An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

U-tube is better than Youtube!     
U-tube Home page

U-tube tighteners here

Wheelchair safety first - continued  here  

16 Sept 016  Teresa's Triumph here

About wheelchairs Home page here   

created 1 June 2016  


A  This project

This is a project based on the problems I have experienced (the need), the solution I envisaged (the idea), and the realisation (the product).  What this means to the user, especially in regard to improved independence, is always a good way to express the value of a project.  

B  The need

The problems I have experienced are centred on a heavy, powered wheelchair.  Either it is unwieldy or I need more practice driving it.  "Either", however, is not the best word.  I have been driving it and similar wheelchairs for many years so I don't need any more practice. 

C  The idea

The outcome of problems experienced could be severe damage to my wife in the wheelchair.  Now look again at the header graphic.  It is the solution I envisaged. 

D  The product

The realisation (the product) is what you are about to see.  


What this means to the user - 

- my wife, is incalculable.  She is no longer able to articulate any considered opinion due to dementia.  If she were so able, she would say that she has improved independence from hospital visits due to my inability to control the wheelchair.  She would add that at least one hospital visit has left its mark.  Readers with an excess of time and/or interest can read about it - 78 year-old woman ejected from A&E at 0200 here.

E   "What this means to the user .. " is redefined.

"What this means to the user, especially in regard to improved independence" demands a redefinition of "user".  

That's me.  

I'm now independent of worry that I will be the cause of injury to my wife.


  1. Intro
  2. The wheelchair
  3. The U-tube
  4. Adjustability
  5. The need for adjustability
  6. The U-tube has three settings
  7. Visibility
  8. Acknowledgements

Panel 1 - Intro

This page is the result of mishaps with my wife's wheelchair which could have broken her leg or two.  Already, there have been breakages to leg supports.  More here from 8 Sept 2015.  Since then, there have been repairs to a new leg support

Think of the pain etc involved in broken legs etc.  That dictates the focus.  

Considering breakages to leg supports, a new pair costs £150.  That too dictates the focus.


Panel 2 - The wheelchair

The wheelchair straight from the supplier here.  Imagine you as caree are sitting in it and heading towards a wall. Either you or your carer has nodded off.  Worse: carer needs a steering test.

There is no difference apart from speed between a car and a powered wheelchair not being controlled properly.  See 2.2 and 4 here.

Well, there is another difference.  You are more protected in a car.

And if that protection is metal, which it is, the wheelchair needs more.

But it needs to be designed and fitted by those with competence and imagination.

Panel 3 - The U-tube

And that's when we focus on the U-tube.

My initial design concept  wasn't far from what you see. 

I hadn't started to think about how to attach it to the chair.  

But I didn't need to.  We had already been in contact two years ago with an org which deals with such problems. here

From there, find your local org.  

Ours is Remap Herefordshire here.

Panel 4 - Adjustability

This is the result of Remap taking all the measurements, resourcing the materials, and putting it all together.

If you compare these leg supports with the factory model, you'll see that these are adjustable re angle of occupant's leg to the ground.  

Panel 5  - The need for adjustability

The high-elevation supports are needed as my wife is confined to an electric recliner-chair in the sitting room and her legs are at this angle.  She has an inoperable broken hip-joint.

Panel 6A - The U-tube has three settings                   for motion

Teresa can travel short distances with her feet lower. 

The U-tube has three settings,  Two seen above, the final setting is where the feet are nearer the wheelchair

Panel 6B - The means for adjustability 

The U tube is held in place by this crossbar.

See the U-tube tighteners page here.


Panel 7 - Visibility

You the reader are in a hurry along a busy pavement and there's a wheelchair heading towards you.  If you're like too many people, you think it will be OK to squeeze past.  

The driver may be the occupant, it may be the carer.  Either way, the public attitude to those with disability must change.

Until it does, our high-viz U-tube ensures max protection for Teresa.


Panel 8 - Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to Terry Tomlin of Remap Herefordshire for designing and making the U-tube, and to Partington Engineering Ltd who kindly assisted in developing it.

Terry has well and truly come up with the goods!  There were four visits (this project)  to our house and all he got was four times two cups of tea.  

But that seems to be the Remap ethic and the Herefordshire Branch has has carried out some amazing projects as seen on its website. more

I conclude this page with full gratitude to those mentioned and everyone else involved at Remap HQ.    

Prof. Alan F Harrison (ret'd)


pagetop   for pasting   U-tube is better than Youtube! here

                                    U-tube tighteners here

                                    Wheelchair safety first - continued  here  

                                    About wheelchairs Home page here