Stand Up Wheelchair
Standing Up For Yourself. To anyone who can walk, sit and move all their limbs, it’s just a natural reaction to be able to stand up by yourself. Most of us, take it all for granted, it’s something we do all day and every day without blinking an eye, but what if all that was taken away from you….. Just think how that would feel. Your independence; gone; never to return.
Sadly this is a fact of life for so many people who have suffered spinal cord injuries; neuro-muscular disease or strokes. Most of them, once in a wheelchair, are always in a wheelchair and for all of them, standing upright becomes but a dream unless they are able to afford a stand up wheelchair, which, for many, is a life changing experience.
Take Dean Shand for instance, read his own story in a previous article, “The Day I Stood Up – Dean’s Story” and how his dream of being able to go to the golf course, fish by the harbour and drink a beer with his mates eyeball to eyeball, came true when he ‘modelled’ one of our stand up wheelchairs for us. Dean has been a C4/5 quadriplegic for over 16 years and that day he experienced something he will never forget.
In his own words “To go from a sitting to stand up position is the most incredible feeling – especially if you don’t get to do it every day whereas with this chair, standing up every day would just be too cool. From sitting all the time to standing, to get that weight off your buttocks is just such a relief all round, no more pressure points and also weight bearing is just too lovely for words. Able bodied people get to do this all the time but they don’t realize what a privilege it is to actually stand up.”
The benefits of using a stand up wheelchair are enormous –medical publications have documented the benefits of using a standing wheelchair for many years and all medical professionals view these chairs as hugely beneficial to the recipient.
- Increased Independence: Simple tasks such as opening a high cupboard, writing on a white board, fishing, golfing, braaing ……. The list is endless.
- Social Status: Ability to interact normally with peers and family. Anyone using a standing wheelchair will be able to do jobs in the home and workplace that previously they were unable to undertaken due to the restrictions of the chair.
- Cognitive Abilities: The increased circulation derived from standing increases a person’s cognitive ability to think and their memory and focus becomes sharper.
- Self Esteem: Using a standing wheelchair increases your wellbeing tenfold. No more looking up at people or people looking down on you – finally the playing fields are level and eye to eye contact, stand up hugs, looking in a mirror etc are all fully accessible.
- Pressure Sores: One of the major benefits is the weight distribution which improves the healing of existing pressure sores and unquestionably is a preventative measure against any sores occurring .
- Muscle Spasms/ Contractures: Standing helps relax the muscles and reduces spasticity. It also stretches and exercises muscles.
- Circulation: Increased circulation as the body changes posture. Blood flow is returned to normal.
- Bowel Function/Urinary Tract Infections: Studies have proved that using a standing chair reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections and increases bowel function.
All the above are just some of the benefits derived from using a standing wheelchair on a regular basis.
There are a number of standing wheelchairs in the market, some are ridiculously expensive and give no greater benefit than those which are reasonably priced. It is always a matter of personal choice and of course finances available as manual drive chairs are usually half the price of an electric drive/stand chair. Many medical aids will cover the cost as long as your plan allows. Rarely does a 2nd hand chair come on the market, once owned, they are loved always.
If you would like more information on these wonderful chairs, just drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to assist you. Lorraine Petterson, Mobility Solutions