mobile Independence Mobility NHS

Education & Training



With the wealth of mobility products and specialist healthcare equipment on the market today, we understand what a challenging task it can sometimes be for healthcare professionals to prescribe the very best solution for a client’s specific needs. To help occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other clinical professionals improve their knowledge on the latest innovations, Independence Mobility are committed to providing education resources and training opportunities.

 


Lunch & Learn Training Sessions

We understand that an OT’s time for training is often very limited, so our free lunch & learn training sessions are designed to give clinical teams a quick overview on a specific subject area at a time and a location that’s convenient for you.

Our lunch & learn training sessions offer…

  • A training session dedicated to you and your team
  • A relaxed, informal and fast training session at your place of work
  • The opportunity to discuss any difficult case studies you have encountered
  • Test-drive some of our products for yourself
  • Complimentary food

We offer lunch & learn training sessions on the following product areas…

  • Posture management and specialist seating
  • Wheelchairs
  • Tricycles
  • Moving & handling solutions

If you would like to arrange a FREE Lunch & Learn session for yourself and your colleagues, please contact us on 0113 262 8000 or email enquiries@independencemobility.co.uk

 


Case Studies

Prescribing the correct piece of equipment for a client’s unique and individual needs can have a big, positive impact on the quality of their life. Here are some case studies showing how some of our products have done just that.

 

Specialist Seating Case Studies

 

Jack's Story
 

Jack's Story

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Martha's Story
 

Martha's Story

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Margaret's Story
 

Margaret's Story

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Valerie's Story
 

Valerie's Story

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Rachel's Story
 

Rachel's Story

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Wilma's Story
 

Wilma's Story

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Ben's Story
 

Ben's Story

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Joan's Story
 

Joan's Story

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Alan's Story
 

Alan's Story

MORE
 

 

 


Advice for Medical Conditions

Due to certain medical conditions and disabilities, many people spend a lot of time sitting or confined to their beds. These conditions can sometimes cause secondary postural or medical complications which can make it more challenging to seat the person correctly. Incorrect seating can have a negative effect on a person’s social and physiological wellbeing and can reduce their ability to be independent, so it’s incredibly important to consider these medical conditions when prescribing specialist seating.

Click on the conditions below to find out more *.

Condition Description:

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading form of dementia found in elderly patients marked by the slow degeneration of a person’s cognitive function due to impaired communication between nerve cells in the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is associated with severe loss of memory and changes in behaviour.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms change and can become more exaggerated, especially as the individual’s memories become more and more short term.

Symptoms:
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Disorientation
  • Trouble with language
  • Unpredictable moods
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Reduced mobility
  • Decreased muscular function/increased fatigue
  • Difficulty swallowing (in later stages)
  • Inability to walk (in the final stages of AD)
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Becoming as familiar as possible with these signs and symptoms can help caregivers recognise any progression that is happening. For family members, knowing about Alzheimer’s and what to look for can make it easier to care for and understand individuals with the disease.

The following tips may help too:

  • Keep simple daily schedules on hand and establish a routine - keep familiar objects and photos close by
  • Give the person simple either/or choices and simple instruction - don’t force your help until they ask for it
  • Make sure everything around them is safe
  • Remind them of upcoming events often
  • Don’t get frustrated if you have to repeat yourself
  • Don’t make a big deal of the person forgetting simple words for familiar items - just casually say it in your reply
  • Be calm and don’t take their anger or paranoia personally - allow them to express their emotions safely
  • Make sure the person is sleeping comfortably, even if at irregular hours of the day
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is multi adjustable enabling it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes. Cognitive changes may reduce the patient’s ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust easily and which accessories can be added to as needed, will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento™, Phoenix™, Atlanta™ and Monaco™ chairs in particular are designed to suit the needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The Phoenix and Sorrento are helpful in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease when muscular function is lost.  The Seating Matters Phoenix and Sorrento chairs are highly adjustable, providing full body support and pressure management. Accessories can be added to the chairs at a later date as and when they may be required, to meet patient’s changing needs as they evolve over a period of time.  Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver.  Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

The Atlanta is particularly helpful in patients who suffer involuntary movements and can be challenging to seat.  People with these symptoms may have an increased risk of falling out of their chairs because they forget that they are not as strong as they once were.  The seat depth, high arm rests and leg rests keep the individual safe, supported and snug within their chair.  If your patient or loved one is at high risk of falls you may find this blog on the subject helpful.

