Fitting & Customisation
Once a wheelchair is delivered, it needs to be set up for each user by a trained person to see that he/she is well supported, comfortable, able to move efficiently, feeling safe and able to function in it. Adjustments ensure that the fitted wheelchair or device does meet the needs identified in the assessment and involves the following checks:
- size and adjustments
- posture and alignment
- pressure areas
- fit while the wheelchair user is moving
Some people are not able to sit upright without extra support. They may have uncontrolled movements of spasms, joint stiffness, muscle tightness, weakness of fatigue, pain or discomfort or difficulty balancing. This may influence the fitting process. A mobility device (including cushion) that does not fit correctly may cause serious harm like pressure sores or spinal deformities.
Modifications to your device
Some people need a lot of extra support; others need just minor changes to their wheelchair or its settings. Extra postural support can be provided in different ways. Some solutions are very simple, and can be made in a basic workshop. Other solutions may be more complicated, take more than one session, and involve the construction of additional, special postural supports.
During fitting these adjustments or modifications can be done e.g. adding foam inserts, adding extra strapping, making changes to the height of the footrest by adding a block to raise the footrest or adaptation of the shape of the posture tray to meet a specific need.
A technician is often involved in making these modifications during the fitting with the seating practitioner.
Fitting is checked by the seating practitioner at 3-4 monthly reviews when further adjustments or modification can be made as needed. Follow through action is taken which may include an additional positioning device, top-up carer training or referral for support or services.