Title:
Grab handle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A grab handle attached to a chair, said grab handle comprising a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid. The grab handle may be used for washing and/or drying a person sitting in the chair, for example.



Inventors:
Eisenberg, David (Jerusalem, IL)
Application Number:
10/412223
Publication Date:
10/07/2004
Filing Date:
04/14/2003
Assignee:
EISENBERG DAVID
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/024; A61H9/00; A61H33/00; (IPC1-7): A47K3/024
View Patent Images:
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20070107116Training potty linerMay, 2007Zamberlan et al.
20050223482Medical apparatus for intestinal and vaginal treatmentsOctober, 2005Colombi
20080120771Swimming pool cover assemblyMay, 2008Rayner
20040034924Folding sink assemblyFebruary, 2004Underbrink et al.
20040231045Splash protector for bathtub/shower stall with display deviceNovember, 2004Carter
20050108817Collapsable spa enclosureMay, 2005Wilson et al.



Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dekel Patent Ltd. (Rehovot, IL)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. Apparatus comprising: a grab handle attached to a bathing device, said grab handle comprising a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said bathing device comprises a seat and a backrest, said backrest being bounded by planes on both sides thereof, and said fluid outlet is arranged with respect to said seat and said backrest to direct a fluid to flow therefrom to at least one of said seat and said backrest.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said grab handle is pivoted to said bathing device about a pivot axis extending between said planes, said grab handle comprising a first portion that extends generally along said pivot axis, a second portion that extends from said first portion generally transverse to said pivot axis, and a third portion that extends from said second portion generally parallel to said first portion, said grab handle comprising an angular position wherein said third portion is positioned above said seat and in front of said backrest and another angular position wherein said third portion is positioned above said backrest.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said grab handle is lockable at at least one angular position.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said first portion of said grab handle comprises a fluid connector that connects to a complementary fluid connector positioned on said pivot axis.

6. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said fluid connector is rotationally connected to said complementary fluid connector.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said grab handle comprises an extension handle that extends from said grab handle.

8. Apparatus according to claim 7, wherein said extension handle comprises a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid.

9. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said grab handle is connected to a drive system, operative to rotate said grab handle about said pivot axis.

10. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein said drive system cooperates with a sensor to adjust operation of said grab handle.

11. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said fluid outlet is rotatable.

12. A bathing device comprising: a seat and a backrest, said backrest being bounded by planes on both sides thereof; and a grab handle pivoted to said bathing device about a pivot axis extending between said planes, said grab handle comprising a first portion that extends generally along said pivot axis, a second portion that extends from said first portion generally transverse to said pivot axis, and a third portion that extends from said second portion generally parallel to said first portion, said grab handle comprising an angular position wherein said third portion is positioned above said seat and in front of said backrest and another angular position wherein said third portion is positioned above said backrest.

13. The bathing device according to claim 12, further comprising a pair of said grab handles pivoted to said bathing device on opposite sides of a centerline of said bathing device.

14. The bathing device according to claim 12, wherein said grab handle comprises a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid.

15. The bathing device according to claim 14, wherein said fluid outlet is arranged with respect to said seat and said backrest to direct a fluid to flow therefrom to at least one of said seat and said backrest.

16. The bathing device according to claim 14, wherein said first portion of said grab handle comprises a fluid connector that connects to a complementary fluid connector positioned on said pivot axis.

17. The bathing device according to claim 16, wherein said fluid connector is rotationally connected to said complementary fluid connector.

18. The bathing device according to claim 12, wherein said grab handle comprises an extension handle that extends from said grab handle.

19. The bathing device according to claim 12, wherein said extension handle comprises a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid.

20. The bathing device according to claim 12, wherein said grab handle is lockable at at least one angular position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to grab bars or handles, and particularly to a grab bar which may be useful for performing bathing or other healthcare related activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Grab bars or grab handles, the terms being used interchangeably throughout, are known for use in assisting invalids or handicapped persons, such as in getting into and out of bathtubs, or for switching between sitting and standing positions.

