Tilite TR Series 3 Manual Rigid Wheelchair

Hello Everyone! TGIF! Today, I would like to share with you the Tilite TR Series 3 manual rigid wheelchair. This is a popular model by Tilite and it’s also a custom ordered frame! By custom, I mean that this wheelchair has a specified fixed dump. Having a fixed dump helps to reduce the weight of the base significantly and is highly recommended for client’s who are absolutely sure of how much seat dump works for them functionally. Reducing the weight and amount of “play” in the base is also important for maintaining shoulder health as well as for efficiency when self-propelling. The one in my pictures is a carbon fiber base, which makes this base even lighter! It is by no means a cheap base, but a great choice if funds are available. On this base we set up an ADI carbon fiber backrest and a Ride Designs custom cushion. The 3rd image is the Ride capture. We also set up Frog Legs suspension forks, which can really help to absorb shock from the terrain. This can really benefit a client who experiences a lot of tone.

The ADI backrest is a nice option as it is super lightweight and has a nice contour. It’s such a shame to spec a really nice lightweight wheelchair frame, then stick a heavy backrest on it with heavy mounting hardware. I try to remember to consider some of these lightweight options when ordering a wheelchair base like this one. The Ride cushion is also a super lightweight cushion that offloads the client’s boney prominences. This is a great cushion for client’s at high risk for skin breakdown due to impaired sensation. Again, this is another expensive product but necessary for many to maintain skin integrity. In addition to this benefit, this cushion also supports the pelvis very well. Many of my clients have said that this cushion has helped to improve their postural alignment and has reduced nerve pain and discomfort. Many also report improved proximal stability and functional performance such as ability to transfer. Keep in mind that this a custom cushion that needs to be done by a “Ride Certified” technician and/or therapist. Also, keep in mind that this cushion can be highly customized. For example, for clients who need to manually transfer, the front end can be specified to be lower/flatter so that the well is not as deep. This makes moving forwards on the seat easier. Keep in mind that you might also lose a bit of well depth that way, so it is important to do these specifications with an experienced vendor. Ed Bell, from Advanced Mobility helped me with this system. Also, I wanted to share with you a custom sip and puff system that was built by Wahbi Ghanbur at Advanced Mobility. This sip and puff control has been modified to allow for control of 4 additional devices including the power base. This system will work with RNET electronics. Advanced Mobility only has a few of these available as they were custom built as a sort of in house project. They are looking for a good home. Please contact a sales representative at Advanced Mobility if you are interested in this system.

Thanks for checking in today! I will leave you with a photo…mind you, a bit of a blurry photo of me with Tom Hetzel and Joe Bieganek from Ride Designs. This photo was taken at the ISS this year. A fun pairwith a great product! Hope you don’t mind me sharing this! Until next time!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

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Wheelchair Accessible Vanity for Spinal Cord Injury Client

Happy Thursday Everyone! I just got back from Terrace, BC last week and have been looking forward to sharing something very special with you! A custom wheelchair accessible vanity and adapted make-up set-up. This system was made for a client with quadriplegia and was created from scratch by Chad Kania at Ability Health Care. Actually, Chad used to build custom furniture before he entered the seating technician profession. Knowing this,  I knew he would do an amazing job at building a set-up like this one. This vanity was partially funded  by the BC Rehab Foundation through GF Strong. Thank you to them for approving such a project.

This vanity had so many neat components to it. Such as a powered, height adjustable function, a cut out at the front to allow for better access, a custom elbow support for stability during make-up application, a custom mascara holder/applicator, a moveable mirror for close up make up application, and a hair dryer mount on a gooseneck post. The hair dryer will be plugged into the wall with an x10 module that will be accessed through a separate switch. As you can see from the pictures, all of the make up brushes, and hair brushes have been modified with universal cuffs and the containers have been mounted onto a wooden board with velcro for easy access.

This project was such a fun one. It was so exciting to help my client gain independence with this part of her life.

