Seating for Muscular Dystrophy – Josh’s Story

Rebecca Dunstall, Clinical Specialist, and Les Jones, Business Development Manager recently had the joy of meeting Josh at his own supported living flat at a specialist college. Josh is a 19 year old young man who enjoys swimming, gaming, drawing, music and archeology.

Josh has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Erb’s Palsy:

  • Due to Josh’s diagnosis and the nature of the condition, it is critical that his posture is appropriately managed to ensure that he is able to maintain functionality and that his positioning does not deteriorate quickly.
  • Josh spends the majority of his day sat in his Quickie powered wheelchair. As a result he is at an increased risk of developing pressure injuries so his skin integrity is regularly checked.
  • He uses his wheelchair for all activities, including eating, drinking, and college work. He uses a lap belt for safety, lateral knee pads to align the lower limbs, individual footplates for stability, and a headrest for comfort.
  • He has no access to appropriate alternative seating.
  • Josh is non-ambulant. He does wear bilateral AFOs as he participates in regular therapy sessions, and even uses a tilt table at his flat.
  • Josh is hoisted with assistance of two for all transfers and uses an in-situ sling.

The aim of the visit was to determine if CareFlex specialist seating could improve Josh’s quality of life. On assessment, it was clear that Josh would benefit from a change of position and seating support surface during the day to reduce his time spent in his wheelchair. Specialist seating would enable Josh to feel comfortable and relax at home, whilst continuing to manage his postural and pressure care needs.

We agreed to trial the HydroFlex as it offered the combination of comfort and postural support that Josh needed and suitable seating for his muscular dystrophy.

Josh immediately relaxed into the chair and commented that he could easily fall asleep! He thought the chair was comfortable, had nice material, and it would feel good to use it after his therapy sessions.

The HydroFlex offered Josh the following:

  • Flexible postural support throughout the chair will reduce the risk of postural deterioration related to Josh’s condition.
  • Appropriate foot support, as used in his wheelchair, encouraged postural stability and in turn improved functionality. The channelled leg rest aided in lower limb alignment.
  • The profiled headrest promoted feelings of comfort and relaxation, whilst encouraging alignment at the trunk.
  • Integrated WaterCell Technology and an adjustable seat depth ensured Josh had maximum contact with the support surface, which will enhance comfort levels whilst crucially helping to reduce his risk of pressure injuries.
  • Tilt-in-space is another function that will allow for the pressure redistribution Josh requires.
  • The transfer arm allowed for easier moving and handling enabling better positioning.
  • The addition of a tray will allow Josh to complete his enjoyed activities in comfort.

Josh informed Rebecca and Les that he felt fully supported in the chair. As a result, he believed that his arms felt more functional.

Meeting Josh and seeing him laugh and joke from a CareFlex chair truly was a highlight for Rebecca and Les. It emphasised the importance of comfort on wellbeing and quality of life. It is important that specialist seating addresses clinical objectives, but we must always keep the person at the centre.

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 a supportive yet comfortable chair from CareFlex.