For those who have good skin with low pressure risk, and a degree of independent mobility, the Monaco provides lateral support and pressure management whilst maintaining the patient’s independence.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Brain injuries are caused by external force or trauma jarring the brain, causing varying degrees of brain dysfunction.  This usually happens due to a violent blow to the head or body or an object penetrating the skull.

Mild brain injuries may only have a temporary dysfunction of brain cells.  More serious brain injuries can lead to bruising on the brain, torn tissues, bleeding and physical damage to the brain that can lead to long-term complications or death.

If a person with a brain injury is not treated right away or the injury is severe enough, long-term complications may occur.

Symptoms:
  • Coma
  • Swelling/fluid build up surrounding the brain
  • Infections- meningitis
  • Sensory problems
  • Paralysis of facial muscles/loss of facial sensation
  • Behavioural changes
  • Difficulty with self control, risky behaviour, verbal/physical outbursts
  • Cognitive problems
  • Memory problems, change in judgment, ability to problem solve, etc
  • Communication difficulties
  • Problems with understanding, speaking, writing, nonverbal cues, following conversations
  • Vegetative state
  • Stroke/blood clots due to blood vessel damage
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy – reoccurring seizures
  • Dysarthria – Inability to use the muscles needed to form words
  • Double vision or even blindness, loss of smell, ringing in the ears, trouble swallowing
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

If you see someone sustain a head injury, watch for the above symptoms and if any are noticed, bring the patient to the doctor right away.

The following tips may help too:

  • Write important names, events and hard to remember things down and make them readily accessible
  • Create a routine that is easy to follow and remember
  • Alter your expectations and tasks to make them more manageable
  • Avoid distractions, especially if cognition problems arise
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  Cognitive changes may reduce their ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust and to which you can add accessories at a later date, will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento™ and Phoenix™ in particular are designed to suit the needs of those suffering from a brain injury and these are also available as part of our Kidz Range, as well as for adults.  These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and highly supportive and can be used as rehabilitation tools, with accessories that can be added or taken away as necessary.  This allows one chair to meet changing patient needs over a long period of time. Both the Sorrento and Phoenix are available in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver.  Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Depending on the severity of the injury, Sorrento and Phoenix can provide the exact amount of support a person needs.  They can be adjusted to provide less support as rehabilitation routines work to make the user stronger.  If the injury causes the user’s health to deteriorate, these chairs can be adjusted to include greater amounts of support as well.

If an individual suffers from symptoms that include involuntary movements, the Atlanta™ is a fantastic option. The Seating Matters Atlanta provides a safe and padded position, robust enough to withstand constant, vigorous, involuntary movements.  The high arm rests and ramped seat of the Atlanta provide a safe and comfortable position without the patient feeling like they are being restrained in their seat.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Cerebral palsy occurs when parts of the brain that control muscles are damaged, causing varying degrees of lifelong disability.  There is a wide spectrum disability within CP, ranging from mild physical disabilities to more severe cognitive and physical disabilities both.

CP is usually caused by factors prior to birth: lack of oxygen passed to the child before birth, via infection spreading from mother to baby or by genetic disorder.

Those not born with CP may develop it if they are infants who are extremely jaundiced, or suffer from infections to the brain like meningitis or from seizures or head injuries.

