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How can Specialist Seating Accessories help Stroke Patients?

Lady in Lento plus Accessories

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Clinical needs of stroke patients

A stroke occurs due to damage to the brain resulting from typically either a restriction in blood flow to the brain (ischaemic) or bleeding in the brain (haemorrhagic). Effects can vary from mild to moderate, from a partial loss of movement (known as hemiparesis) to more severe movement loss or paralysis (hemiplegia).

As well as loss of movement in the face and limbs, stroke sufferers can experience difficulty speaking, memory loss, fatigue, and behavioural changes.

Early intervention is critical to prevent further deterioration and extensive physiotherapy can be needed during hospital treatment to restore lost function. Restoring movement and relearning old skills is possible due to the brain’s neuroplasticity.

It is important to choose the right specialist seating for stroke patients while they are rehabilitating that meet the challenges of their condition whilst assisting them during the recovery process.

The right choice of specialist seating and accessories can significantly improve the rehabilitation experience.

 

Specialist seating accessories for stroke patients

We have identified the following seating attachments as particularly helpful for stroke patients.

Symptom Accessory
Loss of movement in face/neck Profiled horseshoe head cushion: Supports the neck and head in an upright position.
  Headrest with cheek support: Extended side pieces come under cheek and hold the head stable
Loss of movement in arms

 

 

 

Hemiplegic armrests: Trough-shaped armrests hold arms in place and can be angled to the correct position
  Wide armrest pad: Stops arms rolling off
  Table tray and cushion: A surface to support arms and place items within easy reach
  Brake lever extension: Brings brake lever within easy reach
Paralysis in upper body Side supports and covers: Supports waist and prevents sidewards movement
  Padded side supports, wedge-shaped: As above, with enhanced comfort
  Backrest wedges: Bolster each side of the patient to prevent leaning
  Trunk/thoracic supports: Support on each side to prevent leaning and can be shaped to increase comfort
  Cocoon backrest: Provides a ‘cocoon’ of lateral support around the upper body
  Comfort lateral backrest: Keeps lower back in central position and helps prevent kyphosis
  Waterfall back cushions: Can be rearranged to suit patient’s back shape
Paralysis in lower body Central legrest: Helps keep legs in position
  Padded calf strap: Prevents lower legs slipping behind the footplate
Paralysis on one side One-arm drive: Gives the ability to propel both wheels from one side
Muscle weakness/fatigue Powered add-ons: Electric-assisted wheels

 

Chairs that have these accessories

Rea Azalea tilt-in-space wheelchair

The Rea Azalea is a tilt-in-space wheelchair that gives lots of postural support and offers a wide range of accessories. The tilt-in-space and backrest recline give patients optimum levels of positioning and comfort.

Accessories include: Central legrest, padded calf strap, wide armrest pad, hemiplegic armrests, side supports and covers, headrest with cheek support, trunk/thoracic supports, one-arm drive, brake lever extension, table tray and cushion, powered add-ons

Lento Care Chair

A care chair is more suitable for those who need a higher level of support. The Lento care chair is one of the most adjustable care chairs on the market so ideal for patients whose needs change over time. There are a wide range of postural supports and pressure relief options available.

Accessories include: profiled horseshoe head cushion, waterfall back cushions, backrest wedges

Little Lento Care Chair

A smaller version of the Lento care chair, this is suitable for children and smaller adults (anyone under 5ft 2in).

Accessories include: profiled horseshoe head cushion, waterfall back cushions, backrest wedges

Lento Riser Recliner Chair

The riser recliner is more suitable for those who are more able-bodied, for example stroke patients who have suffered partial loss of movement. The Lento rise recliner comes with the full fleet of accessories available with the Lento care chair.

Accessories include: profiled horseshoe head cushion, waterfall back cushions, backrest wedges

 

Conclusion

Accessories can be used individually or collectively but successfully identifying the seating challenges facing a stroke patient and matching these with the correct accessories can have the effect of easing a difficult rehabilitation.

For further details on seating accessories and advice on specialist seating contact our team:

     
    Ralph Hulbert
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