Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Most items need a certain level of maintenance. I have to get the oil changed in my car and fertilize my lawn, for example. What about Dynamic Seating components? The answer is, “Yes!”
The Seating Dynamics Rocker Back interface (DRBi) is designed to move in response to the client, dissipating forces and providing movement. This dynamic component is designed to prevent breakage – the elastomer takes the force, rather than static components such as the backcanes. Instead of breakage due to non-mitigated forces, the elastomer stores that energy and returns the client to a desired starting position.
All that force and movement will, eventually, wear down the elastomers. Depending on the degree of force and frequency of movement, the elastomers may have to be changed more frequently for some clients than for others – just like my car may require an oil change sooner if I put on a lot of miles. Does the entire DRBi assembly need to be replaced? NO. Only the elastomers – we even have a convenient replacement kit and instructions. The kit includes a set of impact elastomers (the ones you can see), rebound elastomers (placed inside the DRBi and designed to return the client to upright), and a cap.
How can I determine if the elastomers need replacement?
There are several indicators that the elastomers may need to be replaced:
- The elastomers are over 12 months old.
- When the Dynamic Back is activated, the metal surfaces above and below the elastomers make contact.
- The elastomers appear to be ‘bulging’, looking like a mushroom.
- The back is not readily returning to upright.
If you have spare elastomers, it is tempting to just pull out another set and replace them. Each DRBi comes with 4 pairs of elastomers in order to provide the level of resistance required for that individual. If you replace worn elastomers with an elastomer of a different color, you have also changed the level of resistance. To maintain the optimal resistance and replace all related components, a new replacement kit should be ordered. For more information about determining the optimal resistance, click here.
So, take a moment to check the elastomers in the DRBis that you are working with. Make sure replacement is not indicated and that resistance is optimal. New elastomers will ensure optimal performance! Take the time to educate the consumer and caregivers so that they can also monitor the DRBi for possible elastomer issues.
Here is a link to our elastomer replacement instructions: https://www.seatingdynamics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/6191-100-105-DRB-Elastomer-Replacement-PJJP-7.6.2016.pdf