HOW DOES A SEATING ASSESSMENT WORK?

By Martina Tierney OT · October 14, 2019 ·

Seating Assessment

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ve probably heard us mention Seating Assessments before. Seating Assessments are scheduled appointments that we arrange at a time and place that works for you and your clients. A trained Seating Specialist will make a home or facility call to your location to assess the patient’s seating and postural needs and recommend a seating solution.

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What you may not know is that we like to involve all those who are directly involved in ordering and trying out the chair to be involved in every step of the process.

Below are the 5 steps that we will take together to carry out a joint assessment with you.

1. Arrange a Trial

You should arrange to have the chair brought to the patient to try out themselves and left for a suitable trial period. This “trial” period is an important part of this process as the patient sitting in the chair needs to be able to experience it throughout different times of the day. This will also give time for all parties involved to assess whether the chair is meeting the goals previously determined. To see if a chair trial is available in your area, please contact us. 

2. The Fitting Process

It is worth taking the correct measurements for the patient and setting up the chair accordingly prior to having the patient sit in the chair. Seat depth, width and footplate height should be adjusted in advance to limit the amount of transfers in and out of the chair upon the Seating Assessment.

3. The Transfertransfer header

Best practices for transferring into a trial chair:

  • Ensure the hips are at the back of the chair when the patient transfers.
  • Make sure the chair accommodates stand, frontal, side and hoist transfers.
  • Make sure that the angle of the chair back can accommodate the hip angle.

4. Assess the Seated Position

To assess the seated position effectively, you must:

  • Ensure the seat depth matches the person’s leg length correctly.
  • Are the hips level?
  • Ensure the seat or footplate height is set for correct loading of the legs and feet.
  • Make sure the seat cushion is given maximum pressure management.
  • Regularly check the patient’s skin for redness or signs of a change in condition.

5. Support

As a party involved with the seating assessment, it is up to you to use the features of the chair to give support, to accommodate or correct posture and enhance patient function.

Of course, patient comfort in the chair is crucial. Meeting the goals of seating and posture can take time and the person is more likely to experience a positive outcome if they are comfortable in their seat. You should consider making incremental improvements to the person’s posture over a longer period of time.

If you know someone who could use help, contact us here. We are here to help.

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*Note - the purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the product with some tips to consider on its use. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, prescription or treatment and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. For advice with your personal health or that of someone in your care, consult your doctor or appropriate medical professional.

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