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Title:
AUXILIARY DEVICE FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE CARE AND HYGIENE CLOTH
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/231321
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An assist device for personal hygiene care of an intimate zone of a user comprises a portable holder (1,2) for holding a hygiene wipe (10). The holder is provided with dispensing means for dispensing for the purpose of use and separating at least one segment of the hygiene wipe. The holder here comprises an elongate guide (5,6) for receiving the wipe therein on a longitudinal edge. The dispensing means comprise transport means for guiding the hygiene wipe via the guide (5,6) to a distal outer end (7) thereof. In a particular embodiment the dispensing means are able and configured to collect successive segments of the wipe at the longitudinal edge and to form a series of successive cleaning rosettes shaped from the hygiene wipe. Separating means are provided on the guide in order to separate a wipe segment.

Inventors:
BROECKX AUGUSTINUS ADRIANUS MARIUS (NL)
Application Number:
NL2019/050309
Publication Date:
December 05, 2019
Filing Date:
May 28, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BROECKX AUGUSTINUS ADRIANUS MARIUS (NL)
International Classes:
A47K7/08; A47K10/26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JILDERDA, Anne Ayolt (NL)
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Claims:
Claims

1. Assist device for personal hygiene care of an intimate zone of a user, comprising a portable holder for holding a hygiene wipe which is provided with dispensing means for dispensing for the purpose of use and separating at least one segment of the hygiene wipe, characterized in that the holder comprises an elongate guide for receiving the wipe therein on a longitudinal edge, that the dispensing means comprise transport means which are able and configured to guide the hygiene wipe via the guide to a distal outer end thereof in the form of a series of successive wipe segments, and that separating means are provided on the guide in order to separate a wipe segment.

2. Assist device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the holder is able and configured to comprise a hygiene wipe formed into a strip, and that the dispensing means are able and configured to collect successive segments of the wipe at the longitudinal edge and to form a series of successive cleaning rosettes shaped from the hygiene wipe.

3. Assist device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the wipe comprises a strengthening strip on the longitudinal edge, in particular a thickened portion, cord, thread or ribbon, which strengthening strip is in operative engagement with the dispensing means.

4. Assist device as claimed in claim 1, 2 or 3, characterized in that the hygiene wipe is wound into a roll and received as such in the holder.

5. Assist device as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the dispensing means comprise a set of endless belts between which the hygiene wipe is received with friction and which rotate in opposite directions.

6. Assist device as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that the dispensing means are motorized.

7. Assist device as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the dispensing means comprise an electric motor and an electric power source which are arranged in or close to the holder. 8. Assist device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the holder comprises a handgrip in which an actuator for the dispensing means is provided.

9. Hygiene wipe for use with the assist device as claimed in one or more of the foregoing claims, comprising a strip-like wipe body provided on a longitudinal edge with a strengthening strip, in particular a cord, ribbon or thread.

10. Hygiene wipe as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that the strengthening strip is connected in manually breakable manner to a series of successive wipe segments. 11. Hygiene wipe as claimed in claim 9 or 10, characterized in that the hygiene wipe is wound into a roll.

12. Hygiene wipe as claimed in claim 9, 10 or 11, characterized in that the hygiene wipe comprises an absorbent fibre wipe.

13. Hygiene wipe as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the fibre wipe comprises a multilayer hygiene paper or hygiene textile, in particular a non-woven paper tissue.

Description:
Auxiliary device for personal hygiene care and hygiene cloth

The present invention relates to an assist device for personal hygiene care of an intimate zone of a user, comprising a portable holder for holding a hygiene wipe which is provided with dispensing means for dispensing for the purpose of use and separating at least one segment of the hygiene wipe.

Intimate zones are usually cared for wholly manually, although in recent years there has been a visible trend toward toilets incorporating a shower function. This latter does however require a considerable investment and is therefore an option available to only a minority of the population. Most users worldwide will still have to resort to the manual use of toilet paper, tissues or other type of hygiene wipe after using the toilet.

Manual cleaning, particularly of the anal zone, after use of the toilet has the drawback however that the hand used is then perceived in some parts of the world as being unclean. Only one hand is therefore then available for many actions. For elderly and disabled users manual cleaning of the intimate zones is moreover a difficult task from a physical viewpoint and sometimes can eventually not be carried out (any longer) in practice. These users then have to rely on assistance from others, which in practice will understandably be a major threshold.

