Care Team, Assemble!: Consulting Doctors about Custom Wheelchair Seats
Summary: Advice for consulting with doctors about custom wheelchair seat design.
For people who use mobility devices on a regular basis, comfort is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Specialized seats can help people with disabilities maximize their reach, support their spine, and make it easier to breathe and eat. Unfortunately, they can also reach astronomical prices even before customization. If you’re tempted, but put off by the price, ask your doctor about enhancing your current set-up using custom-cut foam seat cushions.
Gather the Right Intel
Appointments are hectic, often involving travel and reseating. This can make it difficult for doctors to get a complete picture of how your current chair set-up is actually working after consecutive hours of sitting. Try keeping a pain and symptom journal with notes on time, body part(s)/system(s) involved, duration, and type of pain you feel, along with any other important contextual notes. Tools like these can help your doctor get a fuller understanding of your day-to-day functioning so they can give better recommendations on cushion filling and shaping.
Assemble Your Team
It’s best to design your cushion alongside your care team, especially your primary care provider and any related specialists, such as physical therapists. This gives you a chance to share your concepts, ask questions, and prioritize features based on your personal health concerns. Key concerns vary from person to person, but blood clot prevention is a universal priority. Other considerations include incontinence, bedsores, skin sensitivities, allergies, and shock absorption needs.
Bio: Carlo Badalamenti is the marketing manager for The Foam Factory, Inc. which supplies practical solutions to a variety of home improvement, construction, and commercial/industrial problems. Check out their site at www.thefoamfactory.com/.