As therapists, we innately want to help our patients and make the best choices to allow for optimal outcomes. When it comes to seating and positioning, many doubts can creep into our heads:
- Does this back support or cushion supply the appropriate pressure redistribution to protect them from or heal an existing wound?
- Are we as therapists providing appropriate skin protection equipment?
- Will the wheelchair and positioning equipment allow them maximum function?
- Does this seating system provide adequate stability to prevent falls or physical harm in the seated posture?
- Will the patient like this equipment and be pain free?
The only way we can answer these questions and feel more confident in our choices before purchase is to have the ability to trial equipment!
When working in the complex rehab arena, trialing equipment is much easier since you work closely with manufacturer reps and dealers willing to allow samples to help make the best decisions for the patients. And if you are working with a dealer that doesn’t allow this, FIND A NEW ONE!
On the other hand, in settings such as the long term care (LTC) market, trialing isn’t as simple. Much of the trial equipment (if any) in the storage closets is worn out, older, lower-end product that has seen better days. You won’t have as much first-hand experience with manufacturer reps or dealers that can provide trial equipment.
Permobil has made it easier and is introducing trial kits to the LTC market. Trial kits are available for purchase by the facilities through your distributor at a VERY reasonable cost so therapists have equipment to tryout before purchase allowing for:
- Proper product selection, minimizing costly mistakes
- Optimal pressure redistribution
- Optimal resident function
- Optimal stability and alignment for prolonged sitting in the seating system
- Increased therapist confidence to purchase higher end, quality product that will lead to better outcomes
- Increased patient and facility confidence in the therapy department’s decisions when it comes to seating and positioning
By having trial kits, therapists can sample equipment, allowing them to try a product, ensuring its efficacy before making a purchase. Purchasing trial kits will save the facility money by getting it right the first time!
Ana Endsjo, MOTR/L, CLT
Clinical Education Manager LTC Division
Ana Endsjo has worked as an occupational therapist since 2001 in a variety of treatment settings. She has mainly worked with the geriatric population, dedicated to the betterment of the treatment of the elderly in LTC centers. Her focus has been on seating and positioning and contracture management of the nursing home resident. With this experience, her hope is to guide other therapists, rehab directors, nurses, and administrators through educational guides, blogs, webinars, and live courses in her role as Clinical Education Manager for the long term care division.