The present invention has for its object, among others, to provide an assist device with which a user is independently able to attend to his or her intimate zones in a hygienic manner for at least a longer period of time.

In order to achieve the stated object an assist device of the type described in the preamble has the feature according to the invention that the holder comprises an elongate guide for receiving the wipe therein on a longitudinal edge, that the dispensing means comprise transport means which are able and configured to guide the hygiene wipe via the guide to a distal outer end thereof in the form of a series of successive wipe segments, and that separating means are provided on the guide in order to separate a wipe segment.

Between being presented and separated from the guide the segments are guided with a free end over the respective intimate zone so as to exert a cleaning action thereon. The device therefore as it were automatically provides for the supply and action of conventional hygienic paper, such as normal toilet paper, without the intimate zone having to be touched with the bare hand. This provides a solution for all those who would otherwise, for religious or other reasons, have to perceive this hand as being unclean, and also provides the elderly and disabled with a means to continue using the toilet for longer in fully independent manner.

A particular embodiment of the assist device according to the invention is characterized in that the holder is able and configured to comprise a hygiene wipe formed into a strip, and that the dispensing means are able and configured to collect successive segments of the wipe at the longitudinal edge and to form a series of successive cleaning rosettes shaped from the hygiene wipe. The wipe can be held here in relatively compact manner in the holder, for instance in rolled-up or folded form and subsequently shaped by and in the device into ready-to-use segments. The device thus provides a means of forming successive segments of hygiene wipe from the guide which thereby have an increased cleaning capability, and successively transporting and finally separating them via the guide.

In order to avoid tearing of the wipe during collection and shaping thereof into a rosette, a preferred embodiment of the device according to the invention has the feature that the wipe comprises a strengthening strip on the longitudinal edge, in particular a cord, thread or ribbon, which strengthening strip is in operative engagement with the dispensing means.

The invention also relates to a hygiene wipe for use with the assist device according to the invention, comprising a strip-like wipe body provided on a longitudinal edge with a strengthening strip, in particular a thickened portion, cord, ribbon or thread. In a preferred embodiment the wipe is particularly characterized here according to the invention in that the strengthening strip is connected in manually breakable manner to a series of successive wipe segments. The wipe segments can thus be easily separated from the strengthening strip after use by being pulled loose therefrom in order to be then flushed away or otherwise disposed of as desired. The strengthening strip, for instance a thickened portion, cord, ribbon or thread in or close to the edge of the hygiene wipe, provides a reliable base on which the dispensing means can engage instead of on the usually relatively fragile and tear-susceptible material of the wipe itself, which would perhaps otherwise tear.

Although the wipe can be received in various ways as supply in the holder, a particular embodiment of the device and the wipe according to the invention has the feature that the hygiene wipe is wound into a roll and received as such in the holder. This is in line with the conventional method of manufacturing and distributing hygiene paper in the form of toilet rolls. With this application in mind, a particular embodiment of the device according to the invention has the feature that the dispensing means comprise a set of endless belts between which the hygiene wipe is received with friction and which rotate in opposite directions. Such a set of belts is able and configured to unwind or take the hygiene wipe in other manner from a roll and lead it through the guide. An automatic feed of hygiene paper is thus realized by driving one of them.

The device can comprise manually manipulable drive means with which the dispensing means are driven. A particularly practical embodiment of the device according to the invention is however characterized in that the dispensing means are motorized, and more particularly in that the dispensing means comprise an electric motor and an electric power source which are arranged in or close to the holder.

From an ergonomic viewpoint it is preferred that the device comprises a comfortable handgrip with which the device is carried to the zone to be attended to. A further preferred embodiment of the device according to the invention has the feature here that the holder comprises a handgrip in which an actuator for the dispensing means is provided.

For efficient operation a hygiene wipe according to the invention has the feature that the hygiene wipe comprises an absorbent fibre wipe, and more particularly that the fibre wipe comprises a multilayer hygiene paper or hygiene textile, in particular a non-woven paper tissue. The hygiene wipe can be applied here in a dry, but also in a moist and in particular pre-moistened form for the purpose of an enhanced cleaning capability and comfort for the user.

