Transforming Postural Care: The Role of Specialist Seating
in the Caregiver’s Journey
As we welcome Carers Week 2023, CareFlex joins hands with organisations around the UK to celebrate and acknowledge the tireless efforts of family and friend caregivers. This annual campaign raises awareness about carers’ challenges and recognises their immense contribution to our communities.
Alarmingly, carers are twice as likely to face ill health as a result of caring. They are not always recognised, and yet the care they provide is a staggering £193 billion per year.1 Moreover, the physical effort involved in caregiving should not be underestimated. Carers often face the risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders from the repetitive strain of moving and handling those they care for.2
It is time to educate, share resources, and show our collective support to those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.
As a company with an inherent commitment to enhancing the quality of life for individuals, we understand that the needs of carers are a crucial part of this mission. Carers are on the frontline, ensuring comfort, health, and well-being for those they support. By offering innovative seating solutions, we aim to make their invaluable work safer, less physically demanding, and more rewarding.
Why is Postural Care in Sitting Important?
A key aspect of our commitment is to focus on postural care through effective specialist seating. Good posture is not only about sitting straight; it’s a cornerstone of overall health and well-being.3 Effective postural care can reduce the risk of secondary complications associated with prolonged and/or destructive sitting, such as body distortion and deformities.4
This is where CareFlex steps in. Our seating solutions are designed with the key principles of postural care in sitting in mind: comfort, function, safety, health, and well-being. However, to achieve these personal objectives, individuals, especially those with complex needs, depend on their caregivers to enable them and implement care plans. Consequently, CareFlex also considers the caregiver at all design, assessment, provision, and review stages.
How Can Specialist Seating Help?
CareFlex specialist seating aids in reducing carer effort and dependency.
By encouraging individualised objectives, such as comfort and functional independence, specialist seating enhances the user’s quality of life and reduces the level of constant care required. It offers carers a respite from the demands of their role. Specialist seating can also reduce the time and physical strain involved in repositioning and transferring, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders among caregivers when utilised correctly. It is not solely about easing the caregiving journey; it’s about ensuring the carer’s health and well-being too.5
Specialist seating adjustment mechanisms are simple to use, easy to find, and tool-free where possible.
- Design intuitiveness significantly reduces the skills demand and physical effort, enabling carers to focus more on providing quality care whilst protecting themselves.
- Equipment compatibility ensures the safe completion of moving and handling tasks.
- Removable or transfer arms can allow easy slings access and facilitate transfers from both sides.
- Tilt-in-space, when safe and appropriate, can assist with hoisting and positioning to reduce the effort required.
- Tilt-in-space can also offer a solution for pressure redistribution and energy management, reducing the need for manual repositioning.
- Chair functions can be upgraded from manual gas action control to being operated by battery-controlled motors to reduce carer effort further.
- Braked and swivel castors can promote security and smoother manoeuvrability for portering around the environment.
How Can CareFlex Make a Difference?
We appreciate that understanding and managing postural care can be challenging for family and friend caregivers. CareFlex is committed to bridging this gap through our educational sessions, empowering carers with knowledge and skills to improve the quality of care. We firmly believe everyone deserves access to the right information and equipment to make the caregiving journey smoother and more fulfilling.
CareFlex specialist seating transforms the lives of individuals needing care and plays a vital role in empowering carers. By promoting independence and reducing carer effort through optimum postural care, we aim to make the caregiving journey as rewarding and stress-free as possible. Remember, effective postural care is a shared responsibility; please do not hesitate to get in touch to find out more about how we can support the caregiver’s journey. CareFlex is here to guide and educate whenever we are needed.
- Carers UK (2023) Rights and equality Available from: carersuk.org/policy-and-research/our-areas-of-policy-work/rights-and-equality/
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2017) Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Available from: cdc.gov/niosh/topics/safepatient/
- Healy A, Ramsey C, Sexsmith E (1997) Postural support systems: their fabrication and functional use Developmental Medicine and Children Neurology 39:706-710
- Pountney T, Mandy A, Green E, Gard P (2002) Management of Hip Dislocation with Postural Management Child: Care, Health and Development 28:179–185
- Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (2017) Manual Handling: Recommendations for Safer PerformanceAvailable from: www.csp.org.uk/publications/manual-handling