My son is still mobile but about to get his first power chair. We were considering getting a standing chair to make the transition easier. I know there may be "trunk strength" issues that I was hoping could be accommodated with adequate support.
Does anyone have any experience or insight they can share?
Thanks in advance,
Suggest, instead you consider a chair whose seat can raise up 12 to 18 inches. that puts him on par with most store counters and allows to participate in eye to eye conversations. the "standing" up is a ruse, it's done with smoke and mirrors (aka large restraining , uncomfortable straps, no benefit there. better to raise up in that sitting position. My son is still walking a bit at 19 and finds that raise up feature great for college lab work, purchasing at store counters and conversing while folks are standing around him. Also once it's raised, makes it easier for him to exit the chair and stand up using the arm rests as support. Note it's a feature he uses infrequently only; Last comment, consider where, when, and how many situations this will be used / useful for your son and the constraints/restraints of it's use before pursuing further the standing mode. After 15 years, we have learned to pause and evaluate before moving forward on these things. Saves a world of frustration and money, but mostly frustration and anxiety.
Thank you very much for your insight. The alternative we are looking into only raises 8" (Permobil m300), I will definitely look into the benefits of going higher. That is a good point about the raise up feature making it easier to exit. We will be trying out both versions this week to get an idea. I really need to find more information on the advantages of the standing position (if any) for him physically since a chair like this may be the only way for him to be in that position.
Thanks again, good to hear from those with more experience.
We were told that the standing was beneficial to keep weight bearing on the long bones to keep them strong. Our son actually used a stander for a while, but it quickly became too painful on his ankles and knees to spend any significant amount of time in it. We were told two hours a day of standing was needed for any benefit, but he could only stand it about twenty minutes before a lot of pain set in. Decided pretty quickly that it was not worth it and turned the stander back in. Just my two cents worth.
Thank you for the info. That is just the kind of issue I am concerned about. A physical therapist said that she recommended a stander for the classroom. They look so archaic and restrictive. I was hoping that a standing chair may give some of the benefits you are referring to. I also understand that scoliosis proceeds rapidly as the chair becomes full time and was hoping that part-time being upright would slow it down. This, of course, in addition to the psychological benefits. We will try one out on Tuesday to see if there is a possibility that it will be comfortable for hours; that would surprise me.
I am sorry, but I cannot be too much help. We ended up going to a 4 wheel scooter which worked very well in school. We are now back to the same debate and will try out the standing wheelchair again. I do know that the chair we are looking at (non-standing) has bluetooth and a huge variety of control options (Permobile m300) Seems to me that with this level of investment it is good to plan for future needs. The other issue that I think will be a real comfort is the ability to tilt the entire seat, take some load off the spine (?) as well as height adjustment mentioned above. These features I believe are only on the high-end chairs. I have not looked at this forum in a while, are there not any active discussions on chairs? I certainly feel uneducated and would also like to know more from those with more experience.
Angela Bourgeois said:
We are also in the process of getting a power chair. Is there anything else we should be looking for?
A mid wheel has a small turning radius which which make it easier to get around, especially important in school. The standing chair is front-wheel drive and, as I remember it, longer, so less manuverable. I cannot help you with insurance questions, I just don't know, I have an M300 that I got without insurance. The standing chair may be a fight, I just don't know yet. If we get approved my insurance will only pay for 1/2. Beyond that I could add features at my own expense. But I do not know if it will be approved anyway. The OT has spoken about standing in general as being very important but I am really loathe to get a separate "stander". The chair would allow him to control the standing so if he only wants to do it for a short time, that is OK. But, as Michael mentions above, there are leg and chest supports necessary. We are going to look again and find out how comfortable they are. Last time we checked them out my son was still mobile so standing was not something he "missed".