How do we balance health, wellbeing & function for our wheelchair users?

3 minute(s) to read

How we function from a seated position and what impact wheelchair equipment has on our ability to do so comfortably and effectively, is the topic of our upcoming webinar.

Presented by Lauren Hunter, Director of Clinical Services at Linds Rehab in Melbourne, this webinar will explore the importance of selecting wheelchair equipment that strikes the right balance between clinical requirements and functional needs.

Lauren explains “There’s a number of evidence-based key principles that wheelchair seating therapists will always look to achieve when they’re trying to prescribe the right equipment for an individual.” “But there’s always a point where, clinically, we have to marry up an evidence-based approach with client-centered needs.

“Sitting clients up straight has always been one of those top shelf goals” she continues, “but we can quite often forget to understand the individual and how they interact with the equipment. It’s almost easier to follow a recipe but then when the recipe doesn’t fit the individual, we lack the confidence to know ‘where to’ next. And that’s what my webinar hopes to achieve - we want to find a support surface that creates a balance for the individual.”

With over 16 years as an Occupational Therapist, Lauren’s passion for biomechanics and body posture, nutured through her interest in yoga, led her to specialise in wheelchairs and seating. Her expertise enables her to address the main challenges faced by OTs, Physiotherapists, and Clinicians – maintaining postural health with correct alignment while minimizing pressure injuries.

“Teaching yoga really helped me understand biomechanics and analysing body posture. That drew me to understand more about posture, balance and how we function from that seated position, which ultimately all ties into our wheelchair clients and the equipment they use.”

Lauren says the main challenge facing OTs, Physio and Clinicians arises from trying to maintain postural health through correct alignment and minimise pressure injuries.  

“But sometimes in order for the client to sit that way, it can reduce their ability to activate muscle groups that they may rely on to function from. This webinar looks at highlighting those challenges and really pinpointing where we find balance. Because we can’t let go of maintaining health and wellbeing just to allow function. But the wheelchair user won’t use the wheelchair if they cannot function from it.”

Fortunately, wheelchair frames offer numerous adjustable components that can positively impact things like hip angles and affect body biomechanics and enhancing the way a client can move. The key is knowing exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s where Lauren’s webinar comes in.

During the webinar Lauren will demonstrate the key principles of stability for all wheelchair users and discuss the key postures to include in your assessment process and the impact they have on long-term seating goals. Participants will also gain an understanding of wheelchair adjustments in relation to biomechanical movement, and hear directly from a wheelchair user who will share his living experience.

“This session will be suitable for any therapist who is involved in wheelchair prescription or anyone with an interest in how we function from a seated posture. The goal is to achieve client-centered outcomes and increase people’s confidence in this space.”

Mark your calendars for this informative webinar on Tuesday 5th September, and secure your spot today. Join us as we explore the path to finding the perfect balance for wheelchair users' health, wellbeing, and functionality.