When it comes to creating comfortable and supportive seating arrangements, one size does not fit all. This is particularly true for individuals with specific seating needs due to various medical conditions or disabilities. Specialist seating plays a crucial role in providing these individuals with the necessary comfort, support, and mobility to enhance their overall wellbeing.
What is specialist seating?
Specialist seating is designed to help support the posture of someone who has limited mobility. This might be due to a long-term illness, an accident or age-related deterioration. Protecting an individual’s posture is key to preventing many secondary complications in health such as pain, fatigue, contractures and deformities, poor physiological function, deteriorating health, decreased function and independence, social isolation, and ultimately reduced quality of life.
What are the benefits of specialist seating?
Specialist seating is about more than just making someone comfortable. The right type of specialist seat can literally transform a patient’s life, both physically and mentally. Here’s how:
Specialist seating is designed to offer optimal comfort for individuals with unique seating requirements. It takes into consideration factors such as posture, pressure distribution, and support, ensuring maximum comfort and reducing the risk of discomfort or pain.
People who spend extended periods sitting, such as wheelchair users or individuals with limited mobility, are prone to developing pressure ulcers. Specialist seating often incorporates features like pressure relief cushions or adjustable seating surfaces to distribute pressure evenly, reducing the risk of pressure sores and promoting better blood circulation.
Proper posture is essential for overall health and well-being. Specialist chairs ensure that a patient’s body is supported posturally at all times. Pressure and posture are inextricably linked – if the posture and alignment is correct, pressure in the body will be more evenly distributed. By maintaining good posture, individuals can alleviate pressure on the joints, reduce muscle tension, and enhance overall body alignment.
Increased independence and mobility
Specialist seating solutions, such as custom wheelchairs or power assistive chairs, provide individuals with improved mobility and independence. These devices are designed to be user-friendly, allowing users to navigate their environment with ease, whether it’s at home, work, or in public spaces.
Specialist seating is designed to enhance a patient’s quality of life by providing comfort, support and a degree of independence and mobility. Tilt-in-Space chairs also allow a patient to conserve energy by switching between upright and supine positions periodically. This helps to promote an overall sense of rest and wellbeing.
What are the different types of specialist seating?
There are a number of different models and types of specialist seating on the market. What you choose will depend on a patient’s particular requirements.
These specialist types of chairs are designed to redistribute the pressure on a patient’s body without having to adjust key body joints. The Tilt-in-Space element allows the whole seating system to be moved as one unit, so there is no need to change the angles of a patient’s body. Many leading brands offer Tilt-in-Space chairs giving different options to suit different budgets.
Some specialist chairs have an electronic AutoTilt actuation that will automatically change the pressure redistribution for the patient. The function moves the chairs through small degrees of tilt at short intervals to redistribute pressure. This is a good option for patients living on their own. It also gives carers peace of mind that a patient’s needs are being met.
Bariatric chairs are designed specifically for wider or heavier users. They offer advanced adjustability and pressure care and most have a capacity of up to 50 stone. They have extra thick high density cushions for extra comfort and support but are still manoeuvrable for use at home or in a care home setting.
Highly adaptive rehabilitation chairs, such as the CareFlex HydroFlex are for users requiring high level postural and pressure management. They come with several features, such as Tilt-in-Space, back angle recline and split wing headrests that are designed to offer maximum comfort and energy conservation. These are good for people with complex mobility needs such as cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.
Specialist wheelchairs offer improved mobility as well as comfort and support for patients. There are many Tilt-in-Space wheelchairs available, such as the Rea Azalea range which offers different options for tall people, teens and children and larger users.
How do I find the right specialist chair?
With so many products on the market, it can be confusing to know what type of specialist seating you need. At Premiere Healthcare, we have over 20 years of experience providing customers with the right type of specialist seating at the place where they are living, whether that’s in their own home, hospital, nursing home or hospice.
This is the best way to get an understanding about what type of chair will be the best for your patient’s needs. Our trained experts will carry out a FREE 60-minute seating assessment, either virtually or face-to-face, to make sure the chair you choose will enhance a patient’s posture, comfort, overall wellbeing and general health.
We know that choosing the right specialist seating can be daunting especially as they all come with different price tags. And we also know that it’s only natural to want to afford the best specialist seating you can for your patient. That’s why as well as a full range of specialist seating to buy, we also offer the option to hire specialist seating. This can start from as little as £15 a day and with free repair and replacements in the event of a fault, it’s the ideal way to try something before you commit to it.
Interested in renting? Learn more about why it makes sense to rent a specialist chair instead of buying. From small monthly payments, to instant access to more premium products.
Being able to try specialist seating before you commit is extremely important. At our seating demo centre in Gloucestershire, we have several specialist seating models in stock, including some of the most popular names such as CareFlex, Kirton and Cura. Our expert team will also be on hand to take you through the functions and explain some of the benefits of the specialist seats we have in stock.
If you are in the process of choosing specialist seating for yourself or a patient, please do get in touch. Our trained experts at Premiere Healthcare can offer advice, carry out a seating assessment or show you some of the models in person in our Demo Centre. We are always happy to help you find the right specialist chair for your needs.