Symptoms:

People with CP tend to fall into three categories of symptoms:

  • Spastic with stiff, tight, contracted muscles
  • Dyskinesia, also called athetoid, with uncontrollable, convulsive movements
  • Ataxic with poor gait and coordination

Individuals with CP may fall solely in one category or have a combination of all three, with different ranges of severity.  Some will only have the limbs on one side of the body effected, others will have all four limbs equally effected and still others may have all four limbs affected with legs more severely than arms.

Other symptoms may include:

  • IQ below normal
  • Ability to feed oneself may be severely limited
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Start occupational and physical therapy early.  Occupational and physical therapy can train your child how to coordinate movement, assist with posture and loosen tendons to ease pain and prevent shrinkage of scar tissue.  Caregivers should be present and an active part of the treatment plan

The following tips may help too:

  • Provide help with mobility around the home or when on outside visits
  • A walking frame, walking stick or wheelchair may help with these activities, depending on the degree of disability the patient may have due to cerebral palsy
  • Ensure assistance is provided with personal care
  • Visiting nurses, caregivers and occupational therapists can assist with ways of adjusting to incontinence
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes. Cognitive difficulties may reduce their ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust and to which you can add accessories will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Phoenix™ chair in particular is designed to suit the needs of those with cerebral palsy.  This Seating Matters chair is highly adjustable and accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing patient needs over a long period of time.  The Phoenix chair is also available as part of our Kidz Range, as well as for adults.

Individuals with cerebral palsy need a lot of upper body support and the Phoenix can provide that.  With its shoulder support and headrests, the head is protected and ensures that the spine is properly aligned.  The Phoenix chair is also available as part of our Kidz Range.

The Phoenix comes in manual and powered options. Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver.  Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Cerebral vascular accidents, more commonly known as a stroke, occur in two different ways by different causes.

The majority of strokes, about 80% are called ischematic strokes and are caused by stopped blood flow to brain, usually due to a blood clot blocking the blood vessel and therefore not enough oxygen getting to the brain.

The rupture of blood vessels, or hemorrhagic strokes, causes the other 20%.  Depending on the area of the brain where cells are denied oxygen determines what symptoms individuals have.

Many people recover from strokes fully to lead full and active lives afterwards and a specialist chair may be needed only during rehabilitation.

For others who suffer a more ‘dense’ or damaging stroke, rehabilitation may take longer and may not be as effective.  In this case, a specialist chair may be used in the long term to help this person function and to alleviate some of the problems resulting from the stroke.

Symptoms:

Early signs of a stroke are:

  • Trouble walking
  • Problems with speech (slurring of words) and understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness in face (facial drooping) or limbs
  • Vision trouble in one or both eyes
  • Headaches that may also include dizziness and vomiting

Other, longer-term complications include:

  • Paralysis/loss of muscular movement- usually on one side of the body
  • Trouble talking and with communication
  • Aphasia- difficulty with language
  • Dysarthria- slurred speech
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Memory loss/thinking difficulties (judgment problems)
  • Pain, numbness and strange sensations
  • Behavioural changes
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Aim for a “new normal.” Depending on the degree of rehabilitation, life could be different after a stroke.

The following tips may help too:

  • Celebrate any bit of progress during recovery
  • Allow time for rest and recuperation
  • Accept that once easy tasks may be more difficult
  • Get out of the house. Even though patients suffering from a stroke tend to be slower moving, it is good to get a change of scene and participate in social activities
  • Don’t get frustrated when communication is hard. Relax and take your time
  • Use props, gestures and signals to convey what you are trying to say
  • Caregivers should ask easy questions that don’t require a lot of thought or a lot of words in order to give an answer
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair you choose is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes. Cognitive and physical changes may reduce the patient’s ability to ‘learn’ and ‘operate’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust easily and can add accessories as needed will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento™, Phoenix™ and Monaco™ chairs in particular are designed with features to suit the functional and clinical needs of patients who have suffered from a stroke.  These three Seating Matters chairs are all highly adjustable and accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  Supports can be added or replaced to help with rehabilitation exercises.  This allows the one chair to meet the user’s changing needs over a long period of time.

