What Is a Standing Wheelchair for Quadriplegics?
A standing wheelchair for Quadriplegics is a motorized chair that is powered by one or two batteries, with the intended purpose of traveling through all ranges of motion from sitting to standing and back to prone, allowing a better posture and the correction of symptoms like high blood pressure, caused by an individuals disability.
Can a paraplegic or quadriplegic stand?
Is this a simple yes or no answer?
A standing feature is an available option on most high level powered wheelchair and both mainstream as well as custom devices are available.
Both the user and wheelchair companies thrive from constant improvements involving technology and mechanics to add to the quality of life, ultimately.
But for the user, this not only begs the question on the dependability of the product but what the body may or may not be capable of.
When Michael W. first received his Redman Power Chair, it “allowed me to stand up for the first time in 28 years,” he told interviewers. In his years of using a standing powered wheelchair he has traveled to twenty one countries. Michael endures a C5 spinal cord injury and spent twenty four years without standing. Consulting your primary care physician, as well as a physical therapist and occupational therapist is crucial to receiving accurate medical information about your condition. There are many concerns involved and some include orthostatic blood pressure regulation, spinal surgery and fusions, amputations, knee replacements and many other conditions. These conditions do not necessarily mean standing is not an option for you. Most clinicians (physical therapy as a field in particular) are willing to work with your condition to correct any body positioning that is not fixed. There are benefits to body positioning yourself with the help of instruction from your doctors. Depending on your condition the greatest benefit may be any of the following: increased perfusion throughout your lower extremities especially reaping increased bone density, improved digestion through expanding the torso and allowing better blood flow into vital organs, improved mental health and many more. There are many companies that provide customizable options. Redman power chair is a fully customizable product offering accessories to allow amputees, muscular dystrophy patients (as well as other diagnosis) in need of custom padding to choose from the options that may increase the probability of body positioning for the user. In any case, collecting data for yourself will only benefit you and as Michael adds, “being able to stand up has changed my life in a lot of ways I am no longer at the bottom of the crowd, I am actually- when I stand up, the biggest guy in the room, again.”
Benefits of A Standing Wheelchair
As mentioned previously, most clinicians are more than willing to work with you throughout the process (although this does not apply to some practices). For a custom built standing motorized wheelchair especially there may be an out of pocket cost to you as the user. In this case a relationship with you doctor will be critical in providing documentation for the prescription of your chair and of your needs. The benefits you may reap including increased perfusion throughout your lower extremities, increased bone density, improved digestion and better blood flow into the vital organs, enhanced respiration, improved mental health, access to spaces in your environment, the opened possibility to returning to a vocation, and the possibility of fewer medications needed.
There are many reasons you may be searching for a product made specifically for you diagnosis and it comes down to minimizing the symptoms you experience. So how do you make the best choice and what to look for?
Specifications of a Standing Wheelchair
Taking the time to measure and apply specifications for a product of interest in your home (specifically bathroom and living quarters) is one of the most overlooked tasks when researching for the correct wheelchair. Measurements to take into account are turn radius, width, length, seat to floor measurement, seat depth, armrest height, backrest height, battery life, maximum speed, weight of the product and the warranty available.
Most common complications include:
-Loss of bladder or bowel control
If any of these are issues for you the best choice is to choose a standing power chair with recognized codes for positioning and features such as tilt in space, recline, articulating legs, lower back and hip flexor stretch, heel cord stretch in full recline position, custom dimensions, and proper specifications to access your home and environment.