A wheelchair can help compensate when a child or adult is unable to walk safely or functionally. Properly fitting body supports in a wheelchair, positioning chair or stander can help to align the body for optimum function and health, enabling the individual to access other technologies or allow everyday tasks to be performed more easily. A properly fitting wheelchair can allow an individual to independently propel a manual chair with greater efficiency, or operate a power wheelchair using a joystick or other means of control. An appropriate wheelchair seat cushion can help to decrease sitting pain and minimize the risk of skin breakdown.
Our Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Services include evaluating, recommending and fitting manual and power wheelchairs, power scooters, positioning chairs, adaptive strollers, and standers for children and adults with a variety of disabilities. Our experienced physical or occupational therapists perform a comprehensive evaluation of both wheelchair seating and mobility needs, including an assessment of sitting posture, comfort, function, and the ability to propel or operate a manual or powered wheelchair. For individuals who are able to walk, we assess their gait and ambulation skills and consider their need for safe, functional mobility in all environments. Our comprehensive evaluation usually requires multiple visits to complete, depending on the complexity of need. This will often include assessment in an adjustable seating simulator to address goals related to posture, movement or comfort. The evaluation may also include use of our power wheelchair simulator to assess an individual’s ability to operate a power wheelchair using alternative drive controls such as sip n puff, proximity head array, or single mechanical switches.
During the assessment process, we work closely with the individual’s Durable Medical Equipment supplier of choice in order to help specify either new equipment or modifications to existing technology. Upon completion of the assessment, the evaluating therapist will generate a full report or Letter of Medical Necessity to justify the recommended equipment to the designated funding agency or health insurance plan. After the individual receives the recommended technology, we provide follow up services to insure that the recommended equipment has been delivered as specified, and that it is adjusted properly to insure optimal fit, health and function.