For individuals recovering from a stroke that have a good level of head control but need support in their trunk, perhaps to provide support for a hemiplegia, the Sorrento chair with added lateral supports is a perfect rehabilitation tool.

For others who may have suffered a more dense stroke, the Phoenix chair provides more comprehensive head and trunk support to and can be used for rehabilitation as the supports can be easily added and taken away as and when they are required.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options. Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

For a milder stroke that results in immediate rehabilitations, the Monaco chair is often the best option.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Huntington’s disease is an inherited genetic disorder causing the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain resulting in involuntary movements and neuromuscular deterioration.

Symptoms:
  • Symptoms typically begin to appear between twenty and forty years of age
  • Involuntary trunk and arm movement
  • Walking with a wide, uneven stride
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • General changes to personality that eventually progress to dementia
  • More prone to infection and illness
  • Especially difficult resisting respiratory infections
  • Leads individual to become physically weaker and more debilitated
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Make sure patient’s vaccinations are up to date and that they get a flu shot every year and a pneumonia shot as needed.

The following tips may help too:

  • Identify stressors and do what you can to avoid them
  • Break tasks down into simpler, more manageable steps
  • Find ways to stimulate the mind
  • Be familiar with end of life care, including hospice, advance directives, living wills and care homes
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  For patients with Huntington’s disease, the chair will need to become more supportive as time goes on and it is good to start with a chair that can you can add accessories to as new symptoms arise.

The Atlanta™ in particular was designed by Martina Tierney OT to suit the needs of those with Huntington’s Disease.  Individuals with Huntington’s are often very challenging to seat and can hurt themselves whilst sitting in their chairs.  The Seating Matters Atlanta provides a safe, padded seated position that is comfortable and robust enough to withstand constant, vigorous, involuntary movements.  The high arm rests and ramped seat on the Atlanta provide a safe position without the patient feeling like they are being restrained in their seat.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Motor neuron disease is the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the ability to use muscles and it typically manifests after forty years of age.  Nerve cells that are affected are the upper motor neurons from the brain to the spinal cord and lower motor neurons that enter the muscles further away from the spine.  Scarring of the ends of upper motor neurons in the spinal cord is termed lateral sclerosis, which causes spasticity.

Degeneration of the lower motor neurons leads to amyotrophy, the wasting away of muscles.  In this condition, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the muscles themselves, they just are not getting the electrical impulses needed to make them move, thus allowing them to waste away.

People can have varying degrees of motor neuron disease. They may only have lateral sclerosis occurring, or only amyotrophy, or both.  When a person has both together they are said to have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also known as Lou Gehrig disease), which makes up 90% of cases of motor neuron disease.

Symptoms:
  • Spasticity – muscle stiffness that can lead to uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Weakness
  • Muscle degeneration that eventually leads to complete paralysis of the limbs
  • In final stages, difficulty swallowing and decreased ability to breathe
  • Involuntary muscle movements are not affected
  • Heart, bowel, bladder and eye movements are still normal
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Although bladder and bowel muscle movements are not affected, the ability to get up and bring oneself to the bathroom deteriorates as the disease progresses.  Be prepared for accidents to happen and don’t get mad at the patient for things they can’t control.

The following tips may help too:

  • Remember that sight, hearing, mental ability/acuity, smell and taste are often unaffected
  • Think beyond physical limitations
  • Set new goals and focus on what you can accomplish in spite of those physical limitations
  • Make changes to your household to accommodate patients decline
  • Make day-to-day objects easily accessible
  • Find activities to stimulate the patients’ mind and keep them occupied
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  For patient’s with motor neuron disease/ALS, the chair will need to become more supportive as time goes on and it is good to start with a chair that you can add accessories to as new symptoms arise.

The Sorrento™ and Phoenix™ in particular are designed to suit the needs of those with MND/ALS, especially in later stages of the disease where muscular function is decreased.  These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing needs over a long period of time.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options. Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s cells fail to recognize other cells as part of the body and attacks them.  In MS, the cells being attacked are called myelin, which are a layer of protein that protects nerve fibres in the spinal cord and helps with the transmission of electrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body.  The damage to these cells disrupts the transfer of these nerve signals, therefore causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.

