Title:
Air pressure seat lift
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus is provided for lowering and raising a person onto and up from a seated position particularly in conjunction with a commercial or residential commode. The apparatus is suitable as an attachable adaptation to existing commercial or residential commodes. The apparatus is attached directly to such a standard commode by using a pair of studs disposed to fit into holes through the commode that are used to attach commode seats. These studs are securely attached to the commode. Air pressure delivered from a remote source extends hydraulic cylinders in a manner to provide a user with the ability to be raised to a comfortable dismount position from a seat or to be reclined to a comfortable seated position on a commode. The individual will be moved down or up to a comfortable semi-standing position because a commode seat attached to the apparatus is disposed to be at an angled position to facilitate a user mounting or dismounting the apparatus.



Inventors:
Huff, John (Lilburn, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/327418
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
01/09/2006
Assignee:
Huff, John (Lilburn, GA, US)
Scofield, David (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas S. Hahn (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for moving a commode seat, said apparatus comprising: at least two pressure driven cylinders; a commode crossbar attached by studs to a commode, said studs disposed in commode seat attachment holes extending through said commode; a framework for interconnecting said commode crossbar to said cylinders; said commode seat disposed from said framework; at least two hose means for providing pressurized fluid from a fluid pressure source to said cylinders; and, a means for exhausting pressurized fluid from said cylinders; wherein when said cylinders are extended, said commode seat is positioned higher above said commode at a back portion of said commode than is said commode seat positioned above said commode at a front portion of said commode

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said cylinders are provided with air pressure as the fluid media.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein an user of said apparatus is moved about said commode at an essentially steady lowering and raising rate.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein no electrical component is disposed in an area about said commode.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein an user activates the apparatus with a remote control, hand switch, or foot operated initiation device.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said remote control, hand switch or foot operated device are air pressure operated devices.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least two hinged joints disposed between said framework and said commode seat.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one fixed or removable and adjustable hand rail.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/641,782 filed Jan. 7, 2005, and this application incorporates by reference all subject matter contained in that application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a device for assisting an invalid, an elderly person, a bariatric or otherwise physically challenged person to be moved from a standing to a seated position and then to be returned to a standing position, and, more specifically, the present invention is intended for use with a standard residential or commercial commode.

2. Description of the Related Art

Assistants helping physically challenged or bariatric patients must apply substantial force when assisting these persons from standing to sitting positions or vice versa. Both the physically challenged and the assistant are caused to experience physical stress to their backs, arms and legs when the patient is assisted in moving down to a sitting position or is assisted from moving from a sitting to a standing position. The instance of instability caused by loss of balance, embarrassment, or more particularly presence of a slippery floor or gripping surface can result in injury to one or both persons.

Many persons have needed and continue to need such assistance in vertical movement. The need to provide these weak and infirmed persons with such movement assistance has long been recognized. In particular, it has long been recognized that they need assistance with moving down onto and off of commode seats. This type of assistance often is needed whether the weak or infirmed person is in a hospital, nursing care facility or at home. Depending on the physical condition and size of the person, it may be necessary to have more than one strong person assist the infirm person onto and off of a commode seat. Compounding physical difficulties in assisting such infirmed persons can be the small spaces in which commodes often are installed. Further, exacerbating these situations is the strong normal psychological desires of persons who need such assistance to instead refuse such assistance because they want to be self-sufficient in using the commode.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for assisting physically challenged persons to be moved from standing to a seated position and then back to a standing position. In addition, the apparatus is configured so that little to no strenuous assistance is required from either a patient or an assistant to make the movement from and back to a standing position.

It is an object of the present invention to provide for a hand, foot or remote control capability for activating and deactivating the apparatus.

It is an object of the present invention to remove all electrical components from the immediate area of the apparatus to insure safety and to provide for sanitation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide adjustable hydraulic pressure flow suitable to move apparatus parts and thereby accommodate the weight of any individual user irrespective of the weight of the user.

It is an object of the present invention to have it be capable of being installed and operated in a safe and comfortable manner.

It is an object of the present invention to be fit within even the standard residential 15 inch code specification from a side wall to the center of a commode.

The above objects, as well as other objects and advantages are provided by the present invention that includes a support structure to fit a standard commode as an attachment to the commode structure. The apparatus of the present invention also includes multiple hydraulic pressure-powered lifts that can be operated in unison to move an attached commode seat to an extended angled position that is comfortable for the user to mount the seat. Each of multiple cylinders, that are the pressure-powered lifts, has a steel rod that can be extended to a fixed consistent height. Each of these cylinders also has a high tension spring in the event applied pressure should fail, in that event the user will return to a seated position at a comfortable deceleration.

