Title:
Transfer platform for a lavatory seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A platform (2) for use as an aid for a handicapped person to move from the seat (32) of a wheel chair (30) to a lavatory seat (4) is secured or securable to the periphery of the seat (4) at a suitable position to allow access of the chair (30). A notch (20) is formed in the platform (2) to receive in registration a wheel (36) of the chair (30). The platform in its functional position extending substantially horizontally from the lavatory seat (4) provides a contiguous and continuous supporting surface for the person to slide across onto the lavatory seat and back, the registration of the wheel in the notch coupled with the overlying of the platform on the wheel chair seat (32) providing stability.



Inventors:
Dupuis, Lisette (St-Ludger, CA)
Application Number:
11/055695
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
02/11/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Franz BONSANG, Patent Agent (St-Laurent, Quebec, CA)
Claims:
1. A platform for the transfer of a person onto a lavatory seat from a wheeled mobile device seat, the platform being associated with the rim of the lavatory seat in such manner as to provide a supporting traversal surface substantially aligned with the upper surface of the lavatory seat, and registration means adapted in use to engage a wheel of the mobile device, the platform in use lying across and supported by the mobile device seat thereby providing a contiguous and continuous traversal surface for passage of the person from the mobile device onto the lavatory seat within a reduced distance of travel.

2. A platform according to claim 1 wherein the registration means is in the form of at least one notch provided in association with the platform adjacent the lavatory seat.

3. A platform according to claim 2 wherein the at least one notch is provided in an edge of the platform adjacent the lavatory seat.

4. A platform according to claim 2 wherein at least one notch is provided between the platform and a periphery of the lavatory seat.

5. A platform according to claim 1 wherein the platform is integral with the lavatory seat.

6. A platform according to claim 1 wherein the platform is fixedly securable to the lavatory seat.

7. A platform according to claim 1 wherein the platform is hinged to the lavatory seat and is movable between a functional position extending from the lavatory seat to provide a traversal support and a stowed position.

8. A platform according to claim 7 wherein the stowed position of the platform is beneath a level of the lavatory seat in substantial vertical dependency.

9. A platform according to claim 1 wherein the platform is securable at any one of a number of locations disposed circumferentially of the lavatory seat through the agency of mounting means.

10. A platform according to claim 9 wherein a guideway is provided for the mounting means and is adapted to provide a track for movement of the mounting means and the platform to a desired location.

11. A platform for the transfer of a person onto a lavatory seat from a wheeled mobile device seat, the platform being fixedly secured to the rim of the lavatory seat to provide a supporting traversal surface co-planar with an upper surface of the lavatory seat, and registration means adapted in use to receive a portion of the wheel of the mobile device in positive manner, the platform in use overlying and supported by the mobile device seat thereby providing a contiguous and continuous traversal surface for the passage of the person from the mobile device onto the lavatory seat within a reduced distance of travel.

12. A platform for the transfer of a person onto a lavatory seat from a wheeled mobile device seat, the platform being hinged to the rim of the lavatory seat to provide in a functional position extending outwardly and substantially horizontally from the lavatory seat a supporting traversal surface co-planar with an upper surface of the lavatory seat and being capable of assuming a stowed position, and registration means adapted in use to receive a portion of the wheel of the mobile device in positive manner, the platform in use in the functional position overlying and supported by the mobile device seat thereby providing a contiguous and continuous traversal surface for the passage of the person from the mobile device onto the lavatory seat within a reduced distance of travel, the platform in its stowed position lying substantially vertically below the upper surface of the lavatory seat.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a transfer platform for a lavatory seat to facilitate the transfer of a handicapped person to and from the lavatory seat, be it a lavatory seat on a fixed toilet or one on a commode. It is to be understood that the expression ‘handicapped person’ includes one who is permanently disabled or incapacitated, for example by injury or age, or one who is temporarily incapacitated for example by illness.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is well known in the art to use a board or plank to facilitate the transfer of a handicapped person to and from a lavatory seat. The existing art suffers from drawbacks terms of either suitability for use by an unaccompanied handicapped person in a wheel chair or disposition in a bathroom.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,951,328 issued to Potvin on Aug. 28, 1990 presents a seat that can swivel. FIG. 6 of U.S. Pat. No. 1,428,627 issued to Grabfelder on Sep. 12, 1922, U.S. Pat. No. 2,752,610 issued to Mabrey on Jul. 3, 1956, U.S. Pat. No. 3,863,276 issued to Agnew et al. on Feb. 4, 1975, U.S. Pat. No. 5,687,431 issued to Garreft on Nov. 18, 1997, U.S. Pat. No. 6,721,966 issued to Costonde on Apr. 20, 2004 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,760,929 issued to Dippel on Jul. 13, 2004 disclose various types of transfer bench, board or seat assembly for which the shape is not specifically designed to accommodate the access of a wheel of a wheel chair, and accordingly impede the wheel from assuming the most efficacious position. Therefore, difficulties are presented for an unaccompanied person to achieve transfer. U.S. Pat. No. 6,675,401 issued to Peterson et al. on Jan. 13, 2004 shows in FIG. 5 a seat with sides extending at an angle to improve the ability of the user to position an article such as a wheel chair in proximity to a commode seat. That invention however does not have the design to allow in desirably close access of the wheel of a wheel chair between the sanitary seat and the transfer seat in such a way that the wheel chair is easily maneuverable into position, and that the transfer seat can be inserted almost fully in-between the patient or user and the wheel chair seat.

