The purpose of the wheelchair clinic is to evaluate and provide the most appropriate seating system to enable the patient comfort and independence based upon his functional mobility/ability. We evaluate patients of varying ages and abilities - from infancy to adulthood, who present with a wide range of diagnoses.
Those who require complex rehabilitation equipment such as:
- Ventilator dependent
- High-level spinal cord injuries
- Other complex neuromuscular disorders
We evaluate individuals for:
- Adapted strollers
- Manual wheelchairs
- Power wheelchairs
- Motorized scooters based upon their functional need
We also serve those who have severe spinal and/or pelvic deformities and require custom molded back and/or seats.
Proper wheelchair positioning, with an individualized seating system can improve:
- Trunk stability
- Promote good posture
- Decrease pain
- Enhance breathing and digestion
- Decrease and prevent complications such as pressure ulcers
- Slow further loss of mobility, and maximize functioning
Our staff work with patients to not only help them through their current stage of life, but to help plan for mobility in the next stage, whether that be entering school, going to college, driving, or entering the workforce. We also provide mobility systems for individuals whose goal is to live comfortably at home with family, without complaints of pain.
Evaluation to determine the most appropriate seating system includes:
- Past medical and surgical history
- Goals and needs of patient and/or caregiver
- Home environment (as well as school and work, if applicable)
- Transportation needs (home, school, work)
- Range of motion and strength assessment
- Head and trunk control
- Muscle tone
- Stability of trunk and pelvis
- Bed mobility and transfer ability
- Ability to assist with propulsion (manual or power)
A comprehensive evaluation is completed by a physical therapist who is specifically trained in the field of seating and positioning, as well as an equipment supplier. Patients and family members or caregivers are asked to participate and provide input throughout the evaluation process. Once the evaluation is complete and the best equipment option is decided upon by those involved in the evaluation, a fitting and training appointment is scheduled. Training is provided for the patient and family or caregiver to understand how to use the equipment safely.