Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
This blog addresses various aspects of Dynamic Seating – seating that provides movement in response to client forces. Just how do people actually find this solution? Well, many caregivers and health care professionals are working with a client who has broken their seating system, mounting hardware and/or mobility base. Wheelchair breakage may occur repeatedly over time. Each time something breaks, the client is at risk of injuring themselves and may not be able to use the wheelchair at all until repairs are made. It can be quite challenging to repeatedly submit for funding for these repairs, as well. As a result, someone close to this client starts looking for a solution.
Many people ‘stumble upon’ Dynamic Seating while looking for a solution to wheelchair breakage. Dynamic Seating solutions are found, sometimes trialed, and finally funded and provided. Hopefully equipment breakage is now eliminated. Yet this is where it gets interesting! Teams who recommend Dynamic Seating to prevent equipment breakage typically begin to notice other benefits from this technology.
This client may also:
- Extend with less force, as the Dynamic Seating is absorbing these forces
- Extend less frequently, as the Dynamic Seating moves in response to extension, rather than providing a non-moving surface to extend against
- Tolerate their wheelchair seating system for longer periods of time due to movement
- Experience decreased pain and injury
- Demonstrate increased alertness
- Demonstrate decreased agitation
- Demonstrate increased trunk and head control due to repeated movement in a limited range
- Demonstrate increased function
Dynamic Seating is frequently used to prevent breakage to a wheelchair seating system and frame, however this technology may also be beneficial for a client in many other ways. Do you work with a client who tends to damage their equipment? Explore Dynamic Seating solutions – and then keep an eye out for added benefits. If you work with clients who have not broken anything (yet), keep in mind these other applications of Dynamic Seating.
Do you work with a client using Dynamic Seating primarily to prevent wheelchair breakage? If so, have you noticed other benefits? Please leave a comment below and share your experience!