[0003] For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,131 to Scarborough, et al. describes a portable folding grab bar device for aiding a person to stand from a seated position having a base, a support column that pivots with respect to the base, a pivot mechanism, and a handle that the user grabs to rise from a seated position. The support column pivots with respect to the base to enhance portability. This is not a device for a chair, however, rather the base is designed for the user to stand upon while the handle is grasped. The user's own body weight is used to stabilize the device in use.

[0004] U.S. Pat. 6,007,082 to Watwood, et al. describes a wheelchair driver mountable to a horizontal frame extension of a wheelchair between a wheel and the wheelchair frame. The driver is mounted directly to a spindle sleeve fastened to the horizontal frame extension, which provides a race for the driver to run upon. Grab handles are provided with the wheelchair driver, positioned at lower sides of the wheelchair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention seeks to provide an improved grab bar for a chair, as is described hereinbelow.

[0006] There is thus provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention apparatus comprising a grab handle attached to a bathing device, the grab handle comprising a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid.

[0007] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the bathing device comprises a seat and a backrest, the backrest being bounded by planes on both sides thereof, and the fluid outlet is arranged with respect to the seat and the backrest to direct a fluid to flow therefrom to at least one of the seat and the backrest.

[0008] Further in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the grab handle is pivoted to the bathing device about a pivot axis extending between the planes, the grab handle comprising a first portion that extends generally along the pivot axis, a second portion that extends from the first portion generally transverse to the pivot axis, and a third portion that extends from the second portion generally parallel to the first portion, the grab handle comprising an angular position wherein the third portion is positioned above the seat and in front of the backrest and another angular position wherein the third portion is positioned above the backrest.

[0009] Still further in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the grab handle is lockable at one or more angular positions.

[0010] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the first portion of the grab handle comprises a fluid connector that connects to a complementary fluid connector positioned on the pivot axis. The fluid connector may be rotationally connected to the complementary fluid connector.

[0011] Further in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the grab handle comprises an extension handle that extends from the grab handle. The extension handle may comprise a fluid passageway and a fluid outlet for flow therethrough of a fluid. Any kind of fluid may be used for the grab handle, such as but not limited to, water, washing liquid (e.g., liquid soap, aromatherapy substances, bathing oils, etc.) or air (e.g., heated or warm air for drying purposes).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a simplified illustration of a chair with a grab handle, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a simplified illustration of the grab handle of FIG. 1 in different angular positions, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a simplified illustration of the grab handle of FIG. 1, showing a fluid passageway and fluid outlets, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

[0016] FIG. 4 is a simplified illustration of the grab handle of FIG. 1, including an extension handle, constructed and operative in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which illustrates a chair 10, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0018] Chair 10 may comprise a seat 12, backrest 14, headrest 16 and armrests 18. Backrest 14 is bounded by planes 14A and 14B on both sides thereof. Chair 10 may be reclined and/or folded. For example, chair 10 may be provided with a rearwardly extending guide bar 15, which is constrained to slide in a channel 17 formed in an upright backpanel 19. Chair 10 may be provided with a wheel 21 attached to an underside of seat 12. In this manner, chair 10 may be reclined by sliding guide bar 15 down channel 17, as indicated by an arrow 23, as wheel 21 rolls forward, as indicated by an arrow 25. It is appreciated that this is merely one example of a reclining arrangement for chair 10, but the invention is not limited to this arrangement, and many other types of reclining or folding arrangements are possible within the scope of the invention.

[0019] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, chair 10 may comprise a grab handle 20. Grab handle 20 may be pivoted to chair 10 about a pivot axis 22 extending between planes 14A and 14B, as indicated by curved arrow 27. Pivot axis 22 may be at any position. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, grab handle 20 may be pivoted at a position between backrest 14 and headrest 16, such as but not limited to, at a point above or aligned with the top of backrest 14 below headrest 16. Grab handle 20 may comprise a first portion 24 that extends generally along pivot axis 22, a second portion 26 that extends from first portion 24 generally transverse to pivot axis 22, and a third portion 28 that extends from second portion 26 generally parallel to first portion 24.

[0020] FIG. I illustrates grab handle 20 in an angular position wherein third portion 28 is swung above backrest 14, and above headrest 16, too. FIG. 2 illustrates swinging grab handle 20 about pivot axis 22 downwards in the direction of an arrow 29. FIG. 3 illustrates another angular position of grab handle 20, wherein third portion 28 is positioned above seat 12 and in front of backrest 14. Thus, grab handle 20 may be positioned at any angular position about pivot axis 22 and may be locked in place at any of these positions, such as by pawls, ratchets or any other suitable device 30 (FIG. 2).

