Seating for Alzheimers – Michael’s Story

Michael is a 78 year old gentleman who has lived a good life with a large family full of children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren. For years he loved going to dance halls with his wife, and he still loves listening to music.

Michael was diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) 5 years ago. He has recently moved in to a residential home as his needs can no longer be met at home. His wife continues to visit every day but it was clear he was needing specialist seating for his Alzheimers.

Michael needs prompting to complete activities of daily living and is becoming more dependent on care staff to complete certain tasks. His mobility is now limited and he requires maximum assistance of two to complete standing transfers. Michael also has a history of falls.

Michael had been sitting in a standard fixed armchair. Michael complained of being uncomfortable and at times became agitated with his wife. Care staff noticed moving and handling becoming more effortful and were considering introducing equipment. They had also started noticing areas of redness on his heels and back.

CareFlex were called in to see if a more specialist chair was needed to reduce the risk of Michael’s pressure areas worsening, and to ensure he was comfortable and relaxed.

In the standard armchair it was evident that:

  • Michael was too tall for the chair’s dimensions;
    • Seat depth was inappropriate resulting in Michael sliding down the chair and falling in to a posterior pelvic tilt with a significant increased thoracic kyphosis.
    • Seat height was incorrect leading to the increased difficulties with standing that care staff had noticed during moving and handling.
    • This set-up resulted in unequal weight distribution with increased pressure through Michael’s back and heels.
  • Michael was fatiguing quickly against the effects of gravity, which was worsening his kyphotic posture.
  • Michael was spending prolonged periods of time in the chair, further increasing his risk of pressure injuries.

It was agreed with Michael that his main goals from seating were to be comfortable, maintain his transfer ability for as long as possible, and manage his pressure areas. Michael trialled a range of CareFlex chairs and immediately felt comfortable in the HydroTilt:

  • Adjustable seat depth ensured the correct set-up for Michael, promoting improved pelvic stability and spinal posture.
  • The reconfigured waterfall back comfortably accommodated Michael’s remaining kyphotic posture, reducing the pressure at the apex of his spine.
  • Tilt-in-space promoted energy management and further stabilised his pelvis .
  • Integrated pressure management with WaterCell Technology encouraged maximum support and equal weight distribution with the aim of resolving Michael’s pressure areas.
  • The flip-up angle adjustablefoot plate fully supported his feet so pressure was taken away from his heels.
  • A more appropriate seat height improved Michael’s standing ability, in turn reducing carer staff effort and promoting safety.
  • The negative angle leg rest allowed a more stable foot placement on the floor to further assist Michael with standing.

Care staff were educated on the need to ensure a regular change of position. They also agreed to seek further advice regarding Michael’s pressure areas to ensure all intrinsic risk factors were considered.

During a longer trial of the HydroTilt, Michael continued to feel the benefits. He was able to stay alert longer throughout the day and his improved posture meant he could interact with his wife more easily. His relaxed manner allowed them to spend quality time listening to music together once again.

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 needs specialist seated support, like Michael needed Specialist Seating for his Alzheimers.