What a difference a chair makes…

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Appropriate seating makes a HUGE difference to people’s quality of life.

The chest can open up to facilitate breathing; the head is supported in a comfortable position, so communication is improved, because eye contact can be made. It’s just easier to speak when you are not hunched over looking at the floor. Eating, drinking and digestion are facilitated and, of course, there’s the simple pleasure of being able to sit comfortably in a supported position. Many people are confined to bed because ordinary chairs and wheelchairs do not give them enough support but, with the right seating choice, they can re-join their friends and family in daily life.

People with kyphosis and many older people sit in inappropriate chairs, which do not support them. Their head slumps forward or to the side - chin to chest. Gravity can trap people in these destructive postures and can have some very damaging, sometimes life-threatening results.

This will not be a surprise to many occupational therapists, who prescribe seating in the community, working with clients on a day-to-day basis. So we would like to share this heart-warming story. The power of getting someone seated in the correct seat cannot be underestimated. Bearing in mind the average time a person ‘sits’ every day is about 9.5 hours, sitting is an incredibly important pastime. Appropriate seating may mean that people can get out of bed and re-join a sociable and fulfilling life with family and friends. To say nothing of cost savings to the NHS, through the prevention of pressure ulcers and other conditions caused by poor posture.

Case Study

(I know a lot about seating, posture and pressure management and I care a lot about how our products can help clients. However, I am not a clinician and I have not seen, at first hand, the utter transformation that happened virtually from one minute to the next).

A lovely lady who, only a year ago, was playing golf, now has motor neurone disease (MND). She was sat in a riser/recliner in a corner of her conservatory. Hunched over and slouched to one side, she was not in a happy place. The new chair was moved as close as possible to enable her husband and the OT to move her gently over to the HydroFlex. The chair was tilted back (TiS) and she requested a small amount of back angle recline so her tummy was more comfortable. And I promise, a few minutes later, a new person was sat before me - with a smiling face and the hint of the lovely young women she once was.

It brought a tear to my eye – it was very moving. Suddenly she could see what was happening in her own home, discuss the local canal system (location of our family holiday last year) with me, make requests of people…regain control of her life, if not her body. A new person. CareFlex Area Manager, Les Jones, showed her husband how the tilt and back angle functions work and how to adjust the chair, when necessary.

Appropriate seating makes a HUGE difference to people’s quality of life.

There is no doubt.

Written by Susie Hall, 04/09/2017

For more information about CareFlex's innovative specialist seating, visit their website.

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