An Aid for Use of Sanitary Napkins by Women with One Functional Hand

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Sen, Dibakar; Pudke, Shubham; Dhanawade, Suyog
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, India
Section: Healthcare and Welfare Design
Page(s): 288-298
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Activities of daily living (ADL) often pose significant challenge for physically challenged people. Inability to perform certain ADLs independently viz. toileting, bathing and personal hygiene, can affect an individual’s privacy, dignity and self esteem. Use of sanitary napkins is essential for women in child-bearing age; but it involves significant dexterity and coordinated use of the two hands. A female subject whose one hand is not there or usable would surely find it extremely difficult to do or seek help for; amputees, stroke-patients with hemiplegia and ones with congenital defects fall in this category. Even with advanced prosthetic devices may not help the amputees much and stroke rehabilitation is a long process. Therefore, a design intervention is imperative to save the dignity of such members with special needs in our society. The paper presents an initiative by the authors in this direction. The proposed design enables subjects with one functional hand to use a common sanitary napkin with a sticky patch for attaching it to knickers. To make it portable, the structure is light and designed to be folded in the size of a small notebook and can, therefore, be carried in a typical women’s handbag. It is basically a structure with two foot-rests and a raised portion in the middle for supporting the central narrow region of lowering knickers, and placing the opened pad for pressing and sticking. The same device also aids in removing, rolling and wrapping the used napkin with one hand. The design is sized to accommodate different anthropometry and napkin sizes. The effectiveness of the device has been tested by the designers by role-play. More elaborate tests are planned. Visuals demonstrating its usage are included in the paper.


Keywords: Inclusive Design, Rehabilitation, Sanitary-Napkin Design, Dignified Living, ADL Aid


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