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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SANITARY SEAT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/007498
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Sanitary seat on which the disabled or the elderly can sit to wash - or have washed - parts of their lower body. The seat (61) comprises two parts, an inner part (64) and an annular part (62), which can be moved relative to each other in the vertical direction. When the inner part (64), is projecting above the annular part (62), the part of the lower body projecting outside the inner part can be washed. When the inner part (64), is below the annular part (62), the particular person is sitting on the annular part (62). In that situation the other part on which the person was first seated can be washed. The inner part (64) is preferably provided with a spray head, and the inner part (64) with a downward projecting part of the annular part (62) preferably forms a watertight seal for forming a space which can be filled with water in which the lower body can be cleansed.

Inventors:
Snijders
Christiaan
Johannes, Hoenderdos
Alphonsus
Maria
Ludovicus
Dorotheus, Jong DE.
Willem
Gijsbert
Leonard, Jong DE.
Adrianus
Petrus
Application Number:
PCT/NL1991/000212
Publication Date:
May 14, 1992
Filing Date:
October 24, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Optische Industrie, 'DE OUDE DELFT' Snijders Christiaan Johannes Hoenderdos Alphonsus Maria Ludovicus Dorotheus De Willem Gijsbert Leonard De Adrianus Petrus
International Classes:
A47K13/28; (IPC1-7): A47K13/28
Foreign References:
US2954566A
Download PDF:
Claims:
C L I M S
1. Sanitary seat unit, characterised by a position¬ ing part (25, 30a, 30b) designed to be installed at the place of use, a seat (2) with at least a first and a second seat part (3, 4), and controllable movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) for moving and adjusting at least one of the seat parts relative to the positioning part.
2. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 1, characterised in that the first seat part (3) determines an opening (6) for accommodation therein of the second seat part (4), while the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are equipped for moving at least one of the two abovementioned seat parts relative to the positioning part (25, 30a, 30b) .
3. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are equipped for moving the seat part (3, 4) in question in the vertical direction.
4. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 1, 2 or 3, characterised in that the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are equipped for moving the first and second seat parts (3, 4) to different degrees.
5. Sanitary seat unit according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are equipped for moving the second seat part (3, 4) between at least a position below the first seat part (3) and a position essentially at the same height as said seat part.
6. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 5, characterised in that the first seat part (3) forms part of a bowlshaped part (34) which is suitable for holding of a bowlshaped part (34) which is suitable for holding water, and in that the second seat part (4) in the position below the first seat part (3) determines a part of the bottom of the bowlshaped part while sealing it.
7. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 5 or 6, characterised in that the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are equipped for moving the second seat part (4) between a position below and a position above the first seat part (3) .
8. Sanitary seat unit according to any of Claims 3 7, characterised in that the second seat part (4) is provided with spray elements (5, 41) for spraying water towards the user.
9. Sanitary seat unit according to Claim 8, characterised by elements for moving the spray elements (5, 41) relative to the first seat part.
10. Sanitary seat unit according to any of the preceding claims, characterised in that the movement means (24, 25, 15a, 15b, 16a, 16b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, 38a, 38b, 46, 56a, 56b) are also equipped for making the seat part (3, 4) in question tilt in the vertical plane.
Description:
SANITARY SEAT

The invention relates to a sanitary seat, in particular a seat on which the disabled, in particular patients with rheumatism and Parkinson's Disease, paraplegics and the like or elderly people, can sit to be able to wash - or have washed - the lower part of their body. Disabled people generally have great difficulties in washing parts of their lower body, such as the anus, genitalia, perinaeum, buttocks, thighs, etc. During washing it is necessary for the disabled person to be seated, in order to ensure greater control of the washing actions, which he can often perform with only one hand. If a stool is being used to sit on, the presence of the seat unit constitutes a restriction in the accessibility of the parts of the body to be washed. This also applies when a bidet or something similar is being used. The object of the invention is to provide an improved sanitary seat unit which offers greater convenience for the disabled, in particular through increasing the accessibility of the parts to be washed.

