#378 – Walk and Roll

auntie stress crutches

I was watching the Dragon's Den when a punny name caught my attention.

The Walk and Roll (see 34:40) was designed by Gerald and Magella LaPierre during a time of need; Gerald had broken his foot in several places.

Most people with rheumatoid arthritis cannot use the regular type of crutches because their wrists cannot withstand the weight. Instead, forearm crutches are used.

The Dragons quickly dismissed Gerald's invention. Kevin, never one to hold back, described it as "ugly". As a rule, assistive medical devices are generally not known for their attractiveness.

Two years ago, I broke my ankle. While I did not require crutches, I did need to find a way to take the weight off my foot when I was doing dishes. The Walk and Roll looks as if I might have been a viable alternative to the chair, especially when moving about the kitchen to clean up.

I have more questions than answers, though.

  1. Stability and safety. Would the Walk and Roll throw someone off-balance?
  2. How much does the Walk and Roll weigh? Would it be too much for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to maneuver?
  3. If a person's knees are involved, would they be able to withstand putting their weight on their knee?
  4. What adjustments/alterations would be needed in order to make this a safe option for an RA patient?

What are your thoughts? Do you think the Dragons missed an opportunity?

Disclaimer: As with all untested and unproven devices, you should seek the advice of your healthcare professionals.

4 Replies to “#378 – Walk and Roll”

  1. I use a similar approach as a child in Denmark – I couldn’t use a regular crutch, so they give me one where I supported my weight with my arm (like this, except slightly better design http://www.mobilitysmart.cc/walking-aids-c-43/crutches/specialist-crutches/arthritic-elbow-crutches-pair.html). It didn’t have the cradle for upper arm and elbow – I think that would restrain movement and could potentially be a safety issue. Aside for the ugliness, something similar already exists and has for a long time – perhaps this person should have done a better bit of research. 😉 Found this snazzy alternative crutch in about 10 seconds of looking http://www.smartcrutch.com/

    1. My error. I didn’t have an image of the Walk and Roll, hence the link to that episode of Dragon’s Den. His invention looks more like a stool.

      I only put my illustrations in there to give an example of the crutch options and configurations that are available. Interestingly enough, the Smart Crutch, or something similar was not available at any of the Home Health Care stores I visited. It’s probably a special order.

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