I will now leave you with a photo of my flight leaving Terrace. It was another great trip. Until next time!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

 

 

Advanced Health Care and ROHO Inservice

Happy Monday everyone! In BC, we are just wrapping up the long weekend. It was rainy start to Victoria Day today, but I hope everyone had a lovely afternoon in the clear weather anyways. I’ve been MIA for a while because I just got back from New York City! Yes, that’s right, the BIG Apple! I was there with my husband for a conference as well as for some vacation time. I even brought back some photos and stories for you. I hope you like them! Before I get into that, I would love to share with you some new-ish products by the ROHO group. Shawn Aslani from Advanced Health Care Products and Andy Woodcock, Canadian Sales Manager from the ROHO group came to the Access office to give us a heads up on new products. So here you go! See below of a photo of a Roho Enhancer cushion. It is essentially a Roho cushion that has different cell heights integrated into the same cushion to offer some positioning/contouring properties. We also spoke saw the ROHO hybrid Elite cushion (sorry, no photo, but click here). This is a great option for clients who require a more stable front end for transfers or for those require more rigidity for positioning. I do caution you to do a thorough trial though as the Roho air cells are not as high as the high profile cushions, which can allow some clients to bottom out. Also, WATCH THOSE GREATER TROCHANTERS on this cushion. I’ve sometime cut the sides down or ordered a wider cushion to clear the GTs. If you are concerned, a safer option is the Roho Quadtro. You can lose stability from this cushion, but when inflated properly it can work very well. Check out the Roho Videos for inflation education. These are great resources for caregivers too!

Andy also brought in the new hardware they are using for their Agility backrests. This hardware is very, VERY  light in weight. It’s a nice design and really cuts down on the bulk without completely losing adjustability for positioning of the backrest. Most likely best for a client who can do without a lot of adjustment changes, but is not quite set for fixed mounted brackets. Shawn also brought in some Body Point products such as the Evoflex Pelvic Stabilizer. I’ve used this product quite a few times now and am really liking it. It’s nice for client’s who transfer on their own as the belt straps stay up and out of the way of the seat. It also offers a bit more positioning support than the standard body point belts. This belt also comes with a Sub-ASIS pad kit and a mounting kit. These are both great options to consider. See my post here to see how I’ve used it with a client of mine.

Now, for some fun facts about New York! We went to the Museum of Modern Art (aka MoMA) to take in some of the most iconic pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and even Andy Warhol. During our exploration of the museum, we ran into this! The Accessible Icon Project! This project was focused on re-designing the International Symbol of Access into a more active image of a wheelchair user. I was so excited to see this at MoMA. New York is filled with older, narrow buildings with narrow hallways, narrow walkways, tons of stairs and minimal ramping. I have to say though, I did notice some changes at some of the newer tourist attractions. For example, at the 9/11 memorial, the corners of the memorial are undercut/slanted to allow for a wheelchair user to come up close to the fountain’s edge. Although the edges of the fountain were still quite high, it did make the fountain much easier to view.  On a side note, the 9/11 memorial was a truly moving and heartwrenching sight. I still remember where I was when I heard about the whole thing. We both definitely appreciated the opportunity to pay our respects at the site during our trip. Also,  the 9/11 museum opens tomorrow. We just missed it, but would have loved to have seen it. Not sure if I could have handled it though…..

On a happier note, I will leave you with a picture of the skyline of NYC from the Top of the Rock.

Thanks for checking in again!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Standing Power Wheelchair with Added Seating Modifications

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope you were able to enjoy the long weekend. This weekend I was able to catch up on some much needed rest and errands. For once, I actually feel ready for the week to begin. So, to give you a start to the week, check out this power wheelchair I set up with the help of Motion Specialties! It’s a Ranger Express (rear wheel drive) power wheelchair with standing function. There are a few other manufacturers that offer the standing function, such as Permobil and Levo. The Ranger Express was chosen for this client because it was a rear wheel drive power base, the clients’ driving preference (most are usually front wheel drive) and because of the style and positioning of the knee blocks (which best suited this client during the trials). The stander function on power bases is a great addition, but involves a few considerations. Some of these considerations include access to funding (these things are expensive!), the ability of the client to move into a standing position from sitting (not as straight forward as it may seem….lots of positioning considerations here!) and safety (bone density issues, cognition and safety awareness). In addition, with regards to the base itself, many of them have a lower max speed and are set up with a front wheel drive, which some clients may not be used to.