Symptoms:
  • Loss of vision – usually only in one eye
  • Spasticity – muscle stiffness that can lead to uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Disorientation
  • Ataxia – difficulties with balance and co-ordination
  • Fatigue
  • Bladder problems
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Pain – sometimes mild, sometimes severe
  • Loss of muscle strength and dexterity

Other symptoms might include problems with:

  • Bowels
  • Speech
  • Swallowing
  • Tremor
  • Cognitive problems – difficulty with memory and concentration
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

With any new medical condition or disability comes a degree of anxiety.  In patients with MS, this can develop into depression or mood swings.  It is important to have a good level of emotional support for the patient and the caregiver both.  Understanding of the disease and patience while adjusting to these new conditions will be key.  Here are some useful tips and hints to help those with MS and those caring for a person with MS, to adjust to the symptoms:

  • Ensure the person is familiar with objects in their surroundings
  • Offer assistance with general mobility, or with tasks such as reading
  • Support daily activities and ensure medication is properly used
  • Provide help with mobility around the home or when on outside visits
  • A walking frame, walking stick or wheelchair may help with outdoor activities
  • Provide general support with day to day living
  • Develop a rota for preparing meals or doing household tasks to be shared among other family members
  • Ensure assistance is provided with personal care
  • If communication becomes difficult for the patient, it is important to remain patient
  • Developing ways to assist communication may be helpful
  • Many simple tasks such as dressing and washing may become difficult and mobility may be affected
  • General support with day-to-day living can be a great help
  • Help with daily routines, be patient and offer support when problems become frustrating
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  Cognitive changes may reduce the patient’s ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust easily and can add accessories as needed will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento™ and Phoenix™ in particular are designed to suit the needs of those with MS. These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chosen chair to meet the changing needs of the patient over a long period of time.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes muscle degeneration and weakness, progressing to the point where the individual does not have the strength to stand or sit up without support.  Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common, affecting boys only as women carry the gene and pass it on to half of their male children.

Symptoms:
  • Poor head control
  • Frequent falls
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Affects the muscles of hips, thighs, calves and shoulders first, eventually spreading to the whole body
  • After around age 12, children are confined to wheelchair
  • May cause respiratory infections as the muscles are too weak to function properly
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Pay attention to what you are eating.  Good nutrition and weight control are very important as this disease leads to a predominantly sedentary lifestyle.

The following tips may help too:

  • Start physical therapy early to strengthen muscles to help to delay muscle weakness as long as possible
  • Keep hand sanitiser and take measures to prevent germs from spreading in the home
  • Get annual flu shots
  • Provide help with mobility around the home or when on outside visits
  • A walking frame, walking stick or wheelchair may help with outdoor activities
  • Provide general support with day to day living
  • Develop a rota for preparing meals or doing household tasks to be shared among other family members
  • Ensure assistance is provided with personal care
  • Visiting nurses, caregivers and occupational therapists can assist with ways of adjusting to incontinence
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  For patients with muscular dystrophy, the chair will need to become more supportive as time goes on and it is good to start with a chair that you can add accessories to as new symptoms arise.

The Sorrento™ and Phoenix™ in particular are designed to suit the needs of those with muscular dystrophy.  These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing patient needs over a long period of time.  These chairs are also available as part of our Kidz Range, as well as for adults.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Parkinson’s disease is the destruction of nerve cells and depletion of dopamine, a chemical in the body responsible for smooth normal movements.

It can be caused due to a genetic predisposition or environmental factors like exposure to metal poisoning, viral infection or side effects to drugs.

People are living longer and so the incidence of Parkinson’s disease has increased as the disease is related to age.

By the time symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop, half of the dopamine producing cells have in the body have already died.