The limited space available in a bathroom in standard homes should also be considered in the design of such devices. Furthermore, one skilled in the art will understand that apart from the limited spacing, there is often only one direction for access to the lavatory seat, the direction understandably varying from one bathroom to another. U.S. Pat. No. 6,721,966 mentioned earlier can be transferable around the rim of a toilet seat but similarly does not offer a shape specifically designed to ease access and indeed somewhat blocks the placement of the wheel of a wheel chair in the most desirable location.

Accordingly, there is a need for an improved means for transfer onto a lavatory seat with a simple configuration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore a general object of the present invention to provide an improved platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat.

An advantage of the present invention is that the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat is provided with a notch to help access of a wheel of a wheel chair thereby enabling the wheel chair to be in close proximity to and positively and restrainably to register adjacent the lavatory seat.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat provides for a notch adjacent the lavatory seat.

A further advantage of the present invention is that the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat enables an unaccompanied person to move himself or herself from a wheel chair onto a lavatory seat.

Still another advantage of the present invention is that the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat provides a design that can easily slide in-between a person and the seat of a wheel chair.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat is easy to manufacture in conjunction with a lavatory seat and is economically sound. The platform may be of any suitable material, for example a plastics material or wood.

In one embodiment the platform is integral with the lavatory seat, the platform thereby providing a contiguous and continuous planar surface with the seat and facilitating movement into and out of position on the seat with the aid of the platform.

A still further advantage of the present invention is that in one embodiment the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat provides, in conjunction with a specifically designed lavatory seat, a platform capable of variable positioning around the lavatory seat.

Another advantage of the present invention is that in a further alternative embodiment the platform for transfer onto a lavatory seat provides in conjunction with a specifically designed lavatory seat a foldable board adjacent the base of the toilet seat.

Accordingly one aspect of the invention provides a platform for the transfer of a person onto a lavatory seat from a wheeled mobile device seat, the platform being associated with the rim of the lavatory seat in such manner as to provide a supporting traversal surface substantially aligned with the upper surface of the lavatory seat, and a registration means adapted in use to engage a wheel of the mobile device, the platform in use lying across and supported by the mobile device seat thereby providing a contiguous and continuous traversal surface for passage of the person from the mobile device onto the lavatory seat within a reduced distance of travel.

The platform may be integral with the lavatory seat or may be fixedly connected thereto by suitable securing means. In a further expression of the present invention, the platform may be hinged to the lavatory seat at a convenient and preselected site thereon, the platform being provided with locking means for locking it in a transfer position co-planar with the top surface of the lavatory seat or in a parked position orthogonal thereto and depending downward therefrom. In a variant form of the hinged version of the platform, the platform may be stowable behind the normal lid associated with a lavatory unit. In this instance suitable means for moving the platform into such position are provided to enable ease of usage by the handicapped person. In a further modification of this expression, the platform may assume one of a number of different positions circumferentially of the lavatory seat and a guideway may be provided to facilitate movement into a desired position.

The registration means is conveniently in the form of at least one notch matching the wheel width thus providing a positive reception for the wheel to stabilize and restrain the mobile device in a position closely adjacent the lavatory seat. With the platform overlying the mobile device seat, the invention provides confidence to the user that transfer onto the lavatory seat through the agency of the platform will be secure. Furthermore with the platform in this overlying position the traversal distance is correspondingly reduced, thus facilitating transfer from the mobile device, for example a wheel chair, to the lavatory seat.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a careful reading of the detailed description provided herein, with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the description in association with the following Figures, in which similar references used in different Figures denote similar components, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a platform in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention showing a platform in notional use in association with a lavatory seat and a wheel chair located adjacent thereto;

FIG. 2 is an underside plan view of one embodiment of platform showing the variable disposition thereof in association with a lavatory seat;

FIG. 2a is an underside plan view of another embodiment of platform; and

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the embodiment of platform shown in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the annexed drawings the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be herein described for indicative purpose and by no means as of limitation.