In order to make this base work for my client, several modifications were required. This client had a backrest that she used in her power wheelchair and in her manual wheelchair. This meant that the backrest needed to be removeable from the new power base. Her backrest was made using a foam-in-place insert to accommodate her back contours. This insert was set up in a Jay 2 backrest shell. Typically, backrests are mounted and bolted on to the back plate of the Ranger wheelchair, preventing it from being removed.  Nathan, the technician from Motion Specialties, therefore designed a track-like system that allowed the backrest to be removed by sliding the back onto the plate instead. In addition, to maintain the appropriate amount of seat depth, Nathan essentially needed to move the whole back plate further back on the base…not a quick job by any means! You can see this below where Nathan is wearing green and Bill Randall, sales representative is wearing purple. I promised to post a flattering picture so hope you both are happy with this one! =)

Further customization was needed to increase the “shearing” of the backrest when the wheelchair went into standing. When we trialed the initial set-up with the client, the backrest moved up too high causing the laterals to move up too far up and into the client’s axillas. Nathan then made a custom bracket that allowed the backrest to move downwards more when using the standing function. See below:

The last few customizations included grip tape for the footplate and ankle huggers to prevent the client’s feet from losing positioning and moving into standing, a custom Body Point chest strap with custom auto style buckle sewn in by Nathan, and added velcro under the armrests to secure the chest strap when not in use. This was necessary to ensure the client’s ability to use the stander independently.

The modifications that were made by Nathan and Bill really made this system work for my client. Thanks so much for all your hard work! It really did make a difference for this client! The standing function itself was selected for the health benefits as well as to improve my clients’ independence and level of function. Here is a link to a resource by RESNA outlining some of the benefits of wheelchair standing devices. Hopefully this will help with your justification letters! Also, an exciting announcement! Access Community Therapists Ltd, is offering a wound/pressure management course called “The Pressure is On ” in June. It’s a two day practical course on wound assessment, pressure mapping and intervention. We will be hosting it on June 6th and 7th at Advanced Mobility Products in Burnaby, BC. Click on the link or visit the Access website to register. Jo-Anne Chisholm, OT, Joanne Yip, OT and Heather McMurtry, RN, WOCN will be the main instructors and I will also be there assisting with the break out sessions. Register soon as space does fill up quickly!

Thanks for checking in today! I hope you enjoyed the case and hope to see you at the pressure course!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Semi-Rigid Pelvic Belt and Dynamic Backrest on Manual Rigid Wheelchair

Hello Everyone!  Happy Thursday! I wanted to share with you a system I did back in the winter for a client of mine with Cerebral Palsy. She was a client that needed a sturdy, lightweight wheelchair that she could self-propel indoors. Although her family pushed her wheelchair in the community, it was still very much a priority for her to be independent at home. She formerly had a manual folding frame wheelchair that was very difficult for her to push. This was due to the weight of the chair itself as well as her spastic movements. She was also very hard on her last wheelchair as she transfers with A LOT of momentum. Due to her high extensor tone she had literally bent the back canes open several times and had loosened off and eventually stripped almost every screw on the entire wheelchair. (oy…..)

Initially, I began with trials of folding frame manual systems with power assist type products. This was pretty much a “fail” as the power assist wheels were too quick and difficult for her to manage. The system we ended up choosing included a rigid frame manual wheelchair called the Quickie Q7 by Sunrise Medical with a Prism Truefitt backrest by Future Mobility and Jay 3 Air cushion (Note: be careful with the Jay 3 cushion well size, it can bit a bit small for many clients and can load the GTs. It worked well for this client though! I also personally prefer the air version over the fluid version as the gel has a tendency to move out the back of the cushion and client often “bottoms out”). This system was provided by Brandon Misky from Motion Specialties. I ended up going with a rigid system because it was lightweight and durable. In order to help with her manual propelling, we ended up going with Natural Fit Handrims. These worked beautifully for her! This client had difficulty letting go of the standard handrims and would often get her fingers caught or let go of  the rims at different times, causing her to veer to the right or left depending on which hand was left caught up. The Natural Fit Handrims by Quickie totally eliminated this problem. Yay!

