Simple solution to a problem disabled people encounter

 


 

During a short stay in hospital I saw a problem that concerned me so to solve it I came up with 'oldbacks

 

Alarm cords in disabled toilets in hospitals, sheltered housing & shops have to reach at least 100mm from the floor, the problem is some people catch them accidentally & trigger the alarm. On Twitter I'd seen many mention the issues but when I went into hospital for a minor operation I came across it several times, after coming up with a solution I started to see cords that were cut, tied up, or in the worst location. With my solution you are still allowing the cord to hang as required but it's closer to the wall where people aren't catching it, the added benefit is the bottom fitting ensures the cord can't be easily shortened.

 

Above shows how the 'oldbacks keep the alarm cord closer to the wall and away from being accidentally caught, the additional benefit is the lowest of the 'oldbacks stops anyone from shortening the cord.

To test it I've fitted one to my bathroom light which means I know exactly where the cord to operate the light is, plus now it doesn't catch on items in the bathroom. As I have grip problems I've found it's easier to push the cord to the side to operate the switch, it removes the need for me to grab hold of the cord & pull it to turn the light on. This could work with any cord operated switch & I am thinking of fitting one to my shower switch as well.

On recent trips I have visited as many disabled toilets as I could & found every toilet had problems with their cords which would have been either difficult or impossible to operate.

'oldbacks can be fitted to exisiting cords provided any handles are below each fitting & it will ensure the cord reaches the floor & can't be shortened, as the cord won't be inches from the wall there will be less accidental triggering of alarms. I believe it's the accidental triggering of alarms that leads to the shortening or cutting of cords, by reducing the accidents I hope to ensure the cord can be reached by anyone. In some locations the cord is hanging over other bathroom fittings like the toilet roll holder or the grab rails, with 'oldbacks the installer will be able to install the cord in better locations. An additional benefit is that more than one cord could be used with a ceiling mounted switch, this will give more than one location to operate a switch.