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1. (WO1997018926) ARTICLE OF EQUIPMENT WITH DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS, WORN AROUND THE WAIST
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters
DESCRIPTION

Article of equipment with different functions, worn around the waist

The invention in question refers to an article of equipment, which is worn around the waist, with different functions, below called belt. It is characterized by a belt to be worn around the waist, it is adjustable to fit different sizes, has pouches of different sizes that can be rolled up and fastened, a number of hooks, different ribbons and a device which makes it possible to fasten crutches / stick or other such object directly onto the belt, when this is worn around the waist or fixed to another object.

Background ofthe invention

Technical problems

Persons, who are forced to use crutches after breaking a leg, surgery of the hip or other injury / operation, have one problem in common, which most people find very annoying. As both hands are needed for the crutches, it is very difficult indeed to carry things one needs. It is especially complicated for persons living on their own and therefore not able to ask other people for assistance.

To pick up the mail from the postbox; to bring a newspaper from the kitchen to the bedroom; to bring an apple and a book to the favourite reading-chair are almost impossible tasks! Crutch-depending persons try different tricks - such as stuffing the pockets full (these are often too small, though, or non-existent when wearing a skirt for example), putting things inside the trousers' / skirt's band, holding the object with the teeth or trying to balance the crutch with a bag hanging on it. The latter is very complicated and can leed to new accidents, as total balance is required between the crutches and the human body. It is not advisable, either, to walk many steps with a shoulder bag hanging around the neck, as this too gives the wrong body balance, and this applies to carrying the bag around the shoulder as well. The latter also means that the bag is in the way for one ofthe crutches when walking, resulting in imbalance.

Another problem which persons with one or two crutches are faced with, as well as stick-using people, is the problem of putting the crutches / stick to the side when needing both hands free. Sales staff in shops can confirm how crutches / sticks fall on the floor, when persons try to lean them onto the counter or such like. At home, too, the problem of leaving the crutches near to hand in a safe way occurs. The risk of having (new) injuries is great if persons depending on crutches have to bend over to pick them up again.

It is also difficult to put away the crutches in a restaurant, conference room etc., where many people are gathered. If the crutches are put on the floor there is a risk that other people stumble over them, resulting in an injury risk for these persons. If, on the other hand, the crutches are put away standing up-right, they can easily fall and cause problems for other persons in the room. It isn't a positive thing, either, to have the crutches too far away from where oneself is sitting, as one then must depend on other people to fetch them again. A kind of dependence which can be experienced as negative.

Not only persons who need crutches or a stick may have the need for an article of equipment that makes it possible to carry things around more easily. - In many flelds of work there is a need for "carrying-help". For instance women supervisors need somewhere to put the portable phone or minicall, scissors, pens and pads etc. This also applies to such working categoπes as teachers in kindergarten and primary school.

Many elderly women are today afraid of bag-snatchers when going out for a walk. But going out without a handbag is unthinkable. The risk for bag-snatching also exists when hanging the bag on the handle of the rollator / walker. Confused persons also have problems of knowing where they have put their personal belongings.

What is available today?

Persons with broken legs try different ways in regard to their handicap, i.e. not being able to carry things they need around with them (se above). There is no direct means of assistance, except using an apron with big pockets. Such a garment hangs far down on the legs, though, and hinders the ability to move. It is not so nice, either, to walk around with an apron all the time - especially not for younger men, who have broken their ancles in the skiing slopes! - The problem of having bags hanging around the body or a bag around the crutch handle has been shown above.

When it comes to different job categories, there are several different kinds of working belts today (mostly made of leather, which can be heavy and unwieldy for women especially) which are made for men in the first place, such as special belts for carpenters, as well as special ones used when going hunting and fishing. But requirements typical for women are paid little attention to. Women often put their scissors, telephone etc. in the trouser pockets, if they have such. It is difficult though if they wear tight jeans or a skirt. Then there is no such possibility.

