Dynamic Seating through the Years – an interview with Toby Bergantino
Toby is an ATP who works for Numotion in Connecticut. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Toby on a few occasions and I truly admire his amazing knowledge and experience. He works quite a bit with dynamic seating and I had an opportunity to talk with him about that recently.
How long have you been working with Dynamic Seating?
Toby has been working with Dynamic Seating for over 20 years but found that he was limited by the available product designs for much of that time. Taking advantage of some of the newer product options, Toby has been diving deep with Dynamic Seating for the last 4 years. He is primarily using Seating Dynamics products.
What clients are you recommending Dynamic Seating for?
Toby is mostly recommending Dynamic Seating for clients with cerebral palsy, high muscle tone and muscle spasticity.
What are the team’s goals using Dynamic Seating?
The teams that Toby works with are primarily aiming to reduce muscle tone and spasticity, as well as prevent equipment breakage.
What equipment damage have you noticed?
Before using Dynamic Seating, Toby was noting breakage at the back canes, footrest weld, footrest components, footplates and head support hardware. He has tried some Dynamic Seating components that also broke under significant client forces. Toby prefers the durability of the Seating Dynamics components and has not seen further equipment breakage in clients who are now using these components.
Toby has also noted that the wear and tear in the seating system is less when using Dynamic Seating. He frequently saw indents in the foam of the back of the seating system – these indents were caused by compression from the client’s scapulae during extension. He would often have to replace foam and upholstery in this area or use other materials to relieve pressure. Since using Dynamic Seating in these situations, these forces are reduced, and this wear and tear is no longer an issue.
Do you work with clients who need the movement Dynamic Seating provides?
Toby has noticed that clients will tolerate using shoe holders better when using Dynamic Footrests to provide movement in this area. He has also noted that many clients he works will are less agitated when using Dynamic Seating. Finally, he has worked with clients who were ‘checked-out’ in their static seating system, but who were much more alert in a Dynamic system.
What feedback do you get from clients and caregivers?
Toby has heard from clients and caregivers that the client is more comfortable and doesn’t feel the pain experienced prior to this intervention. As a result, clients can sit in their wheelchairs longer.
Per Toby, “In my eyes, if I’ve made a client more comfortable, I’ve succeeded.” Toby works in 6 different clinics and each asks about client pain. Many wheelchair users experience pain and our seating and wheeled mobility interventions must mitigate pain as much as possible (for more information about pain in people using wheelchair, please click here.
Thanks again Toby for your time, your expertise and your passion for improving lives of people using wheelchairs!
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