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is schematically shown an embodiment of a platform 2 in accordance with the present invention. The platform 2 is illustrated in association with a lavatory seat 4 provided with a convention lid 6 mounted on a standard toilet bowl 8 provided with a flushing cistern 10.

The platform 2 is disposed to one side of the seat 4 in an extended cantilever mode, the platform typically being suitably secured by locking means 7, such as a locking flat bar slidably mounted under the platform 2 between released and locking positions (shown in dotted and solid lines in FIG. 2, respectively) or the like, to the seat in such manner as to provide a contiguous and substantially continuous transfer path on its upper surface 12 with the upper surface 14 of the seat 4 such that the two surfaces 12, 14 are substantially in a co-planar relationship relative to one another. Obviously, the locking means 7 shown in FIGS. 2 & 3, that is strong enough to support the user, could be located on both sides (left and right) of the platform 2 to ensure stability without departing from the scope of the present invention. The platform is provided with registration means in the form of a notch 20 generally located in an edge 5 of the platform 2 in close adjacency to the lavatory seat 4. Typically, a second notch 20 is also located opposite the first one to allow usage of the platform on either side of the seat 4.

A wheel chair 30 is depicted in a position in which it has been maneuvered whereby the platform 2 overlies the seat 32 of the chair, one arm 34 of the chair having been pivoted in the manner shown to allow movement of a user from the seat 32 laterally toward the lavatory seat 4. In use the platform would lie between the person and seat 32 this providing stability. Importantly as a principal feature of the present invention the large wheel 36 of the chair 30 next to the lavatory seat 4 registers positively in the notch 20 thus providing positive engagement as between the chair 30 and the platform 2. The combination of the overlying character of the platform in relation to the seat 32 and the interengagement of the wheel 36 and the notch 20 provides security for the user when transferring from the seat 32 to the lavatory seat 4. In essence the user is enabled to move smoothly across the traversal path from the chair to the lavatory seat without fear of relative and destabilizing movement. An unaccompanied wheel chair occupant will thus benefit from the present invention in this way.

Referring now to FIG. 2 the lower surface 15 of the lavatory seat 4 is shown as having the normal pads 17 for resting on the top rim (not shown) of the toilet bowl 8. The platform 2 is illustrated in full lines at the front part of the seat 4 and is secured thereto by a hinged arrangement referenced at 19. This figure also depicts in ghosted outline alternative notional locations for the platform 2 at different positions around the perimeter of the lavatory seat 4 thus providing for flexibility of choice to accommodate different designs to bathroom and the prevailing clearance space available for use of the platform. The locking means 7 enables the platform to extend substantially horizontally in the way shown outwardly of the lavatory seat 4 without collapse, additional support being provided in use by the wheel chair seat 32 (FIG. 1). FIG. 3 shows the platform 2 in the parked position, namely hinged vertically downward in front of the toilet bowl 8, thus being stowed out of the way of any able-bodied user. A guideway 21 (shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2), such as a track, channel or the like, may be provided secured to the lower surface 15 of the lavatory seat 4 for enabling ease of movement of the platform 2 into the different positions shown. Further, the platform 2 may be stowed in close adjacency to the lid 6 and releasably secured thereto by suitable fitments (not shown), thus providing a neat and tidy arrangement in this instance with the platform above the level of the lavatory seat 4.

FIG. 2a illustrates diagrammatically the present invention wherein the platform 2 is integral with the lavatory seat 4 suitable for a permanent installation for use exclusively by persons confined to wheel chairs. A further aspect of this embodiment is that manufacture of the combined platform and lavatory seat is simplified and in the case of plastics material may be achieved in one moulding step. As with the previous embodiments, the platform in use is intended to overlie the wheel chair seat 32 with the notch 20 registering with the wheel 36 to provide the requisite stability for the user.

In this alternative embodiment the notch 20 is defined at the common boundaries of the platform and the lavatory seat.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the disclosure has been made by way of example only and is not limited to the features of the embodiments described and illustrated herein, but includes all variations and modifications within the scope and spirit of the invention as hereinafter claimed.