Symptoms:

Early symptoms include:

  • Frequent, unexplained falls
  • Tremors (smaller, evident when person is writing)
  • Lethargy

Later stages include:

  • Larger, more apparent tremors, typically involving an arm and a leg while they are at rest
  • Rigidity of the muscles
  • Pain in the back, neck, shoulders, temple or chest
  • Bradykinesia – a slower pace of walking and less expressive facial expressions
  • Lack of movement

Other symptoms include:

  • Speech change (tone, inflection) – due to rigidity of chest muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dementia
  • Less blinking leading to dry eyes
  • Sensory illusions
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gait abnormalities – patients no longer walk in normal manner
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Work with an Occupational Therapist to learn new ways to perform daily activities independently.  If the person is tired, let them sleep.  Arrange activities to accommodate their change in sleep patterns as best as you can.

The following tips may help too:

  • Keep eye drops on hand
  • Find ways to stimulate the patient intellectually
  • Keep him or her involved with friends and family
  • Encourage them to participate in activities that they enjoy for as long as possible
  • Work with them to find new hobbies
  • Be patient with doing things at a slower pace. Don’t try to rush the person
  • Create a routine so as to make it easier for the person to remember day to day activities
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  Cognitive changes may reduce the patient’s ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust easily and which you can add accessories to as needed will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento and Phoenix in particular are designed to suit the needs of those with Parkinson’s disease.  These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and can provide support to all parts of the body, especially at the head, protecting the individual from head or neck injuries due to their uncontrolled tremors.  All accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing needs over a long period of time.

For those who have good skin and a degree of mobility, the Monaco™ provides lateral support and pressure management cushions.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Spina bifida is a congenital defect of the neural tube(i), where the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, resulting in defects of the spinal cord and vertebrae. The severity of the defect depends on the size and location of defect, whether skin covers it and which spinal nerves come out of affected area and can be classified into three categories of Spina bifida.

The first two, Spina bifida occulta and Spina bifida meningocle are the mild forms of Spina bifida. Occulta does not involve damage to nerves so many people with this condition don’t know they have it.

Meningocle is the rarest form of Spina bifida that occurs when the meninges(ii) surrounding the spinal cord push out through openings in the vertebrae. The spinal cord still develops normally so the defect can be fixed with surgery with little to no damage to the nerves.

(i) – The part of the embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord and their surrounding tissues
(ii) – Protective membrane around the spinal cord

Mylomeningocle is the most severe form of Spina bifida and what is normally what the term “Spina bifida” colloquially refers to. In this form of Spina bifida, the spinal canal stays open along lower vertebrae, which causes both the spine and membrane to protrude at birth, forming a sac on the baby’s back.

Sometimes this protrusion is covered by skin but typically tissues and nerves are exposed making the baby easily susceptible to life threatening infections. This form commonly has neurological and physical impairments that go with it.

Symptoms:
  • Muscle weakness- including partial and total paralysis
  • Deformed feet
  • Seizures
  • Uneven hips
  • Scoliosis

Other symptoms include:

  • Prone to infections
  • Lack of bladder/bowel control
  • Learning disabilities
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Language and reading comprehension problems
  • Difficulty learning math
  • Depression
  • Latex allergies
  • Skin conditions
  • Urinary tract infections
  • GI disorders
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Learn as much as you can about the patient’s Spina bifida as early as possible from specialised physicians and make changes in your home and lifestyle to accommodate your baby.  In cases where patients do not have complete paralysis, physical and occupational therapy can help delay the onset of muscle weakness and give the patient some independence.  Encourage the patient to be social and to engage in activities with their peers that are within their physical limitations and capabilities.

The following tips may help too:

  • Involve physical and occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists in your care plans
  • Seek early intervention for education to help your child overcome any learning difficulties
  • Involve tutors if necessary
  • Become familiar with symptoms of urinary tract infections
  • Check for rashes and other skin problems regularly
  • Get flu vaccines annually
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  Cognitive problems may reduce their ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will adjust easily and to which you can add accessories will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Phoenix™ in particular is designed to suit the needs of those with spina bifida, and this is also available as part of our Kidz Range, as well as for adults.  This Seating Matters chair is highly adjustable and all accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing needs over a long period of time.  The Phoenix is great for individuals with spina bifida because it can mould to the shape of the individual providing full body loading, optimum pressure management and support.