 

I must admit, it was a bit complicated during the delivery and set-up of this system as she needed a semi-rigid pelvic support and dynamic backrest and I had never done this on a rigid frame before. Needless to say, there were a few “hiccups” along the way….

The dynamic backrest and semi-rigid pelvic bar were fabricated by James Cooper from Priority Posture Systems Ltd. Here are a few “obstacles” we ran into during the set-up/fabrication process: First, the frame on the new Q7 is oval not round. This made mounting of the dynamic backrest a bit of a challenge as most of the parts James had were meant to fit round tubes. The weight of the dynamic backrest was also a bit of an issue as it made the wheelchair more tippy. The wheels were therefore moved back to make the system more stable. That was necessary for safety when she transferred.

Second, the semi-rigid pelvic positioning system needed to be something that could be done up by the client independently. This was a significant challenge due to her tone and difficulty with positioning independently in general. We originally decided to go with a 4-point lap belt. This unfortunately didn’t work as the flex in the belt caused it to flip over. The client also had trouble managing the belt during transfers as she would often land on it and wouldn’t be able to get to it once she was in her system. We decided to switch out the 4-point belt and used the Body Point Evoflex system instead. This worked amazingly well! When the client unfastened the belt, it would actually maintain its position on the side (check out the Body Point Website for an image of this!). The custom fabricated ASIS pads were mounted to the Evoflex. This was necessary to further rigidize the system to prevent rotating of the pelvis.

The last issue that came up was the mounting of the armrests. Because of the positioning of the dynamic backrest, T-post style armrests were needed rather than the cantilever style that were originally requested. Due to the limited amount of real-estate on these rigid wheelchairs, mounting of all of these seating components was a bit of a challenge. A special thanks to Brandon and James who were able to troubleshoot with me to make this system work for the client. The hard work paid off and the client and family have been very happy with the system.

Thanks so much for checking in today! I hope some of these points come in handy if you ever set-up a system like this one. Feel free to send me your stories or feedback! Your comments are always welcome!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

The 30th International Seating Symposium

Hello Everyone! The 30th Annual International Seating Symposium started on Tuesday at the Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver. This conference is held every 2 years in Vancouver and is a fabulous event for anyone interested in wheelchair seating and mobility. The conference consists of a huge exhibition hall, poster presentations, pre-symposium courses, paper presentations and instructional sessions. So far it has been a great event with some truly inspirational speakers. Although it has been a long couple days, I thought I would post some of the new/newer products that I have had a chance to check out so far.

The first product I would like to present to you is the Progeo manual rigid wheelchairs. These are carbon fiber wheelchairs that are lightweight and incredibly streamlined in their appearance. Dave Elder from Advanced Mobility Products brought these wheelchairs to my attention. The Progeo wheelchairs were made in Italy and are not quite yet available in Canada. Hopefully soon though as these chairs look quite promising!

Stealth Products has developed a new “Mini Proportional Joystick” (which is a nice, easy to remember name). The shape, size and design of this product really stood out to me. The flat top with the built up sides made it easy to position and rest my index finger over top. When directing the joystick, the built up edges really helped to maintain positioning and steer with accuracy. Often times with other joysticks on the market, it can be difficult for clients to keep their fingers in place as they can often slip off the small topper. Stealth informed me that they can also rubber coat their joystick for added grip, which was definitely a nice feature. Different levels of resistance in this joystick are also available.

Stealth displayed their iDrive Diagnostic system that can be used to calibrate their joystick.  Another issue with other products on the market are that they are at times difficult to orient properly for the client. This can at times make trials quite difficult.