For this purpose, the sanitary seat according to the invention is characterised by a positioning part which is designed to be installed at the place of use, a seat with at least a first and a second seat part, and controllable movement means for moving and adjusting at least one of the seat parts relative to the positioning part. Split¬ ting the seat face into two parts means that by moving a seat part the disabled person can cause a part of his body which is normally supported to be exposed for washing, while the other remaining part of his body takes over the supporting function. The fact that a seat part is movable means that disabled users are offered the possibility of setting the seat part in question as desired, with the result that the movements which the disabled user had to make hitherto can be reduced.

According to a further development of the sanitary seat unit according to the invention, the first seat part determines an opening for accommodating therein the

second seat part, while the movement means are designed for moving at least one of the two above-mentioned seat parts relative to the positioning part. The moving means are preferably designed for moving the seat part in question in the vertical direction. In this case it is advantageous if the two seat parts are movable to differ¬ ent degrees.

The fact that at least one seat part of the seat is movable is also very advantageous because in this way help can be provided during sitting down and getting up again, which was hitherto often a problem for the user with incomplete control of his body.

According to a further development of the seat unit according to the invention, the movement means are designed for moving the second seat part between at least one position below the first seat part and a position essentially at the same height as it. In the position with the second seat part at the same height as the first seat part the user is offered a seat surface which is very comfortable (comfort seat) . When the second seat part is moved below the first seat part, perinaeum, anus and genitalia become easily accessible for water, which can be applied by hand or mechanically. In this embodi¬ ment it is also advantageous if the first seat part forms part of a bowl-shaped part suitable for holding water, and the second seat part in the position below the first seat part determines a part of the bottom of the bowl- shaped part, while sealing it off. In the low position of the second seat part, a bowl of water can thus be pres- ented to the user of the seat unit, in order to soak parts of the body, in the course of which the user can also experience a relaxing feeling. Through raising the second seat part relative to the first seat part after some time, the dirty water can simply flow away. It is particularly advantageous if the second seat part is movable between a position below and a position above the first seat part. When the second seat

part is raised above the first seat part, large parts of the buttocks and thighs of the user can be raised clear of the seat for washing, and the supporting function is simply taken over by other parts of the lower body of the user.

The second seat part is provided in an advantage¬ ous manner with elements for spraying water towards the user. With these, in the low position of the second seat part it is possible to spray directly against the parts of the user's body to be cleansed and also, if desired, to fill the bowl formed by the first seat part with water. It is also preferable for elements to be provided for moving spray elements relative to the first seat part. These elements can be formed by means for moving the second seat part up and down.

For further increased user comfort it is advan¬ tageous if the movement means are also designed for making the seat part in question tilt in the vertical plane, so that the seat can be moved into a slanting position.

The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to a preferred embodiment, which is shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings. It is shown in: Fig. 1: a sanitary seat embodying the invention for a physically handicapped person, in perspective view; Fig. 2: the sanitary seat of Fig. 1, cut away, with the most important parts for functioning of the sanitary seat being shown; Figs. 3A - D: sections along line III-III in Fig.

2 of successive positions of the sanitary seat of Figs. 1 and 2;

Figs. 4A - D: positions of a part of the movement mechanism, corresponding to the positions of the shower seat in Figures 3A - D, with the surrounding parts being omitted;

Fig. 5: other embodiments of a sanitary seat

according to the invention in solid and dashed lines;

Figs. 6A - D: schematic representations of a sanitary seat according to the invention in operation.

Fig. 1 shows a sanitary seat unit l according to the preferred embodiment of the invention, placed in a bathroom. The sanitary seat unit 1 comprises a seat 2, composed of a virtually rectangular seat part 3 with a top surface 3' and an opening 6, and a plunger 4 which fits in the opening 6 and has a top face 4' . The seat 2 also has a housing 34 in which a large part of the movement mechanism to be described in greater detail is accommodated. The sanitary seat is also provided with a backrest 11, from which two armrests 12a, b provided with arm pads 13a, b extend forwards. The backrest 11 is connected by means of vertical tubes 45a, b to the rear side of the seat 2, the tubes 45a, b extending through a cabinet 14 in which a transmission for the lifting handle 7 to the lifting cylinder unit 24, 25 (Fig. 2) provided in the cabinet 9 is accommodated. The cabinet 14 is fixed on the cylinder 24. Guides 10a, b are fixed on the wall

50 of the bathroom, in which guides the guide projections

31a, b shown in Fig. 2 can move up and down, in conjunction with the movement of the lifting cylinder 24.