The Phoenix comes in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

Condition Description:

Spinal cord injuries occur when the vertebrae protecting the spinal cord are broken or displaced, thus affecting the nerves within it.

They can occur due to compressing the spine, stretching the spine too much or tearing the spinal cord, either by a foreign object or the adjacent bone.

When this happens, it leads to the loss of sensation in parts of the body or, a diminished ability to move muscles or at the very worst, paraplegia(i) or quadriplegia(ii).

(i) Paralysis of both legs and sometimes part of the torso due to injury in the lower section on the spinal cord.
(ii) Paralysis of the torso and arms and legs due to injury to the lower neck region of the spinal cord.

Symptoms:
  • Weakness
  • Loss of sensation at and below the point of injury
  • Paraplegia
  • May also include impaired or loss of bladder function
  • Quadriplegia
Tips for Patients & Caregivers:

Remember that this is a huge adjustment for everyone involved.  Grieving is a natural process so the patient and caregiver both should allow time to go through it.  Find ways to be independent.  Work with occupational and physical therapists to find your strengths and learn ways to be independent in your new lifestyle.  Express your thoughts and emotions.  It is ok to be angry and to express that.  Make your friends and family aware of what you are feeling so they can help you, and don’t be ashamed of doing so.

The following tips may help too:

  • Set new life goals and maintain control of your life and what you want to accomplish
  • Find ways to enjoy things that you loved before the injury
  • Look for new hobbies and activities to experience
  • Alter your home to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Make objects of daily use easily accessible
  • Make sure the person is sleeping comfortably, even if at irregular hours of the day
Selecting the Right Chair:

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  Cognitive changes may reduce the patient’s ability to ‘learn’ new products and operations and so having a chair that will easily adjust and which you can add accessories to as needed will ensure continuity and familiarity.

The Sorrento™ and Phoenix™ in particular are designed to suit the needs of those suffering from a spinal cord injury, and these are also available as part of our Kidz Range, as well as for adults. These two Seating Matters chairs are highly adjustable and all accessories can be included at a later date if they are not needed at the initial assessment.  This allows the chair to meet changing needs over a long period of time.

Depending on the severity of the injury, Sorrento and Phoenix can provide the exact amount of support a person needs.  If the individual is getting better, it is possible to create less support with the Sorrento and Phoenix, while if the patient’s injury causes an overall deterioration in their health, both have the capability of providing as much support as possible, from the patient’s head to their feet.

Both the Sorrento and Phoenix come in manual and powered options.  Manual adjustment leaves the control of the seating positions to the caregiver. Partially motorized options give the user of the chair more independent control to change the angle of tilt in space and their leg elevation as and when desired.  Fully motorized options give the user of the chair control to change the angle of tilt in space, their leg elevation and the back angle recline as and when desired.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.

 

* Please note: This information is for guidance only.  It is important to seek specific advice from a medical practitioner that is familiar with the individual needs of the patient being considered.

 


Training Videos

Check out the videos below for help and advice on prescribing mobility equipment and specialist healthcare products.

 

Specialist Seating Videos

 

 

Early Mobilization Using Seating Matters Chairs

 

 
 

How to Take Accurate Measurements

 

 
 

The Four Principles of Pressure Management in Seating

 

 
 

Seating Patients With Complex Disabilities

 

 

Contact Us

 

 

Thank you for contacting us.
A member of our team will get back to you soon.

Address:
Independence Mobility
Independence House
6 Buslingthorpe Green
Leeds
LS7 2HG
Telephone: 0113 2628000
Fax: 0113 2628001

Email: enquiries@independencemobility.co.uk

 

 

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