Suzanne Dennis says having lymphedema in both legs is like “having two tree stumps on the bottom of your body.”
The condition, brought on by a heavy fall five years ago and severe tissue damage, has caused an ongoing build-up of fluid underneath her skin. “My feet and ankles are very swollen and my legs are swollen from the mid-thigh down. It’s very painful and uncomfortable. It makes moving very awkward.”
As a result, Suzanne spends the vast majority of her day sitting down. But her old reclining lounge chair wasn’t up to the job. “I used to get pain in the back of my legs. They ached constantly sitting on the old chair because it didn’t support my legs properly. The pain was really affecting my mental health.”
The recliner had large bars that connected the footstool to the actual seat, and Suzanne’s legs used to rest on the exposed bars, causing her agony. Suzanne’s OT, Penny Broad, arranged for Cubro to trial a Configura Bariatric tilt-in-space chair.
“Suzanne had really poor posture in her recliner,” Penny explains. “She was always sitting forward in her old chair – she was at risk of falling and struggled with transfers in and out of her chair.
“This new chair is supporting her every angle and every joint. It provides not only greater comfort but more independence because it rises and helps lift her into a standing position. Now it’s no effort at all to get out of the chair and she doesn’t have to rely on anyone else to assist.”
Penny says postural and pressure care management, independence, safety and comfort were the key factors she considered when looking at seating/armchair options for Suzanne. The ability to recline backwards and lift her legs above her heart helps relieve the fluid pressure in Suzanne’s legs, and the seat and footrest are one solid piece which provides ample support.
“Before she couldn’t adjust her position and she was at huge risk of developing pressure injuries,” Penny says. “Now she can control the adjustments with her remote. She can sit upright or lie back and take the pressure off her sacrum and legs where she was getting skin breakdowns. The pressure is distributed better now and her circulation has improved.”
Penny says the Configura chair provides pressure relief and improves Suzanne’s functional posture, positioning and safe and independent transfers. The chair’s memory foam seat cushion can be easily swapped out for other pressure care cushions if necessary, although that’s not required at this stage.
Suzanne says the new chair has made an immeasurable difference to her quality of life.
As a bariatric chair, it’s capable of holding 254kg and is wider than a standard-sized chair to provide greater comfort. “The electric rise function’s been marvelous because I don’t have to bend so hard at the knees to try and get up. It’s not putting pressure on my kneecaps and I can basically go into a standing position and then get out of the chair.”
Suzanne loves the fact she can adjust the height of the three different backrest cushions by simply peeling them off the chair and velcroing them back on. “The cushions are just lovely for lumbar support,” she says. “I’m very overweight and this is a very sturdy chair. The armrests are lovely and wide so you can rest your arms on them quite happily.
“The remote to adjust the tilt, backrest and footrest is actually attached to the chair so if you drop it, it’s on a cord so you don’t have to try to scramble around on the floor and pick it up which is really handy! And the bliss of it is, it’s covered in a cooling material that you can just wash down with hot water and soap. It's really great.”
Suzanne says she’s truly amazed how one chair has made such a massive difference to her life.
“My legs are now supported how they should be and I just don’t have that constant ache in them. I can’t even describe the pain that was in them before - it was like a nine all day long. It just didn’t stop and I’m down to about a six or seven now. Which doesn’t sound a lot but in pain terms it’s huge.”
Cubro case studies are based on actual testimonials provided by real customers and users of our solutions. In some testimonials to protect the identity of the users, we have changed a name and used a stock photo. Our case studies describe our past work with customers and users, and detail solutions that have improved their quality of life. As each individual user has a unique set of needs and requirements, the content in these case studies should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a registered clinician.