Saturday, 14 December 2013

More woodwork for my father-in-law

I continue to try to come up with bits and pieces to mitigate my father-in-law's limited manual control.  In an earlier post I described his difficulty in switching on his Kindle, and the holder I made with a large button which connects via a pin to activate the switch.  Now the problem is that this holder is too heavy and difficult to grip.

Fortunately, a lot of internet searching turned up a way in which the Kindle can be programmed to prevent it from switching itself off.  Useful for cooks using it for recipes, apparently; certainly useful for FIL during the night when he wakes up and wants to read further without requiring anyone else to turn it back on.  It means that the Kindle needs charging every few days rather than every week, but that's not a problem.

So Kindle holder number 3 is a lightweight affair, made from thin plywood rather than mdf, and with cutouts wherever possible to keep the weight down:

This is now in use, but tends to move too much when the page-turning buttons are pressed.  So we are adding to the mix a lightweight plywood tray with some anti-slip material attached which FIL can position on his chest in bed under the Kindle holder.  Laborious but, we hope, effective.

If you have limited grip and digital control, managing toilet paper can be tricky.  Don't worry - not too much detail needed on this one.  Just a simple wooden shelf which holds the moist wipes boxes in place by friction, so that the lids can be pressed open and the tissues pulled out, without the whole caboosh ending up on the floor:

Last for now, a couple of further arm-crutch holders for different places in his flat.  We call them elephants' feet, and they are simply made out of 110mm drainage pipe, which is surely a stock item for most people?

The next project is a made-to-measure bedside table.  It has to be just the right height for FIL to reach from bed to manage a few items, including (we hope) the remote controls for his TV and Freeview box.  That's underway at present.


  1. Some wonderfully creative items here, Ian and some clever ways of preventing things moving about during use. As our first choice here is always to use off-cuts of wood to improve the use of household items I'm fascinated by your ideas. The new Kindle design looks great and the toilet paper holder looks a perfect solution. Look forward to seeing the bedside table.

  2. Thanks, Wendy - yes, there's a particular pleasure in solving little problems with bits and pieces that cost next to nothing, isn't there?