Ceiling-suspended apparatus to assist in pain free personal movement
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A ceiling-suspended apparatus comprising a stiff, slender four-foot plastic rod having a length-long internal steel-cable strength member, said rod having a spring-biased metal hook at its upper end to engage and lock onto a ceiling mounted eyehook, and having three hand-grip assist elements, the first, an adjustable-position fleece-lined wrist sling, secondly, an adjustable-position rubber ball, and thirdly, a fixed rubber ball at bottom end of the rod

Johnson, Oriz W. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
I claim:

1. An apparatus comprising a rod of adequate length and strength having its first end affixed in line to the long leg of an inverted metal J-shaped hook, said rod also having affixed along its length a plurality of varied hand-grip assist elements.

2. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said rod additionally having locking means for removably locking crook of said inverted metal J-shaped hook into the eye of a ceiling mounted eye lag bolt.

3. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the plurality of varied hand-grip assist elements are each optionally positionally along the length of the rod.

4. An apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein said rod additionally having an internal length-long steel safety cable.









1. Field of the Invention

Class 248/317/320/322

2. Description of the Prior Art

Certainly for generations hospitals have had some beds equipped with special over-bed paraphernalia involving generally chrome-plated chains and hooks and swinging handles for seriously impaired patients to use to rise, lower or otherwise maneuver themselves in bed. And some of these apparati can be purchased or rented for in-home use but are generally elaborate, involved, expensive and frequently require a special bed to accommodate the rigging. Moreover their use is designed for and limited to solely over-bed use. It is however, that in this country, thanks to medical science, significantly greater numbers of people are growing to considerably older ages, especially with the wave of baby boomers. These masses are generally in reasonably good health albeit not without some bodily wear and tear, particularly older women given to osteoporosis, rheumatism and arthritis. The women experience intense pain in joints just from movement and more so when moving under strain. While otherwise mobile, these affected persons do experience particular difficulty sitting and arising from chairs and in turning over or maneuvering in bed at night after joints have become stiff. No event in the human equation is a harder to imagine, or more vivid in actual experience, than pain. What is needed for these afflicted masses is an economical, easy-to-install apparatus for in-home use that helps them live more successfully with their pain.


The proposed apparatus then is intended as an in-home device to assist geriatric or other persons afflicted with arthritis or other painful movement to more easily turn over or change positions while lying in bed. Additionally the apparatus can be an assist to this same person in arising from a chair or commode, as well as be a reassuring hanging safety support in the bath or shower. Even certain difficult areas of the home which some disabled persons might find difficult to maneuver will profit from a hanging rod to grasp as a stability support. Inasmuch as many users are on social security, the cost of the apparatus should be as modest as reasonably possible commensurate with safety.


In its simplest form the apparatus is a light, stiff rod suspended from a hook embedded in a ceiling joist above a bed such that a person may reach up and easily grasp the lower end of the rod to help maneuver in bed, or arise from the bed or a chair or commode if ceiling hooks have been so positioned there. There can be a single rod moved from hook to hook as desired or multiple rods dangling permanently from several ceiling hooks strategically located about the home. It is that the slender rods, not unattractive in design, if left hanging, quickly becomes “invisible” as one becomes accustomed to their presence. The apparatus has a soft rubber hand-grip assist ball which also serves as a “bumper” permanently affixed at the lower end of the rod. While capable of supporting over a thousand pounds, the whole apparatus weighs only a few ounces, so even if accidentally brushed or hit, the rod gently swings out of the way and is a non-event. If one is in pain or un-steady, the nearby presence of such a security apparatus is a reassurance. Inasmuch as, a primary intent for this apparatus is over the bed for use by bed-ridden or pain afflicted persons several dimension of the rod are dictated by this type of use. Significantly the J-hook at the top end of the apparatus has a spring-loaded capture feature which enables it to “lock on” to a ceiling hook so as not to be knocked loose from the ceiling hook inadvertently. The rod can only be intentionally, but easily, removed by a certain pulling and pushing technique at its lower end, no need to reach to the ceiling to unlock the rod. Moreover the J-hook also rotates freely within the rod thus preventing a twisting of the rod from ever unscrewing the ceiling eyebolt from the ceiling, It should be noted however, the primary function of the bottom bumper ball is actually to serve as a hand-grip assist element, to enable one to securely grasp the slender rod immediately above the ball, using the ball to cradle one's wrist changing the gripping dynamics and helping prevent the hand slipping down or off the rod. A second rubber ball hand-grip assist is pierced through its middle and slidably inserted onto the rod and may be optionally positioned up or down the rod to various higher levels as desired. This second ball is most useful in arising from a chair rather than in bed. The rod is further equipped with an optionally positional fleece-lined wrist sling for those having too weak or pain ridden grip to grasp the slender rod. A six-inch shorter version of the apparatus is available for 30 inch high beds not generally preferred by the geriatric group, but are popular with young moderns who also find pregnancy popular. The apparatus is a great assist for any woman heavy with child. A short length of decorative chain between eyebolt and J-bolt can customize the apparatus for 9,10 or higher foot ceilings.


