Toilet transfer stool

Project  / Project number: WM19/25/A  /  Status:

Girl sliding from the transfer stool over to the toilet

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The challenge

A girl has Type III Osteogenesis Imperfecta disorder which means she has brittle bones and short stature. This results in her having difficulty transferring herself from the wheelchair onto the toilet. Due to her fragility and lack of strength in her arms, a typical transfer board would not only be hard to use but also would not be safe in her situation. To give her independence, a better solution had to be found. Luckily, there was a sufficient amount of space on the side of the toilet to place a stool and still have enough room to able to bring the wheelchair next to it. The stool would have to come as close to the toilet seat and the wheelchair as possible to avoid any gaps. Needless to say, we could not find anything on the market that would perfectly match the layout and the shape of the toilet. The stool had to be custom made as it had to be stable and safe to use.

The solution

I've created a template of the toilet seat and measured the wheelchair dimensions. To my surprise, the height of the toilet almost perfectly matched the wheelchair height. This made manufacturing somewhat easier as a flat stool surface was sufficient.

I went on and made an initial 3D model to make sure the family and Operational Therapist (OT) are happy with the solution. You can find the model here: https://a360.co/2v5Y92F

Transfer stool 3D model

The legs were designed to be slightly angled outwards to increase stability. At the same time, each leg has anti-slip rubber feet to adjust each leg's height individually. The shape of the stool perfectly match the seat of the toilet on one side, whilst on the other side, at 90 degrees angle, comes flush to the wheelchair's seat. I've also added a stainless steel handrail for extra support at the back of the stool.

To make this stool I've used an old kiddy's table with a sufficient surface size and height. Cutting the tabletop to the required shape was not a big challenge. However, mounting feet in the right way was a bit more complicated as it is not a simple rectangular layout. After some trial and error, the final solution had five legs with extra support at the front to enable wheelchair access.

To make the surface smoother and hopefully last longer, I've applied self-adhesive film used for work surfaces. Which also has a rather nice white and grey marble pattern.

Finished transfer stool painted in white

The following picture shows how the legs of the stool go in between the front wheels of the wheelchair allowing to close the gap between the seat and the stool surface. 

Girl in the wheelchair next to the transfer stool

The girl was able to immediately use the stool without any particular training or adjustment.

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