The wheelchair bed: the innovative for person with disability in community
Currently, the number of the person with physical disabilities in Thailand is approximately 1 million, accounting for 1.5% of the total population, and is likely to increase every year. Don Tako Subdistrict, which is the Tha Sala District border, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, is found that the person with physical disabilities is the most common type of disabilities in this area (84 persons 55%). Therefore, helping these people is very important to make them have a better quality of life and live with independence from the other people. Therefore, the professors in physical therapy program accompanied with senior students went to explore the problems and needs of person with physical disabilities. Then we sorted out the problems of person with disabilities and begin to help their physical problems, such as exercising their limbs, positioning, and encouraging ambulation. However, many disabled persons need more living facilities such as walking aids, wheelchairs, and proper beds to reduce their physical complications. Therefore, the physical therapy professors and the senior physical therapy students have ideas to develop innovations or inventions to help these disabilities have a better quality of life.
In Moo 5 of Dontago Subdisgrict, Thasala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. there is a person with a physical disability, and he is 29 years olds. He is unable to sit, move, and ambulate by themselves. Thus, transferring from one area to the other area in the house is very difficult and takes time. Many times, it caused his injury to the body. In addition, his mother is needed to work in the garden outside. Thus, none of the family members support him for living during his mother working outside, except for his very old grandmother. Therefore, we asked them for any assistance if we could provide for them. And also, from our assessments, we have similar ideas for help this person with a disability. Therefore, we initiated to design the equipment that may help the person with disability move easier and quicker in the house.
Figure 1: The characteristics of the person with physical disability
We decided to make a wheelchair bed. The person with disability brainstormed with us to design the innovation. Later, we contacted to the construction workers to build the innovation. After 2 months, the wheelchair bed were completed for the prototype.
Figure 2: the first design of the wheelchair bed.
Figure 3: The first prototype of the wheelchair bed.
Figure 4: The wheelchair bed in upright position
Good health and Well-Being:
After we completed the prototype of the wheelchair bed, our team has brought it to person with disabilities to try it for one week. It was found that there was something are needed to correct and adjust. One week later, our team modified it and brought it to person with disabilities to try again. After the second try of our innovation, the person with disabilities told us that he has very satisfied with this innovation. We were back their home after 1 week, and we assessed his quality of life. We found that the person with disability has improved their physical function and increase of quality of life. He can move easier in his house. It could also be reduced his mother’s effort to move him in the toilet.
Figure 5: The person with disability with his mother, and the innovation
Industry, Innovation, and infrastructure:
According to the restriction in the budget, some problems remain unsuccessful resolve such as a caregiver is required to adjust the wheelchair bed to upright position, and needed some assistance to move the wheelchair bed. In the future, innovations must be developed to be able to move easier with automatic functions. This will enable a person with disability to use innovations more conveniently. If this innovation is continues to develop, it can help many more person with similar disabilities. Finally, we can continue developing it into a commercial area with a low cost and easily access for people with disabilities who have limited budget.
After three months of visiting a person with disability in the community, he had access to more physical therapy rehabilitation services. This allows disabled person to have more opportunities for social interactions. In addition, the innovation of wheelchair beds helps person with disability have a better quality of life. It could reduce caregivers’ burden, and therefore his mother has more chances to work in the garden without any concerns. This information provided us that the person with disability who lives in a remote area has equal medical assistance and innovation.
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal