For people with disabilities or the elderly, comfortable seating can make all the difference and dramatically their quality of life. Geri chairs, power wheelchairs, shower commode chairs and bariatric seating can help people recover some of their mobility and control over everyday living. For caregivers too, speciality seating can be helpful by addressing safety issues for patients at risk of falling, and those needing special seating to accommodate their disabilities or medical conditions.
Why is there a need for speciality seating?
With an aging population and nearly one person in five suffering from some form of disability, visible or invisible, speciality chairs and seats offer many people the chance to regain their mobility and to carry out many of the tasks of day to day living. In 2010, more than 56 million people or about 18.7% of the population in the U.S. reported that they were living with at least one disabling condition.
The latest Canadian Survey on Disability study identified 10 types of disability, which can be visible or hidden from observers. These are: sight, hearing, mobility, flexibility, dexterity, pain, learning, developmental, mental/psychological, and memory related disabilities. Hidden disabilities affect large numbers of people in Canada and the U.S.
How can speciality chairs help?
At present in the U.S., there are about 3.3 million wheelchair users and the numbers are expected to grow by 2 million each year. Among wheelchair users, 1.825 million are aged 65 years or older. With aging populations in the U.S. and Canada, the need for wheelchairs, Geri chairs and other speciality chairs like bariatric seating will grow. In 2014, one out of seven Americans or 14.1% of the total population was over 65 years old. That numbers 44.7 million people. By 2060, that number will have more than doubled to about 98 million older persons. And in Canada, Statistics Canada reports that for the first time in history, there are now more people over 65 years of age than under 15 years old.
Given these trends, the need for wheelchairs and speciality chairs is projected to grow. Speciality chairs like wheelchairs, bathing commode chairs and bariatric seating can make all the difference to patients and caregivers alike. When people are able to carry out simple tasks like moving from location to another, changing their position from sitting to reclining to lying down, use support chairs to bathe themselves, they regain their independence and privacy. And overworked caregivers are freed up to attend to other tasks.
Helping patients recover their independence and privacy
Geri chairs and other speciality chairs offer long term sitting comfort for the elderly, disabled or sick in a home or clinical setting. They offer greater comfort and functionality than conventional wheelchairs. They provide full support to older people and those with balance problems to get in and out of bed independently, to eat, and to sit comfortably.
High quality seating can make all the difference in an individual’s life. They can also be used in clinical settings for waiting areas for medical treatment like dialysis and same day surgery, and for outpatient waiting areas. Geri chairs, speciality chairs and bariatric seating can be positioned for individual comfort and body weight.
In clinical settings, appropriate seating for the elderly and disabled ensures their safety and comfort. It also allows staff to focus on other tasks, providing greater independence to patients and helping in the smooth functioning of the facility.