The plunger 4 is provided with a recessed spray head 5, which is connected to the water mains and can be operated by means of a spray tap handle 49. Finally, Fig. 1 also shows a locking handle 8, the function of which will be explained below.

In the cutaway illustration of Fig. 2 three supporting frames can be seen, a supporting frame 37 for the seat part 3 (Fig. 1) , a supporting frame 39 for the plunger 4 (Fig. 1) , and a supporting frame 40 for the seat 2 as a whole.

The supporting frame 37 comprises two parallel bars 17a, 17b, which are connected to each other at the back, i.e. at the end lying at the wall 50 of the bath¬ room, by a crossbar 19 forming a firm connection

therewith, and at the front, i.e. at the end lying away from the wall 50, by means of a crossbar 18, which also forms a firm connection therewith. At the end lying away from the wall 50 the bars 17a, b are fixed at the position of 22a, b in a hinged manner to the supporting frame 40. The supporting frame 37 also has a crossbar 46 which is fitted near the crossbar 19 and is supported in a rotatable manner in the bars 17a, b and is provided with locking pins 38a, b firmly fixed thereto. The crossbar 46 can be rotated about its axis by operating the locking handle 8.

The supporting frame 39 comprises two parallel bar assemblies 15a, 16a and 15b, 16b, each forming an elbow joint. The bars 15a and 15b are fixed at the wall side at the position of 30a, 30b in a hinged manner to brackets 29a, b which themselves can be fixed by means of a plate 28 to the wall 50. Bars 16a, b are fixed at their end lying away from the wall 50, at the position of 23a, b in a hinged manner to the supporting frame 40, the central axes of the hinges 22 and 23 lying in line. The other ends of the bars 15a, b are provided with pins 36a, b, which are accommodated in longitudinal holes 35a, b provided in the other ends of the bars 16a, b. A U-bar 33 is also fixed firmly on the bars 16a, b, itself again forming a support for a bracket 32, on which the top plate 4' of the plunger 4 (see also Fig. 3A) is nested. At the position of the connection to the bars 15a, b the top side of the bars 16a, b is provided with stop plates 47a, b, against which the locking pins 38a, b come to rest in the manner to be explained further below.

The supporting frame 40, finally, is made up of two parallel tubes 20a, b, which are firmly connected to each other at the ends facing away from the wall by means of a crossbar 21, and at their ends lying at the wall 50, at the position of 52a, b, are in principle hingedly fixed to retaining clips 51a, b which are fitted on the lower ends of the tubes 45a, b. The ends of the tubes

20a, b lying at the wall are bent over, so that with the bent part they find a stop against the lower side of the tubes 45a, b and/or the lower side of the retaining clips 51a, b. The supporting frame 40 can thus be tilted up if desired, but it can also retain a fixed orientation.

Since the cabinet 14 is firmly connected here to the lifting cylinder 24, which is in turn fitted for vertical movement on piston unit 25 attached by means of footplate 26 in a fixed manner in the bathroom, vertical displacement of the cylinder 24, which is guided here by the fixed guides 27, will result in vertical displacement of the tubes 45a, b, the angle which the tubes 20a, b form with the horizontal remaining constant. It will thus be seen that on operation of the lifting cylinder 24 the piston unit 25, the footplate 26, the guides 27, the guides 10a, b, and the hinged connection 30a, b remain in place, while the supporting frame 40 retains its orientation.

The lifting cylinder 24 is also provided at its top end with bearings 56a, b for supporting the bars 15a, 15b. These bearings 56a, b are in the form of a roller here.

The shower seat described above will be explained below with reference to Figures 3A-D and 4A-D. In Fig. 3A the seat 2 is in the highest position.

The lifting cylinder 24 is moved to the lowest position, and thus also the cabinet 14 and the tubes 45, and therefore also the backrest 11 (Figs. 1 and 2) . Like the cylinder 24, the roller bearing 56a for the underside of the bar 15a is moved up. As can be seen in Fig. 4A, the locking handle 8 is operated to bring the locking pin 38a home against the appropriate stop face 47a. The dimen¬ sions of the locking pin 33a and the distance between them and the hinge joints 22a and 23a are selected in such a way that in this case the top face 4a' of the plunger 4 and the top face 3* of the seat part 3 provide an essentially closed sitting surface.