Comfort Company will be releasing a new backrest called the Acta-Relief Back very soon. This backrest is quite innovative, light weight and easily adjustable. The product consists of a metal frame with what they call Boa Reels that are tightened by rotating a dial called the Boa Closure System. Think of when you adjust the time on your watch; you pull out the watch crown (yes, it’s called a watch crown and yes I did happen to google this!) to release the cables/Boa Reels, then click it back in and turn until you have the desired level of support/tension. Et voila! You’ve adjusted the backrest to the back contours of your client! The cover also has a nice stretchy material integrated along the midline of the backrest. This is meant to allow for comfort and pressure relief along the spinous processes. This back was quite comfortable when I tried it out myself! I really liked how it could be adjusted to a client’s back contours. The ease of adjustability was a plus as well!

Advanced Health Care Products (AHC) had a few new items at this years symposium as well.  Body Point was showing off their new mounting extensions for the Evoflex pelvic stabilizer. I’ve used this product once before and found that it was a bit difficult to mount and position in the right position for the client without some added customization. With this new extension/mounting kit, these issues will likely be resolved. The only issue might be remembering to order this extra pieces when specifying the Evoflex. The Roho Group also displayed their Agility backrests, which integrates their famous Roho air cells into either the whole back or parts of the back. Definitely a backrest that I keep in mind to trial. The Roho Group very kindly hosted myself and the Access Community Therapists Ltd group in the evening after the symposium. It was a lovely event at the Fish House in Stanley Park. It was a pleasure meeting the Roho team! Thanks again for a great evening!

Ki Mobility will be releasing a new tilt in space manual wheelchair. This is a nice looking base with a high degree of adjustability. In Canada, it is projected to fall somewhere in the middle of the cost hierarchy (possibly somewhere falling in between the cost of an SR 45 and an Iris), however, this has yet to be confirmed. The selling points of this base is the smart tilt function, which is a smooth tilt mechanism that does not require weight in the chair and its reported durability. They pitch this base as a heavy duty, durable base that is meant to withstand a heavy user or client who presents with strong movement patterns. There are options for dynamic back canes as well as dynamic footrests. Although it is always hard to say how a new wheelchair base will compare to others, or stand up over time;  it does seem like it could be a strong competitor in the market!

Unfortunately, it is getting quite late and it will be an early start tomorrow morning at the ISS. That means that I will have to share the rest of my photos with you in my next post. I hope you found these points helpful though! Thanks again for reading and checking in!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

JAECO

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. To start your week, I would like to share with you a product called the JAECO. This product is really cool and was shown to me by James Cooper from Priority Posture Systems Ltd. James has the only demo model of this product in Western Canada and I was super excited to see it in action! The JAECO is essentially a dynamic orthosis or exoskeleton that can enhance a client’s upper limb function by assisting them against gravity. The system can be mounted on a wheelchair or even a table top and is secured to the client’s arm with strapping. The JAECO can be adjusted to meet the client’s needs through the number of blue elastic bands added onto each part of the system. Check out the photos below!

James has informed me that he has set up this product for clients with various conditions including Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Cord Injury (Quadriplegia). It has helped clients with a variety of functional activities including eating and drinking independently and even with work based activities such as computer work or other table top tasks. As you can imagine, a product like this could greatly improve a client’s independence and function. Definitely an interesting product worth a trial for the right client!

Thanks for reading!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Rear Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs

Hello Everyone, Happy belated Lunar New Year to all of you! I apologize for my month long hiatus. It has been a busy few weeks for my family. Right after the holidays, my dog, Halle, had to go in for dental surgery. Then, soon after, my grandma was admitted to hospital for a suspected TIA and aspiration pneumonia. It has been a busy and stressful month, but I am happy to share that things are looking better and my 94 year old “popo”, who is recovering well.

I have not forgotten to collect information, photos  and interesting new products and cases to share with you though. These will be posted as soon as possible as I can’t wait to share them. Also, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has been taking the time to read and contact me about the blog.  It has been a pleasure hearing from you!

Alright! So back to business! A couple weeks back, Access was fortunate to have the opportunity to have an inservice with KCI at Motion Specialties. They brought in their new mattress technology called the AtmosAir. This mattress consists of SAT (or “Self-Adjusting Technology”)cells that essentially self-adjust to the weight and level of load from the client. Click here to see more about this product. This is a product that is marketed as a “no maintenance mattress”. Definitely a neat product worth a trial and a pressure mapping session at some point to see how it measures up to others.