FIG. 1: A cutaway elevation of the upper end of the invention showing the inter-relation of the J-hook, metal tube capsule, compression spring, coupling nuts and steel cable within the decorative-egg cap and stiff cpvc tube.

FIG. 2: An elevation of the entire apparatus showing the juxtaposition of the component parts.

FIG. 3: A cutaway elevation of the sliding ball hand-grip assist complete with anchoring pin.

FIG. 4: A cutaway elevation of the fixed ball hand-grip assist and the end of the stiff tube bolted to the steel cable.

Hole thru egg cap2
Wooden egg cap3
Bottom hole in egg4
Metal capsule5
Cpvc tube6
Compression spring7
1st coupling nut8
J-hook/cap contact9
Steel cable10
Silver solder11
2nd coupling nut12
Hole in end of capsule13
3rd coupling nut14
Locking bolt15
Locking bolt washer16
Transverse pin holes17
Sliding rubber ball18
Side recess for steel pin19
Steel pin20
Fixed rubber ball21
Wrist sling loop22
Modified eye lag screw23
Ceiling joist24


The ceiling-suspended apparatus, hereinafter labeled “rod”, comprises fundamentally a stiff, slender four-foot plastic rod having an internal steel-cable strength member, said rod further having a spring-biased metal hook at its upper end to engage and lock onto a ceiling mounted metal eyehook, and having attached along its length three hand-grip assist elements. A precise description of the rod assembly and its component parts is first a stiff straight length of ½″ cpvc tubing 6 49″ long constituting the smooth casing of the rod assembly. Secondly a ½ od tubular metal capsule 5 3½″ long having both ends crimped closed save for a ¼″ opening at each end is snuggly inserted 3½″ into the first, top, end of the cpvc tubing. A decorative cap 3 comprising a 2½″ long wooden egg 3 having a ¼″ bore 2 drilled from the pointed end along its longitudinal centerline and a ⅝″ bore 4 drilled 1½ deep up into the bottom blunt end is inserted onto the tubing/rod and permanently cemented in place. The rod is secured to the ceiling by inter-locking the crook of the in-line inverted J-hook 1 at its top to a modified eyebolt 23 as might be embedded in a ceiling joist 24. The in-line inverted J-hook, hereinafter “J-hook” comprises a ¼″ steel rod 4 inches long threaded ½ inch at one end and bent a third of the way from the non-threaded end into a ¾ inch diameter U-bend to form the J-hook. Additionally a third of the short end of the U is bent 15 degrees outward. The means for removably locking the J-hook to any eyebolt or chain to which it might be attached comprises the following assembly: first, inserting the long leg of the J-hook 1 through the egg's ¼′ longitudinal bore and on into the top ¼″ opening of the metal capsule, a compression spring 2 inches long and 5/16″ in diameter 7 is slid onto the threaded end of the J-hook rod and a first ¼ coupling nut 8 then secures the spring between the inside surface of the crimped end of metal capsule and the nut. The long leg of the J-hook is secured within the capsule by the nut 8 which has a diameter less that the interior diameter of the metal capsule, enabling the J-hook free to spin and slide back and forth within the metal capsule with or against the bias of the compression spring. When the rod is being attached to a ceiling mounted eyebolt, the tip of the inverted J-hook with its 15 degree bend engages the eyebolt and enables one to pull the normally-closed slidable J-hook out to an open position against the bias of the compression spring. The slidable J-hook is pushed back to its original position by the compression spring when the eyebolt is fully engaged, thus locking the eyebolt within the now closed crook of the J-hook formed