Seating for Learning Disabilities – Andrew’s Story

Andrew is a 26 year old young man who is outgoing, friendly and loves socialising. Despite his daily challenges, he loves living life to the fullest.

Andrew has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and moderate learning disabilities. He lives in supported accommodation with two other men around the same age. They enjoy watching movies together and going to the local day centre.

Andrew requires support with all activities of daily living. He is a wheelchair user and is hoisted for all transfers using overhead hoist tracking throughout the home. Andrew has previously used night-time positioning but it affected sleep too much so was discontinued.

Andrew had a 15 year old specialist chair at home. The chair had a recline function but no tilt-in-space. The chair also had no foot support or additional trunk support. Andrew had recently been indicating discomfort whilst sitting in this chair. His support staff had also noticed an increase in his involuntary movements and spasticity, so used his Rea Azalea wheelchair with tilt-in-space and four-point pelvic belt as his only seating surface.

Support staff contacted CareFlex to review his specialist seating as they were not comfortable with Andrew sitting for such long periods in his wheelchair and be appropriate seating for his learning disabilities and cerebral palsy.

It was clear from Andrew’s assessment that he would benefit from a new seating system that could better address his postural needs. Andrew presented with the following postural challenges:

Andrew needed a chair that offered comfort to relax in for movie nights but still supported his posture appropriately. The chair would need to be able to finely balance correction and accommodation of his posture. He needed pelvic stability to help normalise his muscle tone as much as possible and manage his involuntary movements. His wheelchair offered good postural support so provided a good guide to follow.

Trials were completed with a range of chairs, functions and accessories; Andrew communicated his preference for the SmartSeatPro, our revolutionary modular chair. This seating system is highly adjustable for individuals with complex needs:

  • The unique multi-adjustable back and wings were adjusted to correct as much as possible then accommodate Andrew’s kyphoscoliosis.
  • Back angle recline was utilised to accommodate his reduced hip range of movement allowing a better pelvic position.
  • Tilt-in-space  improved his pelvic stability whilst promoting energy management, and also encouraged his shoulder girdle to open up using the affects of gravity.
  • Following a risk assessment, a four-point pelvic strap, as used on his wheelchair, further encouraged pelvic stability.
  • A contoured cushion supported his pelvis and thighs, accommodating his wind-sweeping
  • A full width leg rest with channels supported his lower limbs in as aligned position as possible.
  • An angle adjustable foot support offered the feedback Andrew needed for stability, in turn improving his muscle tone, whilst ensuring equal pressure distribution.

At CareFlex, we strongly believe in our ethos: we strive to balance posture and pressure management with the individual’s own goals, whilst promoting comfort, independence and a meaningful life.

Get in touch to arrange a free no-obligation assessment if you think you or your loved one need postural support, like Andrew, from CareFlex specialist seating.

Get in touch if you think we can help!

Bye for now,