Motion Specialties also provided us with an inservice on Rear Wheel Drive Power Mobility. This was a great inservice with lots of valuable information.  Many of our clients who live in rural areas across the Province rely heavily on rear-wheel-drive bases as they are better able to manage the terrain and weather. Here is a synopsis of our session:

1) Invacare Storm Series: Torque SP, Arrow and Ranger X:

  • Torque: plastic polymer suspension (yellow plastic at rear castors)
  • Ranger X and Arrow have spring shock suspension (yellow coil at reach castors)
  • Ranger X: Bariatric (400lb weight capacity)
  • Frame: frame width is 26.5″, with two lengths: short: 28.5 and long: 31.5
  • Speed: Torque and Arrow: 6.5mph, Ranger X: 5mph
  • Lowest STF height (no tilt): 17.75″
  • Pricing starts at: $8909
  • Personal impression from trial: Generally speaking, I find Invacare wheelchairs to have a very smooth, intuitive drive. This could be great for a client who may need an easier to drive and learn to drive wheelchair. It is also a fairly quiet power wheelchair. For clients who prefer a lot of power and torque, this may not be the first choice, however, overall a nice ride.

2) Quantum Rival:

  • Points of interest: the base is quite long compared to others. Replaced the R4000
  • Frame: width is 25.25″, length is 36″ (which is 5″ longer than the Torque)
  • Suspension: Active Track ATX with rear spring suspension
  • Speed: 6 mph, with high speed available (up to 7.5 mph)
  • Lowest STF height (no tilt):16.5″ (lower than Torque)
  • Pricing: starts at $8406
  • Unfortunately, we didn’t get to trial this one as there weren’t any at Motion at the time. This chair is however, marketed as a “rugged” power base. Feel free to let me know if you have any impressions of your own!

3) Sunrise Xplore:

  • Points of interest: This base has a lowest STF height. Also, rear wheel is forward biaised for it has 6 wheels on the ground for stability
  • Frame: width is 25.5″ and the length is 36″
  • Suspension: Very soft suspension (same as the Experience), meant to absorb vibrations.
  • Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Lowest STF height: 15.25″ without tilt and 17″ with tilt
  • Pricing: starts at $9650 (NOTE: This base is on the higher end. Also, repairs to the Experience and Xplore can cost more than an Invacare base due to the cost of parts. This is important to note for Ministry funded clients who may want to upgrade with personal funds. If the repairs cost more than the funded wheelchair, the client could be responsible for the difference in cost for the repairs)
  • Personal Impressions from Trial: This power base was quite smooth but peppy! It was also quite intuitive, but the drive can be quite a shock if you aren’t used to a quick start. Would be good for clients who prefer this kind of drive.

4) Sunrise Quickie 646:

  • Points of interest: This is an aggressive power base. Rear wheels are forward biaised so that the rear anti-tippers contact the ground.
  • Frame: width is 25.75″ and length is 33.5″
  • Suspension: Rockshox suspension that can be adjusted based on client weight and ride preference
  • Speed: 8.5 mph
  • Lowest STF height: 18″ without tilt
  • Pricing: $11,275 (this is the most expensive of the bunch)
  • Personal Impression from Trial: This was another very peppy power base. I found this base to be quite “jerky”, but still intuitive enough to drive. Definitely a base for a client needing a more aggressive base. This base also has a very high speed compared to the others. Considering the price, this base would be ideal for a client really needing the extra power and speed, who can tolerate or prefers a more aggressive drive.