The invention will now be further elucidated with reference to an exemplary embodiment and an accompanying drawing. In the drawing:

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of an assist device according to the invention in a closed state; and

Figure 2 shows the device of figure 1 in opened state.

It is otherwise noted here that the figures are purely schematic and not always drawn to (the same) scale. Some dimensions in particular may be exaggerated to greater or lesser extent for the sake of clarity. Corresponding parts are designated in the figures with the same reference numeral.

The device shown in the figures is only an example of a realization of an assist device according to the invention. This comprises a substantially plastic holder with a cylindrical chamber or cavity 2. Situated in the chamber is a spindle 3 on which a length of hygiene paper, in particular toilet paper, wound to form a roll can be held. In order to be able to (re)fill the holder with a new roll of hygiene paper or to change a roll, chamber 2 is provided with a reclosable cover 25 connected hingedly to an upper side of the holder, see figure 2.

On a first side holder 1 comprises an ergonomic handgrip 4 by which the holder can be grasped. Extending on a second side from the holder is an elongate arm 5 having a continuous groove 6 therein. Groove 6 is bounded on either side by an endless belt 65 between which the edge of the hygiene paper is received. For a simple placing of the hygiene paper and in the case of malfunction caused by jamming, the arm is longitudinally divisible, see figure 2, so that this guide can if desired be easily released. Each endless belt 65 is formed from optionally natural rubber and thereby generates a relatively high friction on the hygiene paper as soon as it is clamped therebetween. By having belts 65 rotate in opposite directions the hygiene paper can thus be carried through the arm. It suffices here for one of the two belts to be (motor-)driven while the other co-rotates. This guide 6 extends here from chamber 2 with the supply of hygiene paper therein to a distal outer end of arm 5.

On the longitudinal edge the hygiene paper 10 is preferably provided with a strengthening strip with which the wipe is received in guide 5,6. A series of individual wipe segments then extends from the strip which can each be individually separated after use. One of the endless belts 65 is driven in this example by an electric motor 30 (not shown) received in chamber 2 of holder 1. Handgrip 4 of the holder comprises a (rechargeable) battery 35 as power source for this electric motor 30. Provided externally is a connector for connection of an external power source, such as an adapter, which also provides for recharging of the battery. Use can optionally also be made of contactless inductive charging, in which case such a physical connection can optionally be dispensed with.

Also present in or on handgrip 4 is a switch (not shown) which serves as actuator with which electric motor 30 is set into operation. The set of belts 65 is hereby set into mutually opposite rotation whereby the hygiene paper is carried out of chamber 2 into guide 5,6.

This guide 6 can optionally comprise means which engage on the successive wipe segments, whereby a segment of the hygiene paper is formed into a rosette. The paper is then guided further through the guide to the distal outer end 7 where a knife (not shown) separates the segment from the strengthening strip.

Arm 5 can if desired be shaped ergonomically to the natural anatomy of the user at the position of his or her buttocks. Once it is at the intended location, a wipe segment is placed against the buttocks so that they are cleaned therewith. For this purpose motor 30 can be set into operation so that a train of segments will successively bring about an increasingly thorough cleaning. These segments are released at the distal end 7 and drop into the toilet and disposed of in normal manner. The invention thus provides an exceptionally hygienic manner of attending to an intimate zone of the body which can also be carried out independently by the elderly and disabled. Although the invention has been further elucidated above with reference to only a single exemplary embodiment, it will be apparent that the invention is by no means limited thereto. On the contrary, many variations and embodiments are still possible within the scope of the invention for a person with ordinary skill in the art. Instead of being made from plastic the holder can thus be formed from another, perhaps more high-end material. It is also possible to opt as desired for a different design of the holder, particularly at the proximal side with the handgrip. Instead of the use of a length of hygiene paper formed into a roll and comprising a train of successive mutually separable flat segments, use can optionally also be made of a hygiene wipe in the form of a string of pre-shaped rosettes held as such in the holder. Use can also be made, instead of a hygiene wipe wound into a roll in the holder, of an (alternately) folded stack of successive, mutually separated or separable segments.