Regarding the problem of securing the crutches / stick onto something, when both hands must be free, there exists today a device which is fitted on the crutch / stick itself (called crutch-holder). It can then be fastened on to a smooth surface of a stable object. But it is not to be taken for granted that there is such a place exactly where the person needs it. Certain problems occur when fastening it, too. The holder also falls off quite easily. Neither does the loop, which can be fastened around the crutch / stick and the hand, facilitate the situation. When the hand is free, the crutch / stick still dangles from it.

The solution to the problem of where to put the crutches / stick in different kinds of assembly-rooms is the same as described in the foregoing passage. The chance of a smooth surface where the person can fasten his crutches close to the chair where he is sitting is more or less non-existent!

The above problems and the existing solutions constitute not only a physical problem for the persons in question, but also the lack of freedom, i.e. to depend on the help of other people, can be most annoying, especially if the person is forced to use crutches / stick for a longer period of time.

Purpose of invention and its main characteristics
Reference in ( ) is made to the enclosed drawing

The purpose of the invention is to construct an article of equipment, which eliminates the above mentioned problems as far as possible. The solution consists of a belt around the waist ofthe person, with different devices for different functions, below called belt. It may very well be worn underneath a sweater or a jacket, which makes it less obvious When needed, it can also be worn on top of an overcoat or jacket.

The different pouches (3), which are fastened onto the belt and are of different sizes, solve the problem how to bring different things along which are not too big or too heavy. These pouches can be an alternative to a handbag for women, who need crutches / stick In these they can have their wallet, comb etc. This applies to men, as well, of course1 - For different workmg groups the pouches and the hooks (4) can be a good solution to the "carrying problem" of smaller objects

The different pouches (3), which normally are rolled up (7) and fastened onto the belt by means of for example a button, are let down when used They are made of a strong, but soft matenal, which makes them almost unnoticeable when rolled up The belt itself (1) is made of a durable mateπal, which is pleasant even when the belt is worn all day

Should the existing pouches (3) on the belt not be sufficient, a shopping bag can easily be hung on the hooks (4) ofthe belt If it becomes too heavy, the end of the belt (1) is run through the handles ofthe bag, and it hangs securely on the belt The bearer then turns the belt around, so that the shopping bag hangs on his back In this way there is proper balance when the person walks with his crutches / stick

Keys and other objects can also hang on the hooks (4) All with the purpose that the person should have all his most important belongings "on himself. It is very practical for a woman to fasten her handbag onto the two hooks, as there is usually a metal ring between the handbag itself and its hand- or shoulderstrap This can also be the solution ofthe problem of bag-snatching, as well as being a comfort for confused persons, who have problems in knowing where their belongings are For these persons, the pouches (3) are of course very practical, too

The elastic band (5) on the belt can be used as an additional carrying help, i.e to carry a newspaper etc The article characterized by an elastic band or similar, with a hook and ring device (6) on the belt itself (1) is the solution to the problem where and how to put away the crutches / stick without the risk of them falling. With an easy grip the band is tightened around the cruthes / stick and then hooked onto the ring on the Belt. The crutches / stick are then securely fastened when both hands must be free, for instance when taking out the wallet and paying in a shop. It is also very practical to fasten one or two cruthes or stick when one for instance wants to walk around in a shop, looking at different merchandise, instead of putting the crutches / stick somewhere, where they could be in the way and may fall.

The solution of crutches / stick in an assembly-room with several other people, like in a restaurant, is to fasten the belt around the back ofthe chair, with the help ofthe article (6) as described above. The crutches / stick can then be secured onto the backside ofthe chair the person himself is sitting on. At home, as well, the belt can be secured around different pieces of furniture, where there is a need to put the crutches.

Description ofthe enclosed drawing
The drawing shows belt as above with different functions

1. Belt with buckle

2. Device to adjust to different sizes

3+7. Pouches that can be rolled up and fastened to belt

4. Hooks for hanging different things on

5. Elastic band for fastening different things

6. Device for fastening crutches, stick or such to belt