An interview with a Rebecca Dustall, physiotherapist for CareFlex, explaining the benefits and features of a CareFlex chair for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Over 145,000 people have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK alone. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system that belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. Parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
We have discussed the subject with one of our professional physiotherapists Rebecca who will help us understand a little more about the disease and what steps can be taken to improve a patient’s quality of life.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are motor symptoms that affect physical movement. This can include tremors, rigidity and postural instability. It is essential that a patient with Parkinson’s disease completes a comprehensive postural assessment. At Careflex we ensure the appropriate prescription of equipment to help support the patient’s posture, in particular, specialist seating.
What is your role and how you do you support patients with Parkinson’s?
I am a Clinical Specialist at CareFlex. I support healthcare professionals with their clients’ postural and pressure care needs for domiciliary, health and care settings. I want to raise awareness of the importance of specialist seating to enable improved health and well-being of individuals. I truly love my job and I get to meet some inspirational clients and work with like-minded healthcare professionals.
Why did you choose to work within this role?
My passion has always been to provide 24-hour postural management; working holistically as part of a multi-disciplinary team to maximise an individual’s abilities and improve their quality of life. Throughout my career as a Physiotherapist, I have worked with adults and children who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, neurological disorders and mental health conditions, in the NHS and the private sector.
How does Parkinson’s disease affect postural changes within the body?
The following can occur as a result of the disease;
- A flexed posture and altered head position
- Increased thoracic kyphosis
- Involuntary movements
- Abnormal muscle tone
What physical support is available?
There is a range of support available which include Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, alongside appropriate medical management. These are key to managing the disorder and can improve a patient’s daily life.
Which chairs would you recommend?
The CareFlex’s HydroTilt would be the ideal specialist chair for a patient who presents with a flexed posture and an increased thoracic kyphosis. Key features include the waterfall back which can be adjusted to support the apex of the curvature. The tilt-in-space function, when assessed can promote energy management and pelvic stability to help encourage normal movement patterns. The negative angle leg rest can also support any knee contractures which may be present.
If greater flexibility is required, then I recommend the HydroFlex. It offers maximum comfort and support for mild to moderate scoliosis with its deep contoured back. There are additional options available which include the extra adjustable lateral support and anterior supports, such as a tray or a chest harness.
For the more complex scoliotic or contracted postures, where increased support is required, then I recommend the SmartSeatPro. It has multi-adjustable back components, which can be altered in height, depth, angle, offset and rotation. The built-in adjustable wings can be positioned out of the way to assist transfers and activities of daily living. The back angle recline can also accommodate any hip contractures present.
Why do you feel these would offer benefits to the patient?
CareFlex specialist seating provides comfort, pressure relief, posture management and independence. The specialist seating range offers stability for the user to help them function and participate in daily life. They can reduce involuntary movements and abnormal muscle tone, resulting in more normal movement patterns.
A comprehensive assessment is vital to ascertain the user’s range of movement and helps us understand what can be corrected and what needs to be accommodated. Addressing any associated postural challenges is key. The Adult CareFlex chairs come with integrated WaterCell Technology as standard which provides a reliable and dynamic pressure relieving solution for individuals at medium to high risk of pressure injury.
Why is Premiere Healthcare Different?
Premiere Healthcare offers expert product knowledge and an ethical approach to ensure the best possible outcome for individuals. They have experience in a number of settings, including hospitals and residential homes, and work closely with healthcare professionals to complete comprehensive seating assessments. I have facilitated training events with Premiere Healthcare and it is evident that they are a respected supplier among healthcare professionals.
For more information on how Premiere Healthcare can support you please get in touch.