Back-friendly carrying products?
July 8, 2009 8:42 AM   Subscribe

My mom has back problems, but insists on line-drying her wash, which means lugging a heavy laundry basket out to the line almost daily. What sort of cart, basket or carrier can I purchase that would help her schlep the wet clothes more easily? Difficulty: must be compatible with stairs.

Bending over is also somewhat problematic for her, so ideally this would be loadable/unloadable at waist height or higher. Basically, a small waist-high cart able to be pulled up a half-flight of stairs and over about 20 yards of grass would be ideal, but I'd also love to hear about easy-carry baskets or carriers, if such things exist. Thanks in advance for any/all suggestions for solutions here!
posted by Bardolph to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A shopping trolley with tri-wheels will be good for stair climbing, but it might not do so well on the grass. Like these models for ~£20.

Or you could look at a more robust truck-type thing (again with the Tri wheels).

(Sorry for UK links if you aren't UKian)
posted by Tapioca at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2009

Not really much of an answer, but activity helps strengthen the muscles, reducing strain on the spine which I'm assuming where the problem is. Second, reinforce lifting with the legs, not bending over to pick it up, which may have caused the problem in the first place.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 9:02 AM on July 8, 2009

Has your mom worked with an occupational therapist about her back issues? Occupational therapists often have really good information about assistive/adaptive devices of all sorts for people with mobility and pain issues.

Googling for "adaptive products" and "assistive products" might also help.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2009

Could you rig up a clotheline on a pulley that she can load clothes on from one place and just move the line as she continues? That way maybe she can load them on from inside or upstairs. Might be ugly, but you could explain it to neighbors.
posted by metaseeker at 10:24 AM on July 8, 2009

I like the pulley idea!

Low-tech solution: modify a plastic sled to have short walls so the clothes don't fall out as she pulls it up the stairs and across the grass. (Maybe cut a lawn-and-leaf bag expander the long way and use little bolts & nuts to attach it every so often along the side edges of the sled.)

She'd still have to have a waist-high cart at the clothesline, though, and would have to get the clothes up onto it.
posted by lakeroon at 11:02 AM on July 8, 2009

This isn't what you're asking for, but might she consider something like this?
posted by trig at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2009

make two or three trips?

a dry bag with backpack straps?,81197_Seattle-Sports-H2Zero-Gear-Dry-Bag-Waterproof-Large.html
posted by at at 11:51 AM on July 8, 2009

We have a tall back porch with a pulley system attached to a tree. It's so awesome. You could install it with a metal flagpole or just a nicely done metal post. Otherwise, lighter loads with more trips or even a big duffel bag might work.
posted by barnone at 3:57 PM on July 8, 2009

The standard method in Australia, home of the hills hoist, is one of these: laundry trolley. It's not a perfect solution, as they aren't great on stairs - the official method was to bump them down the stairs on their back wheels, and them drag them up backwards. Even if she carries the basket down the stairs, and then uses the trolley, it's better than nothing.
posted by kjs4 at 5:08 PM on July 8, 2009

Ok, finally tracked one down in the US (which is where I assume you are). Laundry Trolley.
posted by kjs4 at 5:20 PM on July 8, 2009

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