It can be seen that the covering 34 of the seat 2 is provided with apertures 48 for moving the parts 15a, b, 20a, b, 17a, b and 24.

In the position shown in Figs. 3A and 4A, bar 15a is tilted so far about hinge 30a that the pin 36a of the bar 15a is moved against the rear end of the longitudinal hole 35a. With the lifting cylinder 24 locked in this position, the orientation of the tube 20a is also fixed, and thus also the positioning of the hinges 22a and 23a. Since the hinge 30a is also fixed in position, and the bar 15a is supported at the position of 56a, the position of the seat 2 is also ensured. This position is shown here in a preferred arrangement, in which the sitting surface forms an angle of approximately 12° with the horizontal and at the level of the seatbones of the user is a height of approximately 64 cm above the floor of the bathroom. This gives the user the chance to sit down in a controlled manner, without flopping down.

If the lifting cylinder 24 is then moved down by operating the lifting handle 7, bar 15a will tilt down about hinge 30a, and the tube 20a is moved downwards while retaining its orientation until, for example, the position shown in Figures 3B and 4B is reached. The lowering speed of the pin 36a is greater here than that of the hinges 22a and 23a, so that the seat angle, which initially was preferably 12°, decreases. Since the lock¬ ing pin 38a still lies against the stop plate 47a, the seat part 3 follows the movement of the plunger 4. The so-called comfort position is thus reached (Fig. 3B) . The essentially closed seat surface 3', 4' offered is now preferably at a height of 47 cm above the floor of the bathroom, so that water sprayed with the spray head 5 against the body can simply flow away through the annular space present between the plunger 4 and the seat part 3. If the lifting cylinder 24 is moved further down, through relative displacement of the stop plate 47a, the locking pin 38a will go out of its range. A little later

the underside of crossbar 19 of the supporting frame 37 for the seat part 3 will knock against the top surface 49 of the lifting cylinder 24. In order to ensure that the movement of the bars 15a and 15b is not impeded, the crossbar is made with a double bend. With further down¬ ward movement of the lifting cylinder 24 the pin 36a drops again to a greater extent than the lifting cylinder 24 itself and now also faster than the crossbar 19, and thus the seat 2. In the end, the position shown in Figures 3c and 4C is reached, in which the pin 36a again lies against the rear end of the longitudinal hole 35a, and the plunger 4 has moved downwards so far relative to the seat part 3 that the underside of the circular inside wall 44 thereof goes against a circular flange 42 fitted on the underside of the circular inside wall 43 of the seat part 3. A seal provided on the flange 42 or on the lower edge of the wall 44 ensures that the seat part 3 and the plunger 4 now form a reservoir into which water can be admitted through pipe 41 which is connected to the water mains and spray head 5. The pipe 41 extends to the spray head 5 through the aperture 53 determined by the flange 42 and through the open underside 54 of the plunger 4. The aperture 53 here also admits the bracket 32. It can be seen in Figure 3C that the upper side of bar 15a comes to rest against the underside of the cabinet 14, which ensures that the lower edge of the wall 44 can be pressed firmly against the flange 42, in order to ensure a good seal of the reservoir.

If suitable dimensions of the opening 6 of the seat part 3 are selected, for example an oval-shaped opening with the tip forward and with a width of approx¬ imately 0.23 m and a length of approximately 0.28 , while the height of the seat at the position of the seat bones is approximately 39 cm, and the seat angle, i.e. the angle which the top face 3* forms with the horizon¬ tal, is approximately -4°, it will generally be ensured that the seat bones of the user sink down so far that the

