Here’s my Mom in a standing frame I built for her:
I made it using:
- Gold’s Gym Standard Gym Bench I got from Walmart for $77
- A 2 ton bottle jack that my Dad had from a an old vehicle which is nearly identical to this one on Amazon
- Some miscellaneous steel scrap: angle lengths (from a bed frame), some thin gauge tubing for the adapted jacking handle and some 3/16″ plate
Altogether my cost was the $77 (+tax!) for the bench but if you need to buy the jack as well as some of the additional steel, it would still only cost $110 or so. Of course not including the labor I spent probably 15 hours on it. But a lot of that was figuring things out and trying things out (and then finding out I needed to do something else!). I think I could probably do it again in a day. But that of course doesn’t include any finishing work. My Mom refers to the one in the photos as “industrial style”.
I needed to cut, grind, and weld some of the steel pieces from the gym bench to make the standing frame components.
Here are some more pictures of it:
The white tubing coming up from the jack is an extension for the jacking mechanism to allow the user to jack him or herself all the way up to a standing position from a sitting position.
The knee/leg lock at the front of it can be removed by pulling it up out of the center tube and placed back in relatively easily to allow the user an unobstructed path for transferring onto the seat.
It’s designed so the user doesn’t have to put his/her feet into the foot pedals and can just leave them on the floor which I think in most cases makes transferring easier. I think that the reason the commercial stands have the foot pedals is for the ability for the whole unit and user to be wheeled around on the casters that they come with. That’s probably really handy in outpatient rehab settings where the frame (along with users of it) might need to be rearranged on the floor quite a bit throughout the day.
- The seat height isn’t adjustable and although the fixed height works well for Mom, I think it would be better if it were a bit shorter and of course might be difficult for others to adapt to it. But there are some areas for play in the height for the future.
- The weight bench seat is 11 inches wide and so a lot of users would probably feel more stable and transfer more easily with a wider seat. This could be done relatively easily by doing some custom upholstery with a board of desired width and length and padding and cover or by sourcing a wider seat from something else.
- The knee pad post is a bit on the heavier side and so, if it were lighter, it would make it easier to put it in the tube and pull it out. That could be done by using narrower tubing.
- Attach another long handle (like the one for the jacking) to the bottle jack on the release screw so the user can let him/herself down from the standing position alone. I encountered some difficulty with this because the screw is a small welding target and also, in retrospect, when I was trying to weld to the screw I grounded the welder off the tube so basically the current was forced to try and make it’s way through the hydraulic oil to complete the circuit and so the arc wasn’t good at all. Should be able to wrap this up quickly though with another attempt.
- Creating a transfer bar on the transfer (right) side of the seat to help with transferring
- Maybe add a seat back. Not crucial, but would probably add additional comfort
- Create a chest brace. Depends on the user on how necessary this is
- Create a table in front for use when standing. Would be nice to have