5) Permobil C350:

  • Points of interest: This chair has one of the better suspensions and is a quiet base. The style of the base is also more subdued in design.
  • Frame: 24.5″ wide, 36″ long
  • Suspension: Shock Absorbing Suspension System with coil shocks on from swing arms and rear anti-tippers
  • Speed: 5mph, this is a slower base compared to the rest, but Permobil will be making the high speed option of 6.5mph a standard feature in the future…
  • Lowest STF height: 18″ without tilt
  • Pricing:$7675, this is the cheapest power base of the bunch!
  • Personal Impression from Trial: This is a very quiet and smooth ride. Probably the smoothest and quietest base of the group. Clients who like a quiet, smooth and intuitive ride with a modern looking base will definitely prefer this base. Unfortunately, many rear wheel drive power wheelchair users generally prefer a more powerful, “torquey” drive. This is probably not the base to choose for a client needing to manage rough terrain.

6) Sunrise P222SE:

  • Points of interest: This is a tippy power base, but is also quite fast. It’s an older model base, but clients who still have them, really love them.
  • Frame: 24.5″ or 25.5″ wide, 31.5″ long
  • Suspension: Fiberglass leaf spring positioned length wise under the seat frame
  • Speed: 8.5 mph
  • Lowest STF height: 18″ without tilt
  • Pricing: $8295, not an expensive base (a bit more expensive than the permobil without tilt. This base is much more expensive if tilt is needed as it jumps up to $14,120 with tilt)
  • Personal Impression from Trial: This base was very very peppy. It’s a small looking base that packs quite a bit of punch! Not the best suspension of the bunch, but with the top speed hitting 8.5 mph, I can see why some clients are sticking with this base. Considering it is a bit tippy, I would definitely be selective with who I would trial this base with.

7) Ranger Express and 904S:

  • Points of interest: The Express comes in a compact base option, however, this compact base also has a lower weight capacity. The 904S is a customizable base that is often used by power soccer players.
  • Frame: Express: 25.5″ wide x 32″ long, Compact version is 23.5″ wide x 31″ long,  904S: 24.5″ wide x 32″ long
  • Suspension: Express: Rigid front frame and low torsion rear suspension   904S: Front Articulating Beam and no rear suspension
  • Speed: Express: 6.5 mph, Compact: 7 mph, 904S: up to 9 mph
  • Lowest STF height: 17″ without tilt
  • Pricing: Express $8798, 904S $9898
  • Personal Impression from Trial: I find that Ranger bases have a very distinct and memorable drive. These are very zippy bases that also pack a lot of punch. They are also relatively smooth and intuitive drives as well. Ranger is a local business that will often make custom modifications and additions based on the needs and wants of the clients using these bases. This makes them a great option for clients using their chairs for a variety of functions including sports like power soccer.

I would like to thank Jodi Mair and Carla Carrico for setting up these inservices for us. They were great as usual! Also, Motion Specialties asked if I could share this special opportunity. March of Dimes has set up a program called the March of Dimes Canada Retrofit Vehicle Initiative for people needing vehicle modifications up to $15,000. Motion Specialties is able to do a variety of vehicle modifications and are hoping that someone may be able to benefit from this rare funding opportunity. Applications are due by February 14th, so please pass this on to anyone who may benefit from this program. Here is the link below with more information.

  MARCH OF DIMES: FUNDING FOR VEHICLE MODS: check it out!   http://www.marchofdimes.ca/EN/news/whatsnew2014/Pages/March-of-Dimes-Canada-Retrofit-Vehicle-Initiative.aspx  

I hope you found this post helpful! Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Custom Foam-in-Box System with Custom Rigid Pelvic Saddle

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope everyone had a great winter holiday. This has been a hectic week back. Lots of appointments and everyone getting back into the swing of things. I also have a UBC student with me for the next 5 weeks. She is the 3rd student I have taken in my career as an OT. I always enjoy having company on my visits and I think it is an honor to be able to show others what I do. OT is such a diverse career and I strongly recommend taking students no matter what field you are working in. Not only is the experience great for the student, but I also learn a lot about what’s new in the field and it keeps me on my toes when they ask me questions about why I make the clinical decisions I make. So, if you can, please take students! UBC has also made a blog as a resource for fieldwork educators. Click here if you would like to check it out!