- - - perinaeum is opened. The spray head 5 can now also be used for spraying the area surrounding the anus during filling of the reservoir. When the reservoir is filled sufficiently, the user can remain sitting for some time, in order to let the area surrounding the anus soak in it. If the user now raises the lifting cylinder 24 by operating the lifting handle 7 and has also pressed down the locking handle 8 here, as a result of the lever action between hinge 30 and the bearing of bar 15a on roller bearing 56a, the pin 36a will be moved up more quickly than the top side 49 of the lifting cylinder 24, and therefore more quickly than the crossbar 19 supported on it, and thus more quickly than the seat part 3. In the meantime, the coming away of the lower edge of the wall 44 of the plunger 4 from the flange 42 makes the reser¬ voir run empty. The situation shown in Figures 3D and 4D is thus achieved. The seat angle here is still preferably approximately -4°, while the plunger 4 is now raised to a height of approximately 4 cm above the top face 3* of the seat 3, to a height of approximately 44 cm above the floor of the bathroom. In this position the user is given the opportunity of washing the parts of the body which gave support on the seat part 3 in the position of Figs. 3C and 4C, for example by hand. The user then lowers the lifting cylinder 24 again to the position shown in Figures 3C and 4C for continued cleansing, or to such a lower position that the user can operate the locking handle 8 in order to ensure that when the lifting cylinder 24 is raised again the locking pin 38a engages with the stop face 47a. This again produces an essentially closed sitting surface which is retained until in the end the position shown in Figures 3A and 4A has been reached. In this position the user finds a helping support for getting up. Through the selected fixing of the tubes 20a, 20b, the seat 2 can now be folded up if desired.

Fig. 5 shows in solid lines another embodiment of

a sanitary seat according to the invention. A seat 61 is in this example fixed firmly to the wall 50. The seat 61 has an edge 62 which encloses an opening 63 (Fig. 6A) . In the opening 63 a plunger 64 can be moved up and down with the aid of a lifting cylinder 65. The lifting cylinder 65 can be electrical but, given the wet environment in which it is used, it is preferably hydraulic. As in the embodi¬ ment shown in Fig. 1, the plunger 4 is provided with a spray head (not shown) . A hose 66 provides the water supply to the spray head (not shown) in the plunger 64.

Fig. 6A shows a person 70 who has just sat down on the plunger 64. For this purpose, the plunger 64 is in a high position such as is also shown in Fig. 5. The plunger 64 can then be moved by means of the lifting cylinder 65 into a comfortable sitting position, which is shown in Fig. 6B. The top face of the plunger 64 in that position is situated at the same height as the edge 62 of the seat 61. In this position most of the body of a disabled person sitting under a shower can be washed, while the disabled person is seated in a relaxed and comfortable position. The person can then proceed to wash the lower part of the body. This is achieved by moving the plunger 64 further down into the position shown in Fig. 6C. In that position the plunger 64 connects in a sealing manner to the inside of the edge 62 and thus forms a basin 67. As soon as the plunger 64 reaches the lowest position shown in Fig. 6C, the basin can be filled by means of the spray head with water at a pleasant temperature. Dirt present on the skin is loosened in this way. In Fig. 5 the position of the disabled person at that moment is shown by the dashed line. Finally, the plunger 64 is moved up again slightly relative to the edge 62, with the result that the water present in the basin 67 can flow away through the slit indicated by 68a and 68b. The spray head is then also preferably turned on, so that the loosened dirt is simply discharged through the slits 68a and 68b. Finally, the parts of the

buttocks with which the person concerned is sitting on the edge 62 are cleansed by placing the plunger 64 in a position in which the top face of plunger 64 lies higher up than the edge 62, for example as shown in a slightly exaggerated manner in Fig. 6A.

Fig. 5 shows by dashed lines yet another embodi¬ ment of a sanitary seat according to the invention. In this embodiment the seat 61 is movable in the vertical direction by means of a lifting cylinder 69 and guide grooves (not shown) in wall 50. This means that the sitting height of the sanitary seat can be adjusted as a whole in situations such as those shown in Figures 6B - 6D. It is also possible to move from the situation shown in Fig. 6B into the situation shown in Fig. 6C by moving up the seat 61 by means of lifting cylinder 69, or through a combination of an upward movement of seat 61 and a downward movement of plunger 64. The same applies to the transition from the situation shown in Fig. 6C to the situation shown in Fig. 6D. Although for reasons of clarity not shown explicitly in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6A, in the embodiments shown in Figures 5 and 6 the plunger 64 can also be made

I tilting, as described above, for the purpose of further increasing user comfort.