When considering specialist seating and systems, there is a minefield of information and factors to consider. Positioning, skin care and the environment are only a few. FormAL's team focus on providing the most satisfactory solution for their clients. Sizing is a key feature to be considered. If the specialist armchair is the wrong size, the product will offer inappropriate pressure relief and cause postural management issues.
Tilt-in-space is another key element of specialist seating when considering pressure care and postural management. The mechanism allows the pressure, caused by the body, to be redistributed throughout the seated period and assists with reducing pressure build-up in small areas by maximizing the contact surface.
Service users of specialist seating rely on the maximisation of stability which is best provided through effective positioning. Pressure sores, ulcers and many other similar ailments can be caused by a lack of adequate support and suitable positioning choices.
Having exact and correct posture and positioning is vital in many, if not all, cases. The most important of these cases are when a service user has either reduced mobility, pressure ulcers (or at risk of these), requires specific care to be carried out in bed or is otherwise unstable.
Obviously, providing the service user with increased stability also allows carers a safer environment to work in and facilitates them to carry out day to day tasks with increased efficiency, ease and effectiveness.
Stability is the vital element in administering an elevated level of security and relaxation for service users.
By distributing pressure, through increased stability, better support is achieved as well as pain relief.
Neutral joint positioning (this is where ligaments and joint capsules are least tense) is the key to a good position as the limbs are not being forced to support themselves.
From the service user's viewpoint many other benefits will become apparent through stable positioning, such as the prevention of neuropathies and constriction of blood vessels as the torso and frame will be in a perminently supported, stable and secure position.
Excessive outward curvature of the spine, causing forward flexion
Excessive inward curvature of the spine
Characterised by both legs being thrown in the same direction
Shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue that leads to deformity and rigidity of joints
Imbalance in the level of the hips causes tipping and increases pressure on hips
Beware: incorrect placement of cushions and accessories
Beware: poor technique in manual handling
Pressure sores can appear on almost any part of the body, but the most common places to monitor regularly are the buttocks and sacrum, feet and heels, elbows and knees.