Disabilities that we address on this site, including the inability to sit, the inability to bend, and the need to keyboard in bed
Automobile safety for the horizontal passenger
Computer setups for the horizontal:
Leg & Back Rests
Building Arm Slings
Tch Typist Armrest H&P Typist Armrest
Building Stilt Keybd
Building Kbd Holder
Build Laptop Holder
Build Laptop Cover
Build Paper Holder
Make Back Support
Computing on Back
Building Foam Desk
Build a Book Holder
Recliner with Desk
Computer setups for the back-lying
Computer setups for the reclining
Sleeping and reading
accessories for the
Reading and writing
stand for the standing
Music keyboard raiser
Tray holder and standing assistance acces- sory
Raised work trays for kitchen or workroom
Raised workbench for garage
Raised massage table
Raised sinks, faucets, and towel racks
Mattresses for TV watching and eating
Using a reacher device for dressing, picking things up, and grabbing things that are too high or low to reach without bending or straining
Toilet seat riser
Living Room Floor-Level Back-Lying Remote Holder
Living Room Back-Lying Remote Holder
Two High-Leverage Shower Knobs
Raised Shower Head
Remodeled Counter and Sink Faucet and Faucet Knobs in Bathroom and Kitchen
Left-Click Microswitch and Switch-Adapted Mouse
Xkeys for Easier Drag and Copy and Paste Functions
Bathtub Saddle Remodel for Safety
Do-It-Yourself Accessibility Wrench for Pool Filters and Valves
Accessibility Pool Steps with Reduced Riser Height
Hot Tub with Safety Rail and Safety Pole
• Leg and arm rest bolster
The size I recommend is 46 inches by 7 inches by 10 inches. Cut it from soft, low density foam—that's what I did. I trimmed down all corners (from one 90-degree angle to two 135-degree angles) until they felt comfy.
Then I sewed a soft cloth cover onto the bolster, and created a pillow case (out of two long pillow cases) with a Velcro fastener on the open end. This latter is changed occasionally.
The bolster can be used under or over the covers, and during computer use as well. I like to use a bolster identical to the one just described for sleeping, except that it is of softer, lighter foam so it's easier to manipulate under the covers, as well as more comfy, although it will give way to the weight of one's legs a bit more than you may like—especially after months of use. So you might want to buy thicker foam proactively.
By the way, armrests and leg rests are good for most bad backs, according to several physical therapists I've known.
General Sleeping and Reading-in-Bed Accessories
• Back support
Get a 3-inch by 4-inch by 18-inch piece of soft foam and tuck it behind your back to prevent that feeling of being about to roll backward.
Here's where to find a discussion of a fancier and even more effective back support.
• Pillow modification
If your pillow hurts your face even though it's the softest made, change it. By lying on a pillowcase-less pillow and marking all the spots that hurt the most (roll sideways for access), one can establish a high-density pain area. It's easy to push all the feathers away from an area to let the surrounding area bear more of the head weight, and then sew stitches to surround the pain area so it stays feather-free. This may compact the down enough so that you'll want to open the pillow and remove some down—do it outdoors.
• Bed raising
To minimize the stress put on a bad back, it is important to ensure that bed mounts and dismounts are as comfortable as possible. I find that raising a bed allows mounts and dismounts to be quite a bit less stressful as less squatting, sitting, and bending is required. And dismounts are further aided because the weight of one's legs can help leverage one's upper body to a standing position (the pivot point is the back of the upper thighs just below the butt).
I used 1 ½-inch angle irons as leg extenders on a bed whose legs were already formed from angle irons. If you try this, make sure you use plenty of overlap for strength. I fastened them with 1-inch-long ¼-inch bolts. My other bed raising strategy (used in my bedroom) was simply adding more mattresses and foam. The amount to raise a bed depends upon one's leg length.
• Magnet pads
To hedge your bets about health, use Norso Magnetic mattress pads. I use them 2 weeks on then 2 weeks off. Some sleep clinics have even recommended them.
If the pads tend to rumple up, you can do what I do: duct tape them directly onto a foam mattress. The tape must completely encircle the mattress, since it sticks to itself but not to foam. Also, make sure you tape every foot all the way up and down the mattress and in both directions.
The pads use Damask fabric, and 3950 gauss rated magnets. Norso has several models. If you're sensitive, you may want a convoluted foam pad or even a latex one (see the next section) between you and the magnet pads, due to the feel of the tape. This also makes sense if the gauss rating is high since you'll get fairly significant magnetism a couple of inches away from their stronger magnet pads.
Norso Magnetic mattress pads
• Latex pads
I found great latex mattresses at Flobeds. Ask for their softest stuff with the holes. I don't know if they will sell individual pieces any more—they used to. Also, they only sold me pieces that were their standard size cuts.
However, I also bought latex at Rest E-Z (in Springfield, OR) and they got me the exact size I wanted. Their phone number is 541-736-9091. I've found nothing better on this planet than 3-inch latex mattresses covered with normal mattress pads for a comfy surface on which to sleep, as long as one has at least one other soft mattress underneath them. I've also found that they're the best way to go if you're side-lying or back-lying a lot for whatever reason.
• Extra convoluted pad
To add even more comfort to mattresses, get a convoluted foam pad from a local discount store. It's $8 to $10 for the narrower/twin size. I use them under latex mattresses as well as over magnet pads—they're easy to cut to size. I find them most comfortable with the smooth side up.
• Spill Proof Male Urinal Stand
If you need to use a male urinal in bed, you'll find that there are plenty of types to choose from. The ones that are designed best are supposedly for hospitals and are not supposed to be reusable—they're disposable. And that's because they are of thin plastic and tend to leak after not very many uses but they hold up to 32 oz. A sturdy one that will last forever is the Spill Proof Male Urinal (below). Each urinal holds 16 oz. liquid. Since I have been known to urinate as much as 32 oz. at a shot, I had to get two. The tricky part is knowing when to stop, switch, and restart. I got up to about 20 oz. once and it leaked back out the penis tube—not fun! Since I needed to fill them and then get back to sleep without getting up, I had to make a stand out of foam. The holes were cut with an electric kitchen knife. The toilet paper roll is on a 3/4" dowel. Use it to deal with dribbles and drips. There is a poem: "No matter how you shake and dance, the last drop always goes in your pants." Only in this case, it can potentially go on the bed sheet.
Spill Proof Male Urinal Stand
Spill Proof Male Urinal
• Prevent falling out of bed with sleeping restraint sleeve
If you have a tendency to fall out of bed due to sleepwalking, bad dreams, position switching, earthquakes or just plain rolling over, you might want to consider a sleeping restraint sleeve, which I use nightly and during naps because I found out getting a concussion is no picnic. I sleep on my right side at night and my left side for naps, so there is one of each type of sleeve anchored to my bed (tied around a rope, which is tied around the submattress of the bed I'm next to). Note the stitching is tapered so the sleeve opening is looser than the sleeve's narrower end, for easier donning. It must be easy to put on and take off, yet tight enough to not slip off in your sleep.
Restraint sleeve to front
Restraint sleeve to back
Restraint sleeve seam
Restraint sleeve anchor knot around rope