Wheelchairs which incorporate tilt-in-space and recline functions offer a significant number of advantages to patients with specific requirements including enhanced comfort, a reduction in health risks and an improvement in their quality of life.
In this blog, we delve into the advantages of tilt-in-space wheelchairs, and clinical considerations for their provision.
What is a tilt-in-space wheelchair?
The tilt-in-space is a function on wheelchairs repositions a patient by tilting the chair backwards, without changing their position.
When might a wheelchair user benefit from tilting?
In older patients, natural declines in strength and endurance - as well as strokes or other neurologic diseases becoming increasingly common - can reduce mobility, and motor control, creating challenges for both mobility and seated posture.
Sliding out of chairs or falling also becomes increasingly common whilst weaker, frailer skin can leave patients at an increased risk of pressure injuries.
These risk factors make wheelchairs that incorporate tilt-in-space and recline functions well suited to prescription for this population.
The following patients may be considered for tilt-in-space wheelchairs:
Patients are unable to shift weight independently
An inability to shift weight independently or change positions whilst seated upright puts patients at a high risk of pressure injury.
An angle of tilt of 25 degrees or greater is effective for pressure relief at the ischial tuberosities with repositioning occurring at least two minutes, every 30 minutes.
Patients are unable to maintain pelvic, thoracic, or head position and/or balance against gravity for prolonged periods of time
Gravity can take its toll on patients with compromised muscle strength or endurance, pulling down on the body and leaving them unable to maintain proper upright posture.
With time, this can result in postural deviations like posterior pelvic tilt, thoracic kyphosis, and/ or lateral lean.
Patients at risk of respiratory and digestive complications;
Without an upright posture, the digestive system can become compromised with an increased risk of gastrointestinal complications including gastritis, acid reflux, esophagitis and bowel impactions.
Manual tilt-in-space wheelchairs stand out as a versatile, comfortable, and practical solution for individuals with mobility impairments.
For caregivers and users alike in Ohio and beyond, understanding and utilizing the full potential of manual tilt-in-space wheelchairs can lead to significant improvements in quality of life and overall well-being.
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