Today, I thought I would share with you a custom foam-in-box seating system that was fabricated by Chad Kania at Ability Health Care. This client has many fixed joint deformities and is essentially fixed at 40 degrees of hip flexion. In order to function and drive a power wheelchair, this client needed to be positioned upright. For obvious reasons, keeping this client upright was difficult as there was very limited sitting surface available, which would result in a tendency to slide down on the system. In order to accommodate this, a custom rigid saddle was constructed.

One large moulding bag was used to capture the system as the client was quite petite. Trunk laterals as well as pelvic laterals were made from the mould to provide midline guidance. The pelvic saddle was then constructed by contouring the moulding bags under the client’s buttocks to ensure that enough sitting surface could be captured and made. The rigid pelvic bar with a front extension was then created with a mounting post that is secured at the bottom of the seat. The rigid pelvic bar/saddle was mounted at the bottom seat in order to create a rigid, almost continuous sitting surface from the front and back of the client’s pelvis.

This client has been very happy with the system and reports that they are quite comfortable and rarely slide downwards anymore. One issue that came up was the compression of the foam in the seat as all of the client’s weight is held by the saddle seat. The seat needed to be re-foamed and blake medical gel will be added for extra comfort and pressure relief.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this system. Hope you have a great weekend everyone!

Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Sunrise Medical Quickie Tilt in Space Wheelchairs

Happy Friday Everyone! It’s snowing here in Vancouver and it’s the weekend before Christmas! Although it makes commuting a bit of a challenge in this city, I’m kind of hoping some of it will stick around over the holiday. Today, I thought I would post on the new Quickie tilt-in-space manual wheelchair, the SR 45. This wheelchair has been out for about a year or so and has been marketed as a lower end version of the Quickie Iris, which is one of the best tilt-in-space manual wheelchairs available on the market. The Quickie Iris is a great base to work with as there is so much adjustability, flexibility and real estate on the frame, which makes it easier to mount  seating components and is also great for setting up full custom fabricated seating systems.

As for the the SR45, this wheelchair replaced the Tilt FX , which had a similar rotation in space mechanism  as the Iris but was not the same quality as their “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology”. This technology has now been added to the SR 45 as well as many more features that are similar to the Iris. Despite the marked improvements made on the SR 45 model and the added “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology” on this model, Sunrise has also decided to  price this model in close range to the PDG Fuze T5o, the Orion II or even the Invacare Concept 45. So now the question is, what’s the difference between these two wheelchairs? Since the SR45 is so much cheaper than the Iris, but has the same tilt technology and very similar features, funders may lean towards a more economical model. In any case, here is a quick break down of the differences:

QUICKIE SR 45:

–  0-45 degrees of tilt (no other ranges available and cannot add anterior tilt for transfers or eating/swallowing positioning)

Weight capacity is 265 lbs, with no heavy duty option, max width is also 20 inches.

75 degree front rigging, no available contracture hangers (might be an issue for clients with very tight hamstrings)

Lowest seat-to-floor height is 14 inches (keep in mind for clients who need a specific seat-to-floor height for standing transfers or access issues)

-Limited colour selection

-Base is made in Mexico and is made of  steel (Although the weight differences are minimal, this model is likely a slight be heavier)

-Base price is $2795.00

QUICKIE Iris:

Free growth kit (for width growth) within the first 5 years

Dynamic back option available on this model only

Variety of tilt ranges, with the standard range being 0-55 degrees.

Weight capacity is 250 lbs, also has a heavy duty option with a weight capacity of 350 lbs 

Various front rigging options

Lowest seat to floor height is 12.5 inches

-Larger colour selection

-Base is made in California and is aluminum

-Base price is $4075.00

Overall, the improvements made on the SR45 are great. Although it may make justifying an Iris a bit more difficult, it is a great economical option in comparison to other available models on the market.  I hope this breakdown is helpful for all of you. I would like to thank Carla Carrico from Motion Specialties, Jeff Ducklow from Ability Health Care and Tara from Sunrise Medical for helping me break down the differences between these two wheelchairs.

Also, FYI, Access is hosting an Introduction to Assessment and Management of Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Disorders: A Clinical Approach workshop on February 28th and March 1st. Check out the Access website for more information if you are interested!

If you are off next week, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for checking in.

Seating is Super!

Cheryl