[0021] Grab handle 20 may be one continuous piece or may comprise individual handles with a separation therebetween. Grab handle 20 may be of any suitable size or shape (e.g., different possible configurations are shown in FIGS. I and 3) Grab handle 20 may extend outwards sufficiently for pivoting over a person 40 seated in chair 10, as seen in FIG. 4.

[0022] Grab handle 20 has been described hereinabove in association with chair 10. In accordance with other embodiments of the present invention, grab handle 20 may be incorporated in any kind of massage and/or bathing environment. For example, grab handle 20 may be installed in a chair, bath tub, shower stall, sauna, Jacuzzi, whirlpool bath, swimming pool and the like. All of the aforementioned items, including the chair, are referred to as a “bathing device” throughout the specification and claims. Grab handle 20 may be, for example, incorporated in a massage and bathing system, such as that described in U.S. provisional patent application 60/384,848, copending and of the same inventor.

[0023] Grab handle 20 may be swung down to a position in front of the person 40 for grasping and for protection, such as during washing and drying. Grab handle 20 does not interfere with healthcare related activities. Moreover, grab handle 20 may participate in the healthcare related activities, such as bathing and drying a person, as is now described.

[0024] Reference is now made particularly to FIG. 3. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, grab handle 20 may comprise one or more fluid passageways 42 in fluid communication with one or more fluid outlets 44 at any position along grab handle 20. The first portion 24 of grab handle 24 may comprise a fluid connector 46 that connects to a complementary fluid connector 48 positioned on pivot axis 22. Fluid connector 46 is preferably rotationally connected to complementary fluid connector 48 so as to facilitate rotation of grab handle 20 about pivot axis 22. Any kind of fluid, such as but not limited to, water, washing liquid (e.g., liquid soap, aromatherapy substances, bathing oils, etc.) or air (e.g., heated or warm air for drying purposes), may be introduced from a suitable source, canister or reservoir (not shown) and flow to grab handle 20, such as through a manifold 50 via complementary fluid connector 48 and fluid connector 46. The fluid flow is not affected by the position of grab handle 20, or if used with chair 10, the reclined, folded or non-reclined, non-folded position of chair 10.

[0025] Fluid outlets 44 may be rotatable such that fluid flowing therefrom may be directed towards the person 40 at any angular position of grab handle 20.

[0026] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, as seen in a simplified manner in FIG. 1, grab handle 20 may be connected to a drive system 60, which may rotate grab handle 20 to any angular position in accordance with any pattern or other user-defined scheme. For example, drive system 60 may automatically scan over any desired body portion to deliver water, soap, aromatherapy substances, drying air, etc. Drive system 60 may comprise one or more sensors 62, such as but not limited to, position sensors, accelerometers, limit switches, proximity sensors, biosensors and the like, which may be mounted in or on grab handle 20 and/or chair 10 and/or the user. Drive system 60 together with sensors 62 may be used as a closed loop servo-system to adjust the position of grab handle 20 and adjust the amount of water, soap, aromatherapy substances, drying air, etc.

[0027] Reference is now made to FIG. 4. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, an extension handle 52 may be provided that extends from grab handle 20. Extension handle 52, which may be flexible and/or telescopic, may comprise one or more fluid passageways 54 and one or more fluid outlets 56 for flow therethrough of the fluid. Extension handle 52 may be used to reach the user's knees and lower extremities (e.g., feet and toes), while at the same time, the user may still hold on to grab handle 20 without any compromise on safety.

[0028] Accordingly, grab handle 20 may be incorporated in any kind of health care device or environment, such as for bathing, showering, drying or massaging a person. Water, liquid soap, aromatherapy substances, bathing oils, and the like may flow from grab handle 20 on the person's body and be collected and/or drained in a bath tub or shower stall and the like. Grab handle 20 may thus enhance the shower/bathing experience, and provide extra comfort and safety.

[0029] It is appreciated that various features of the invention which are, for clarity, described in the contexts of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination.