Attendant Power Assist! The Viamobile

Hello Everyone! Happy Wednesday! Can you believe August is coming to an end? My, my this summer has gone by quickly! I have a few exciting announcements to make. Access Community Therapists Ltd has two upcoming courses: The Pressure is On: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Pressure Management in the Community on November 7th and 8th and Wheelchair Seating & Positioning: Practical Applications on November 28th and 29th. To register, please visit the Access website and fill out the registration form. Both courses are highly interactive and offer hands on experience with clients. Check out some photos of the seating course here! Hope to see you there!

Now, onto some new rehab stuff! I just set-up an attendant power assist on a manual tilt-in-space wheelchair called the VIAMOBILE (by invacare). There actually isn’t much information online about this product, which was surprising to me. The system is comprised of a remote handle that turns the system on and off and powers the motor to either roll forwards or backwards. When the system is turned on, the centre wheel drops onto the ground. This offloads the rear wheels, which can tilt the system a bit forwards. Luckily we were working with a tilt-in-space wheelchair. That way, the client can be tilted slightly when the system is on.  Here are some photos of the system:

Invacare has just revised this product and it is now super easy to remove and set-up. I love that it can be so easily removed. My client who needed it, manually-self propels indoors, but lives in a very hilly neighborhood and his caregivers were having a lot of trouble getting him around the community. Because he manually self-propels, we needed to keep the wheelchair light. By removing the motor of the viamobile when indoors allowed us to do that. The viamobile was set up on a Quickie Iris manual tilt wheelchair. See some images below.

This system is by no means cheap. Many funding agencies such as Ministry will not fund this system. You may have to look for private funds for a system like this, which is definitely a downside. On a brighter note, an attendant power assist can be extremely useful to prevent caregiver injuries as well as to enable your clients to get out more often in the community. Definitely worth while, if you can find funding. This system was set-up by Jody Mair and Nathan Buskell at Motion Specialties. Thanks to you both for setting this up! Until next time!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Workshops, Whitehorse and Wheeling

Hello Everyone! Happy Monday! Last week was a busy week for Access Community Therapists Ltd. We held the “Seating and Positioning in the Community: Practical Applications” workshop at Motion Specialties in Burnaby on September 27th and 28th. Despite the torrential rains on Friday and Saturday, it was a great turn out and we had a lot of fun practicing landmarking, mat and sitting assessments and even got to work with some volunteer clients.  Here are some photos from the day. FYI, we are hosting the course again on November 29th and 30th. If you would like to register for the course, check out the Access website.

After the workshop, Jo-Anne Chisholm and I left for Whitehorse, YT. Yes, that’s right! Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories! Access Community Therapists does a seating clinic up there every 2-3 years. It’s an exciting and busy week. It feels almost like a seating marathon of sorts! On this trip, the technicians from Priority Posture Systems Ltd came with us to fabricate the seating systems and to complete various seating modifications for clients with quite complex needs. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to take many photos on this trip, but here is one system that we did. It’s a planar foam “I” shaped backrest  with asymmetrical swing away trunk laterals and carved cushion with ischial block and built in pommel. This system also has an arcufit-style positioning belt and i2i headrest. What was quite interesting about this case, was that we originally spec’d a foam in place backrest. Unfortunately, when trying to fabricate the system, the foam in place could not hold the clients’ posture. We instead needed to proceed with a planar foam back, which provided much more support and control.

I’ve been meaning to post this up for a while now. Sorry for the delay! 2 weeks ago, we received a short presentation By Krista Best and Kate Keetch (Associates of Bill Miller from UBC) on wheelchair skills and the importance of teaching our clients how to improve their wheeling skills. Although most of the clients we see are long time wheelchair users, I definitely saw the benefit in wheelchair skills training. The benefits to our clients included things like, improved community access, shoulder preservation and improved posture and positioning when wheeling. During the presentation, we were offered a chance to try doing a wheelie. To keep us, or I should probably say “me” safe, 2 bricks were used to prevent the wheelchair from moving or rolling away, and an orange safety strap was secured to the crossbar for added security. This is what it looked like!

For more information on wheelchair skills, visit www.wheelchairskillsprogram.ca. This is a great website with assessment/training forms and research on wheelchair skills.

Thanks for reading! Seating is super!

Cheryl