Having a comfortable chair to relax in is vital, otherwise many people simply spend more time in bed
This adaptable chair includes integral pressure management, as well as a range of accessories to ensure correct seating posture.
It includes a sliding footplate to enable the feet to be supported in the right position when the chair is upright.
There are a few points to check with any comfort seating:
• in an upright chair, the seat height should enable the feet to rest squarely on the floor with lower legs vertical
• the seat depth should be such that the thighs are completely supported and level
• you should be able to get two fingers behind the knees
• the seat should be wide enough not to restrict, but not too wide, otherwise the user may slip sideways, and postural problems could be made worse
• the backrest should be high enough and at the right angle to support the whole back, neck and head
• armrests should provide support from elbow to hand, without the shoulders being pushed up or dragged down
For anyone who has a tendency to slip forwards or downwards in their seat, a tilt-in-space facility can be helpful. This means that the legrest, cushion and backrest all retain the same positional relationship while the seat is tilted back – improves comfort and pressure management.
Postural management, pressure relief and comfort go hand in hand. If seating does not provide user comfort, it is less likely to be used, and may be abandoned altogether. You can read an interesting piece of research from the University of Salford about comfort and pressure relief in postural management here
Cushions and wedges to customise seating
A new range of posture cushions incorporating vacuum technology provides a cost-effective solution to postural management. The cushions can be shaped and moulded to exactly the right form, and then using a simple vacuum former, which looks remarkably like a bicycle pump, air is sucked out of the cushion until it reaches the required degree of firmness. There is a reusable valve on the cushion, so that the operation can be repeated as many times as you wish.
For a case study on postural management seating for a user with complex needs, click here
Various seating manufacturers build their chairs on a modular system, so that elements such as backrest, armrests, footrests, additional lateral supports, etc can be assembled to meet the specific needs of the individual. You can also obtain padding and support elements separately, to customise an existing chair to suit someone with complex needs.
As always, it is important to have a proper assessment by a suitably qualified professional, to ensure that seating is doing its job properly, and not contributing to postural problems.