For the present invention, the resulting extended position of the seat is to be significantly higher in the back than the front providing for a comfortable angle defined for the user for mounting and dismounting the seat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a commode showing an apparatus according to the present invention in a declined position;

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of a commode showing the apparatus according to the present invention as shown in FIG. 1 in an extended position above a commode;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing a crossbar, pin bracket and back cylinder as they are to be assembled according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing a commode and the crossbar shown in FIG. 3 with the crossbar being positioned for assembly to the commode;

FIG. 5 is a plan back view of the commode shown in FIG. 4 with the crossbar fastened to the commode; and,

FIG. 6 is a perspective back view of the commode shown in FIG. 5 with the apparatus of the present invention fastened to the commode, and the apparatus shown in a partial extended position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention are described herein in the context of a pressure activated commode seat movement apparatus. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following detailed description of the present invention is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure. Reference will now be made in detail to implementations of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The same reference indications will be used throughout the drawings and the following detailed description to refer to the same or like parts.

In the interest of clarity, not all of the routine features of the implementations described herein are shown and described. It will, of course, be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, numerous implementation—specific decisions must be made in order to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with application—and business-related constraints, and that these specific goals will vary from one implementation to another and from one developer to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of engineering for those or ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

FIG. 1 illustrates the apparatus of the present invention (identified with general reference number 10) for assisting weak or infirmed persons, such as a bariatric or physically challenged person, from a standing to a seated position and then assisting this person from the seated position to a standing position. The apparatus 10 is intended for use with a standard residential or commercial commode 12. The present invention retracts to a supported position of about 1 ¼ inch above an upper surface of the commode 12. An added safety feature includes cushion spacers (not shown) at critical stress points on the commode side of seat plates 14.

An user can activate the apparatus 10 with hand switch 16 or a foot pad 18 to initiate a remote pressure supply device 20 to provide air pressure to a distribution component 22 and hoses 24 thereby applying air pressure to hydraulic cylinders 26 and 28 equally to extend these cylinders 26 and 28 and to thereby raise the seat plates 14 to an extended position (See FIG. 2). Though use of air pressure is discussed here other hydraulic type fluids capable of providing pressure to hydraulic cylinders 26 and 28 can be used for the present invention. As another aspect of the invention, the user activates the apparatus 10 by utilizing a remote control device (not shown).

Angle hinge joints 30 are attached to both extending rods 32 of cylinders 26 and 28 and also are attached to the underside of the seat plates 14 and a seat bar 34 to provide for an angled delivery orientation when raising an user. The user may attach a standard residential or commercial toilet seat 36 of their choice to the seat plates 14. The angled delivery orientation has the back of the toilet seat 36 raised higher than the front of the toilet seat 36.

When the user mounts the extended toilet seat 36, the cylinders 26 and 28 will slowly retract by releasing air pressure in response to the weight of the user and thereby slowly and comfortably lower the user to an upper surface of the commode 12.

A pair of threaded studs 38, and two pairs of flange plates 40 all extend from a commode crossbar 42 (See FIG. 3). The commode crossbar 42 is attached to commode 12 using the threaded studs 38 that are positioned in universal pilot holes of the commode 12 and are then attached to the commode 12 with fasteners 44 (see FIG. 4) that are appropriate for stabilizing the commode crossbar 42 onto the commode 12. This attachment is crucial to the stability of the apparatus 10. The attachment uses the strength of the commode 12 to provide support for both the individual user and the apparatus 10.

The rear cylinders 28 are attached to the commode crossbar 34 with pin brackets 46. The pin brackets 46 with the commode crossbar 34 and threaded studs 38 with their fasteners 44 both position and stabilize the rear cylinders 28 with respect to the commode 12 and the apparatus 10. Rod ends 48 of the rear cylinders 28 are attached to the seat bar flange plates 50 of the seat bar 34 with a clevis pin 52. The clevis pin 52 attaches the seat bar 34 to the rod ends 48 thereby permitting the seat bar 34 to pivot about the rod ends 48.

The pressure hoses 24 are attached to tamper proof flow rate controls having ninety degree fittings 54 that are attached to cylinder sleeves of hydraulic cylinder 26 and 28.

For further stability back foot angle supports 56 are fixedly attached to sleeve supports of front hydraulic cylinder 26. The front hydraulic cylinders 26 are thus supported and stabilized by the back foot angle supports 56. These back foot angle supports 56 are further attached to floor plate 57 that is also attached to rear hydraulic cylinder 28.

A seat bar angle support 58 attaches the seat bar 34 to toilet seat 36 (See FIG. 6).

The foot pad 18 and hand switch 16 are connected to the air pressure supply 20 by quick release tube connectors (Not shown). The distribution device 22 that provides a cylinder header manifold function is connected to the air pressure supply 20 by pressure hose 24.

Optional adjustable hand rails 60 are attachable at seat plates 14 and at ends of seat bar 34. The hand switch 16 can be attached to one of the hand rails 60. These hand rails 60 can provide movement guidance and stability for a user.

To further stabilize the apparatus 10, a front cylinder bar 62 can be fixedly attached to both front hydraulic cylinders 26 and a back cylinder bar 64 can be attached to both rear hydraulic cylinders 28.

While embodiments and applications of this invention have been shown and described, it would be apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that many more modifications than mentioned above are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The invention, therefore, is not be to restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims.