Modern portable units have revolutionized the lives of many oxygen users. Unlike the bulky and heavy tanks of former times, contemporary units are quite compact and often can even be worn like shoulder bags. The corresponding increase in mobility has quite literally changed lives, but for many, even the smallest units can be difficult to carry over the course of a few hours.
Metal carts are easily found and quite common. They’re ugly, though, look flimsy, and aren’t particularly user-friendly. One inventive son came up with this attractive and practical alternative for his mother. The base is a rectangular wooden box with sides just high enough to hold the tank in place. Two sturdy dowels lead from the back of the box to a thicker, horizontal dowel which forms the handle. The wheels are on a simple axle.
The sides of the box drop below the platform so that the cart is stable when upright; it rolls easily whether pushed or pulled. Mom pointed out that the handle was the perfect height for a little support when resting, saying that it felt a lot like having a cane along.
GearAbility met up with the cart’s owner at a museum while she and we were milling about. The plan was to use one of the museum’s wheelchairs for the rest of the evening; because this nifty cart, oxygen tank and all, was light and small enough to fit in the pocket behind the wheelchair’s seat, her companion had no trouble lifting it and putting it in place. If Mom wanted to, transitioning in and out of the chair to walk a bit in the galleries was going to be easy.
A cart just like this one, or a variation on the theme, would be a fairly simple project for other handy sons (or daughters). The warm look of the wood and the attractive finish made it look more like an accessory than a medical device: Form and function!