said cover member; and

[0014] upper and lower liquid injection means disposed within said upper and lower spaces, respectively, for injecting the washing liquid toward said user lying on said mat member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention which follows, when considered in light of the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0016] FIG. 1 is an elevational view diagrammatically showing one embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the body washer of FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-III in FIG. 2;

[0019] FIG. 4 is a plan view of a frame constituting a mat member of the body washer of FIG. 1;

[0020] FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view showing a connection structure of a cover member and the mat of the body washer of FIG. 1;

[0021] FIG. 6 is a plan view showing the connection structure of FIG. 5;

[0022] FIG. 7 is an enlarged elevational view of a front portion of a vessel of the body washer of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 8 is a plan view of FIG. 7;

[0024] FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of a side opening of the body washer of FIG. 1 as seen from inside thereof;

[0025] FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along the line X-X in FIG. 9;

[0026] FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a pipe connection arrangement of the body washer of FIG. 1;

[0027] FIG. 12 is an elevational view diagrammatically showing a second embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0028] FIG. 13 is a front view of the body washer of FIG. 12;

[0029] FIG. 14 is a back view of the body washer of FIG. 12;

[0030] FIG. 15 is a perspective view diagrammatically showing a third embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 16 illustrates a state of the body washer of FIG. 15 in which a cover is open;

[0032] FIG. 17 is a perspective view showing a mat of the body washer of FIG. 15;

[0033] FIG. 18 is a perspective view showing a cover of the body washer of FIG. 15;

[0034] FIG. 19 is a perspective view diagrammatically showing a mat and a cover of a fourth embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 20 is a perspective view diagrammatically showing a fifth embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0036] FIG. 21 is a fragmentary elevational view of a state of the body washer of FIG. 20 in which a cover is open;

[0037] FIG. 22 is a perspective view diagrammatically showing a sixth embodiment of a body washer according to the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 23 is a perspective view diagrammatically showing a known body washer with a support being deleted; and

[0039] FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional, front elevational view of the body washer of FIG. 23.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0040] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, designated generally as 20 is a washing device for washing a user, such as patient, 15. The washing device 20 includes a longitudinally extending, open topped vessel 21 and a longitudinally extending mat member 24 having front and rear ends and generally horizontally received in the vessel 21 to define a lower space therebelow. The mat member 24 has a longitudinal length sufficient for supporting the user 15 lying thereon along the longitudinal direction thereof with the head of the user 15 being placed near the front end thereof and is provided with a multiplicity of openings for permitting a washing liquid to pass therethrough.

[0041] Designated as 29 is a cover member having a longitudinally extending top wall, a pair of opposing front and rear walls and a pair of opposing side walls. The top wall, front wall, rear wall and side walls are connected to define an upper space therewithin. The cover member 29 is displaceable between an open position as shown by the two-dotted line in FIGS. 1 and 2 and a closed position where the cover member 29 engages with the vessel 21 such that the body of the user 15 lying on the mat member 24 is accommodated within the upper space of the cover member 29.

[0042] The front wall of the cover member 29 has a front opening 30 such that, when the cover member 29 is in the closed position, the neck of the user 15 lying on the mat member 24 is loosely fitted in the front opening 30 with the head of the user 15 being projected from the cover member 29. Designated as 34 is a front cover such as a curtain to close the gap of the front opening 30 surrounding the neck of the user 15.

[0043] Upper liquid injection means including a pipe 47 and a plurality of nozzles 48 is disposed within the upper space of the cover member 29, while lower liquid injection means including a pipe 45 and a plurality of nozzles 46 is disposed within the lower space of the vessel 21, for injecting the washing liquid toward the user 15 lying on the mat member 24. The pipe 47 is connected to a washing liquid feed hose 51 through a flexible pipe 49, while pipe 45 is directly connected to the feed hose 51.

[0044] The vessel 21 is provided with a liquid discharging port 28 at a bottom thereof for discharging the used washing liquid from the vessel 21. Designated as 27 are casters secured to the underside of the vessel 21 so that the wheeled washer 20 is easily movable in any desired direction. Each of the vessel 21 and the cover member 29 is desirably formed of a light weight and high mechanical strength material such as a foamed resin, e.g. a foamed urethane resin.

[0045] A hand shower 50 for washing the head of the user 15 lying on the member 24 is preferably provided. The hand shower 50 has a shower head 50b connected to an end of a flexible washing liquid feed tube 50a extending through the vessel 21. The feed tube 50a is connected to the feed pipe 45 and may be extended from and retracted in the vessel 21. The hand shower 50 is provided with a switching valve (not shown) to stop and permit the feed of the washing liquid.

