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Denise Austin used to sell simple aerobic steps, and around a decade ago I bought one of them. But she seems to be selling other stuff now, according to my Web research. Her Step is 22.5 inches by 14.75 inches by 6 inches high, made of a very stiff foam you can walk on, and perfect for a food tray holder that goes next to the mattresses on the floor upon which the eater is lying.

If this person has a bad back, he may also have lots of trouble rising from the mattresses on the floor, and it turns out that this step is perfect for assisting with this action. Once a helper has removed the tray of empty dishes, the eater rolls to his side, braces his hands against first the floor and then the step which helps him to his knees on the mattress, and then still on his knees he lifts up an edge of the step and tilts it up until the step is resting on its shorter side. It's now 22.5 inches tall. Finally, he gets his feet to the floor and uses the side of the step to brace against as he stands, squatting more than bending.

If you're wondering why I bring up a step product that seems to no longer exist, it's because you may be able to find one still available somewhere even though I couldn't, but also because there are plenty of steps out there to buy and I'm encouraging you to get any of them that can be used for these purposes so you no longer put excessive strain on your back when you rise from the floor.

To support what I've just stated, I'll give you a place to get steps:
Aerobic Steps .
Tray Holder and Standing Assistance Accessory
tray holder and standing assistance accessory
tray holder and standing assistance accessory
If you don't have anyone handy for the helper role above, you'll need to deal with the tray all by yourself. If bending or twisting are out of the question, you'll need to find a workaround.

The Diagram below shows a tray cart and tray hooks (referred to in the diagram as TRAY LIFTERs). Use them to abolish the need for help in the food tray area.

The eater carries the tray into the living room, puts it on a normal height table, grabs the two hooks which are on the table or a nearby shelf, puts the hook ends into the tray handles while holding the tray hooks by the other ends, lifts the tray using the hooks, carries it over to the tray cart and places it on this tray cart, and removes the hooks which now get put back on the table or on a shelf. Then he lies down and eats.

Afterwards, he rolls the tray cart away from himself (toward his feet) with hands and maybe foot as well. This uncovers the Step, which he now uses to help him stand. The Step is positioned under the tray cart at all times (about 4" from the mattresses to give the cart wheels room), except when being used for either standing assists or aerobics. The eater now retreives the hooks, inserts them into the tray handles, lifts the tray onto the table, removes the hooks and stores them out of the way on the table or a shelf, and carries the tray into the kitchen. Then he tips over the Step, nudges it with his foot until it's parallel to the mattresses but 4" away, and rolls the tray cart over the step with his foot.

The tray hooks are made so they fit the tray handles nicely—you may have to change the tray hook plans slightly to accomodate your specific tray handles. Or you may have to attach handles to your food tray. Obviously, you can use something beside a curtain rod (see diagram) for your tray hook extensions—but these are a cheap and easy way to go, with built-in "handles" (the L) to grab. And there's nothing about the 4" bars (used as a gate latch or hook) that cannot be replaced if you get a better idea. But the design shown works great, and that's all that matters.

The tray cart is composed of 1/2" plywood, 2 x 2s, four 6" wheels, some molding (to keep the Step from rubbing the nuts inside the cart), and a few bolts, washers, screws and nuts. Give the Step an inch of clearance from either cart wall by making the i.d. (inside diameter) 2" more than the Step width. Make sure the wheels roll easily.
food cart for lying on mattresses on the floor