when the short end of the J-hook impinges on the top surface 9 of the decorative egg. Additionally inside the cavity of the metal capsule, the first end of an internal length-long safety cable, an ⅛″ steel cable 10 45½″ long is permanently silver-soldered 11 into the thread bore of a second coupling nut 12, the cable itself is fed through the ¼ opening in the crimped second end of the metal capsule 13 and down through the length of the cpvc tube 6. A third coupling nut 14 is permanently silver-soldered to the bottom end of the steel cable but such that approximately ½ inches of internal threads are left available to receive a ¼″ bolt 15. Said ¼″ bolt with ⅝ inch washer 16 is inserted into the coupling nut from the bottom of the rod, and pulled up tight thus structurally locking the rod via cable tension to the metal capsule and J-hook assembly above. A wrist sling of soft material 22, optionally positional along the length of the rod is slidably attached to the rod by inserting the rod through a ¾″ hole centered ⅝″ from the end of a 2″ long flat metal tab 23 ⅛″ thick and 1 ½″ wide, the second end of the 2″ tab being riveted to the end of the wrist sling 22, a fleece lined fabric strap loop, the fabric being 1½″ wide and the diameter of the loop 6 inches. The wrist loop sling is installed above other hand grip assists such that it may be slid up to the top of the pole close to the decorative egg to be out of the way of the normally used other hand-grip assist devices unless specifically needed. The first of these other devices is that the rod has 4 pre-determined stop points for optionally positioning a sliding ball-type hand-grip assist element comprising 4 sets of opposing transverse holes 17 at 2″ interval starting 7″ from the bottom. The slidable ball-type hand-grip assist element comprises a 2½″ soft rubber ball 18 having a ⅝″ hole through its center with opposing ¼″ side recesses 19 ½″ deep paralleling the hole inserted onto the bottom of the tube and slid up past the 7-inch set of holes. A steel pin 20, each end protruding ¼″ outside the tube, is inserted through the 7-inch set of holes. The sliding rubber ball is now slid down onto the protruding ends of the pin to be held at that level, the pin ends being captured and hidden by the ¼″ recesses provided. The sliding ball may be slid up to any of the higher set of holes and the anchor pin re-positioned as desired by the user. The steel cable 10 running down the interior of the tube flexes sufficiently to accommodate the transverse steel pin. A fixed ball-type hand-grip assist element comprising the bottom end of the rod inserted and permanently cemented into the center hole of a second ball 21, identical to the sliding first ball except the center hole is not all the way through but only 1½″ deep. The remaining element of the ensemble, the ceiling hook 23, a modified off-the-shelf #2 C ¼″ eye lag bolt 3 ¾″ long with ½″ closed eye, is provided as a component part of the ensemble but must be installed in a ceiling joist 24 by the user. The closed eye is modified slightly but significantly by being wedged open ⅛″ so as to accommodate slipping on a one or two foot length of #1 double loop chain, not shown, for 9 and 10 foot ceilings. While the above detailed description of the invention contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitation on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one preferred embodiment thereof. Many other variations of virtually every concept or component defined above are possible, accordingly the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiment illustrated but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.