[0046] The vessel 21 has a front detachable section 21b at a location in front of the front wall of the cover member 29 located in the closed position. FIG. 7 depicts the front section 21b detached from a main section 21a of the vessel 21. The front section 21b has a halved bowl-like shape and is provided with a groove 23 in the outer periphery thereof. The groove 23 is engageable with an arcuate front edge 22 (FIG. 2) of a main body 21a of the vessel 21 so that the front section 21b is detachably secured thereto. As shown in FIG. 8, the front section 21b of the vessel 21 has a concave portion 52 for receiving the shower head 50b of the hand shower 50. During transportation or non-use stage, the front section 21 can be thus detached from the main section 21a.

[0047] One preferred structure for rotatably securing the cover member 29 to the vessel 21 will be next described with reference to FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 10, the mat member 24 includes generally rectangular frame means 25 having a pair of opposing longitudinally extending side frames and a pair of opposing front frame and rear frame 25a, and a net 26 supported by the frame means 25 for supporting the user 15 thereon. The mat member 24 is generally horizontally received in the vessel 21. As shown in FIG. 2, the vessel 21 has a plurality of stays 36 at upper portions of the inside wall on both sides thereof. Each of the stays 36 has a U-shaped groove 36a for fitting engagement with the side frame so that the stays 36 support the frame means 25 thereon. Thus, the mat member 24 is detachably mounted in the vessel 21. The frame means 25 of the mat member 24 when engaged by the stays 36 also serves to function as a reinforcing member for the vessel 21. As shown in FIG. 4, the front frame of the frame means 25 is provided with a seat 37 made of a metal on which a head rest 38 (FIG. 2) is secured for supporting the head of the user 15 thereon.

[0048] A pair of brackets 39 (FIG. 4) are welded to the rear frame 25a of the frame means 25 for rotatably supporting the cover member 29. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a U-shaped reinforcing pipe 40 having attaching members 41 is fixed to an inside wall of the covering member 29 with screws fitted into holes of the attaching members 41. A pair of brackets 42 each provided with an attaching member 41 are welded to the reinforcing pipe 40. The attaching member 41 of each of the bracket 42 is fixed with screws to a rear inside wall of the cover member 29. The brackets 42 of the reinforcing pipe 40 are connected through shafts or pins 43 to the brackets 39 of the frame means 25, so that the cover member 29 is rotatably connected to the mat member 24.

[0049] As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, each of the side walls of the cover member 29 is provided with two side openings 31 so that an assisting person can insert an arm therethrough to touch the user 15 lying on the mat member 24 when the cover member 29 is in the closed position. Each of the side openings is covered with a cover sheet member 32. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 10, the cover sheet member 32 includes a pair of upper and lower flexible sheets 32-1 and 32-2 overlapping each other at a middle portion of the side opening 31. Each of the upper and lower flexible sheets 32-1 and 32-2 has a periphery supported by an endless resilient string, such as a rubber string, 33 (33a and 33b) which in turn is supported with a tension by four pins (35a, 35a, 35c and 35c; and 35b, 35b, 35d and 35d) fixed to the side wall of the cover member 29 along an edge portion of the side opening 31 such that the lower edge 32-1a of the upper flexible sheet 32-1 is located outside while the upper edge 32-2a of the lower flexible sheet 32-2 is located inside. As a result of the above-construction, the assisting person can insert an arm 16 thereof through the overlapping portion of the flexible sheets 32-1 and 32-2 as shown by the two-dotted line in FIG. 10, while minimizing the gap around the arm 16, i.e. minimizing the leakage of steam or water out of the washer.

[0050] The washing liquid feed hose 51 is connected to a washing liquid supplying device 55 as shown in FIG. 11. A first pump 57 is connected to a hot water source (boiler) 56 for increasing the pressure of hot water supplied thereto to a predetermined pressure of, for example, above 3.0 kg/cm2, while a second pump 58 is connected to a water source for increasing the pressure of water supplied thereto to, for example, above 3 kg/cm2. The pumps 57 and 58 are connected to pressure controlling valves 59 and 60, respectively, for controlling the pressure of the hot water fed from the first pump 57 and the pressure of the water fed from the second pump 58, respectively, to a predetermined pressure of, for example, 2.5 kg/cm2. First and second flow switches 57a and 58a are interposed between the first pump 57 and the pressure controlling valve 59 and between the second pump 58 and the pressure controlling valve 60, respectively, and are operable to stop respective pumps 57 and 58 when the flow rate of the water and hot water passing therethrough is below a predetermined value.

[0051] Designated as 61 is a mixer connected to the pressure controlling valves 59 and 60 for mixing the water having a controlled pressure with the hot water having a controlled pressure in a suitable mixing ratio to obtain warm water having a predetermined temperature of, for example, about 43° C. The mixing ratio can be manually set as desired. The warm water is then fed through the feed pipe 64 to the feed hose 51.

[0052] A high temperature sensor 62 and a shut off valve (solenoid valve) 63 are disposed in the feed pipe 64. The sensor 62 is adapted for detecting the temperature of the warm water discharged from the mixer 61. When the temperature of the warm water detected by the sensor 62 exceeds a predetermined maximum value, for example 45° C., the shut off valve 63 electrically coupled to the sensor 62 is operated for stopping the passage of the warm water therethrough.

[0053] Switching valves 65, 66 and 67 are connected in parallel to the feed pipe 64. The valve 65 is connected to the feed hose 51. The valves 66 and 67 have outlet sides connected through mixers 66a and 67a of an ejector type to the feed hose 51. The mixers 66a and 67a have respective suction ports connected to a sterilizing liquid tank 70 and a body shampoo tank 71 through suction hoses 68 and 69, respectively. When a desired one of the valves 66 and 67 is opened, the desired one of the sterilizing liquid and the shampoo is mixed with the warm water in the mixer 66a or 67a and the mixture is fed through the feed hose 51. Thus, warm water with or without the shampoo or sterilizing liquid is fed through the feed hose 51 and the pipes 45 and 47 and injected through the nozzles 46 and 48. In this case, the hand shower 50 can be used for washing the hair of the user 15 by opening the shower valve (not shown). The used washing liquid after washing the body and hair of the user 15 is collected in the bottom of the vessel 21 and discharged through the port 26.

[0054] A low temperature sensor 72 and a switching valve 73 are disposed in the feed hose 51. The sensor 72 is adapted to detect the temperature of the warm water passing therethrough. When the temperature of the warm water in the sensor 72 is below a predetermined minimum value, for example 37° C., the valve 73 electrically coupled to the sensor 73 is operated for switching the passage of the warm water from feed hose 51 to a discharge side. When the temperature is not lower than the minimum value, the switching valve 73 directs the warm water toward the feed hose 51.

[0055] An automatic discharging valve 75 of a spring-biased type is connected to the feed hose 51 to release the warm water therefrom when the pressure therewithin is below a predetermined pressure. The automatic discharging valve 75 is closed by the pressure generated in the feed hose 51 when the switching valves are so shifted as to feed the warm water from the feed pipe 64 to the feed hose 51, thereby permitting the warm water to be injected through the nozzles 46 and 48. When the pressure within the feed hose 51 is lowered to atmospheric pressure due to the close of the manual switching valve 65 or the shifting of the switching valve 73 to the discharge side, the automatic discharging valve 75 opens so that the warm water within the feed hose 51 and feed pipes 45 and 47 is discharged therefrom through a drain pipe, since the nozzles 46 and 48 are in fluid communication with the atmosphere. Thus, since the retaining of the water in the feed hose 51 and the pipes 45 and 47 is prevented during the non-operating stage, the liquid initially injected from the nozzles 46 and 48 is not the water cooled during the retaining in the feed hose 51 but is warm water freshly supplied through the feed pipes 64.

[0056] FIGS. 12 through 14 illustrate a second embodiment of a body washer 80 according to the present invention. The body washer 80 has a longitudinally extending vessel-like frame 81 made of a hard plastic material. A mat member 83 having a net is provided at the top opening of the frame 81 for supporting a user 15 lying thereon. A shallow open ended vessel 82 is disposed in the frame 81 for collecting a washing liquid used for washing the user 15.

[0057] Disposed below the vessel 82 in the frame 81 is a washing liquid feeding device 84 including pumps, valves and mixers and connected to a warm water feed pipe 85. The washing liquid containing warm water and, optionally, a shampoo liquid or a sterilizing liquid is fed to feed pipes 86 and 86b and injected upward and downward through nozzles 87, 91 and 91a. Designated as 88 is a hand shower connected to the feed pipe 86 through a manual switching valve (not shown).

[0058] Mounted on the vessel-like frame 81 is a cover supporting frame member 90 including a vertical cylindrical rod 90a extending from one corner of the vessel-like frame 81, a lateral cylindrical rod 90b extending horizontally from a top end of the vertical rod 50a and terminating at the lateral center of the vessel-like frame 81, and a longitudinal cylindrical rod 90c extending horizontally from the terminal end of the lateral rod 90b. The above-mentioned feed pipe 86b is connected to the cylindrical rod 90a and the nozzles 91 and 91a are attached to the longitudinal rod 90c. The nozzle 91a is provided with a manual switching valve 92. The washing liquid feeding device 84 may be replaced by the feeding device 55 described in the above first embodiment.

[0059] A cover member 95 made of a transparent hard plastic is rotatably supported by the supporting frame member 90. The cover member 95 is longitudinally divided into halves 95a and 95b each rotatably supported by the longitudinal rod 90c. Each of the halves 95a and 95b has a front wall 95c which defines a front opening 96 when positioned in a closed state as shown in FIG. 13. The neck of the user 15 is loosely fitted into the front opening 96. The rear end of each of the halves 95a and 95b opens and is provided with a water-repellent curtain 97.

[0060] Each side of the cover member 95 is provided with side openings 98 each covered with a curtain 99 made of a plurality of foamed urethane resin thin plates detachably secured at an upper edge portion of the side opening 98 and inwardly rotatable independently from each other. An assisting person can touch the user 15 by inserting a hand thereof through the curtain 99.

[0061] A leg supporting device 100 is provided for supporting and maintaining a leg of the user 15 at an elevated position to facilitate the flow of the blood of the user 15. The supporting device 100 includes a vertical supporting rod secured to the vessel-like frame 81 and having an upper bent portion to which rollers 103 is secured. A rope 102 having one end provided with a leg holder 104 is wound around the rollers 103 and guide rollers 105. The other free end of the rope 102 can be fixed to a lower portion of the vertical supporting rod. Thus, by drawing the rope 102 downward after engagement of a leg of the user 15 with the holder 104, the leg is hoisted up as shown in FIG. 12. The reference numeral 106 designates a caster for displacing the washer and 107 designates a handle for use in displacing the washer.

[0062] In the above second embodiment, the halves 95a and 95b of the cover member 95 may be opened by rotating same as shown by the arrow in FIG. 13. Thus, it is possible to place the user 15 on the mat member 83 from any desired side of the washer. After placing the user 15 on the mat member 83, the cover member 95 is closed and the washing liquid feed device 84 is operated to inject the washing liquid toward the user 15.

[0063] FIGS. 15-18 illustrate a third embodiment of a body washer 110 according to the present invention. The body washer 110 has a wheeled support 111 on which a longitudinally extending semicylindrical vessel 114 made of a hard plastic material is supported by supporting arms 113 such that the height thereof can be adjusted. The support 111 is provided with four wheels 112 so that the washer 110 can be easily displaced. A mat member 115 having a net is provided at the top opening of the vessel 114 for supporting a user 15 lying thereon. Front and rear ends of the vessel 114 are closed with front and rear walls 114a and 114b.

[0064] The mat member 115 has a front portion 115a integrally connected to an upper part of the vessel 114 with the remainder portion thereof being freed from the vessel 114 by forming a slit 116 around the periphery thereof. A pair of front and rear, semicircular guide grooves 117 and 118 are formed in the vessel 114. A cover member 120 made of a transparent hard plastic material and having a smooth curved semicircular surface is rotatably secured to the vessel 114 such that the cover member 120 can rotate about a longitudinal axis coinciding with the center axis of the semicircular guide grooves 117 and 118 between a closed position as shown in FIG. 15 and an open position where the cover member 120 is received in the vessel 114.

[0065] Namely, as shown in FIG. 18, the cover member 120 has a body portion 120a of semicylindrical shape and a front wall 120b provided with a front opening 121. The neck of the user 15 is loosely fitted into the front opening 121. The cover member 120, when rotated, is fitted into the slit 116 with the front and rear ends thereof being engaged with the guide grooves 117 and 118 preferably through rollers or balls (not shown) received in the grooves 117 and 118. The rear end of the cover member 120 is provided with a reinforcing pillar 122 to which a crank handle 123 is fixed at the center thereof. The crank handle is rotatably received in both a bracket 124 formed on a rear end of the mat member 115 and a bracket 125 formed on a rear end of the vessel 114 (FIG. 17) so that the rear free end of the mat member 115 is supported by the rear wall 114b of the vessel 114 through the crank handle 123. Each side of the cover member 120 is provided with side openings 126 each covered with a cover sheet member 32 similar to the first embodiment. An assisting person can touch the user 15 by inserting a hand thereof through the cover sheet member 32. Designated as 88 is a hand shower for washing the hair of the user 15. Although not shown, the body washer is provided with a washing liquid feed device, injection nozzles, etc. similar to those of the first embodiment.

[0066] In the above third embodiment, the cover member 120 may be opened by rotating the crank handle 123. In a fully opened state, the cover member 120 is fully received in the vessel 114, so that it is possible to place the user 15 on the mat member 115 from any desired side of the washer 110. After placing the user 15 on the mat member 115, the cover member 120 is closed as shown in FIG. 15 and the washing liquid feed device is operated to inject the washing liquid toward the user 15.

[0067] FIG. 19 depicts a fourth embodiment of the body washer according to the present invention. In FIG. 19, the same reference numerals as those in FIGS. 15-18 designate similar component parts. The fourth embodiment is similar to the third embodiment but differs therefrom in a structure for the rotation of the cover member 120. Front and rear ends of the outer periphery of the cover plate 120 are provided with driven gears 127 which are meshed with a pair of small diameter drive gears 129 secured to a transmission shaft 128 having a crank handle 130. By rotating the handle 130, the drive gears 129 rotates so that the cover member 120 is rotated between the closed position and open position. The crank handle 130 may be replaced by a motor.

[0068] FIGS. 20 and 21 illustrate a fifth embodiment of a body washer 134 according to the present invention. Similar to the second embodiment, the body washer 134 has a longitudinally extending vessel-like frame 135 and a mat member 83 for supporting a user 15 lying thereon. A pair of laterally spaced apart brackets 136 are fixedly secured to rear portions of the vessel-like frame 135. Each of the brackets 136 is provided with a vertically extending slot 137 into which a laterally extending rod or pin 138 is inserted. A pair of extendible and retractable supporting arms 139 have an end portions rotatably secured about respective pins 138. The other end of each supporting arm 139 is fixed to rear portion of the cover member 140, so that the cover member 140 is rotatable about the pin 138 between an open position as shown in FIG. 21 and a closed position as shown in FIG. 20.

[0069] The supporting arm 139 is composed of a large diameter section 139a whose base portion is connected to the pin 138 and a small diameter section 139b having one end slidably fitted into the large diameter section 139a so that the length of the supporting arm 139 can be adjusted. The other end of the small diameter section 139b is connected to a rear end of a cover member 140 made of a transparent hard plastic material and having a semicircular cross-section. Similar to the third embodiment, side openings 126 each provided with a cover sheet member 32 are formed on both sides of the cover member 140. Although not shown, the body washer 134 is provided with a washing liquid feed device, injection nozzles, etc. similar to those of the first embodiment.

[0070] In the above fifth embodiment, the cover member 140 may be opened when rotated in the direction A as shown in FIG. 21. In a fully opened state, it is possible to place the user 15 on the mat member 83 from front or either side of the washer 134. After placing the user 15 on the mat member 83, the cover member 140 is closed as shown in FIG. 20 and the washing liquid feed device is operated to inject the washing liquid toward the user 15. The washer 134 can be used in a room having a low ceiling or a narrow room. In the former room, the pin 138 is lowered and the supporting arm 139 is extended as illustrated by the two-dotted line in FIG. 21. In the latter room, the pin 138 is adjusted at a high position and the supporting arm 139 is retracted as shown by the solid line in FIG. 21.

[0071] FIG. 22 illustrates a sixth embodiment of a body washer 142 according to the present invention. Similar to the second and fifth embodiments, the body washer 142 has a longitudinally extending vessel-like frame 143 and a mat member 83 for supporting a user 15 lying thereon. A cover member 146 is rotatably secured to the frame 143. Namely, the vessel-like frame 143 has a rear end portion provided with a bracket 144. A pin 145 is received in the bracket 144. A rear end portion of the cover member 146 is rotatably connected to the pin 145. The cover member 146 is composed of a front, large diameter portion 146b and a rear, small diameter portion 146a slidably fitted in the large diameter portion 146b. Thus, the cover member 146 is longitudinally extendible (as shown by the solid line) and shrinkable (as shown by the two-dotted line).

[0072] In the above sixth embodiment, the cover member 146 may be opened when rotated in the direction A, while sliding the front portion 146b relative to the rear portion 146a. In a fully opened state, it is possible to place the user 15 on the mat member 83 from front or either side of the washer 134. Further, since the cover member 146 is shrinkable, the washer 142 can be used in a room having a low ceiling. After placing the user 15 on the mat member 83, the cover member 146 is closed, while being extended. The washing liquid feed device is operated to inject the washing liquid toward the user 15.

[0073] The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all the changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.