Motivation`s assessment and mobility device prescription service is based on the principle that each wheelchair must meet the physical and functional needs of the individual wheelchair user. For a correct use and for the highest possible level of wheelchair user independence, the wheelchair has to be delivered together with the appropriate training of the adult or child user and of his/her caregiver. The lack of special adaptations and of professional assessment, prescription and training services can lead to the development of side-effects, including postural deformity and severe medical complications.
Motivation has translated into Romanian the “Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less resourced settings” developed by the World Health Organization in partnership with USAID and the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO). The guide is addressed to specialists, equipment and service providers, local and central authorities and public policy development experts in the field of wheelchair provision, as well as to wheelchair users.
Motivation is the only organization in Romania to provide assessment and prescription for customized wheelchairs and independent living training, delivered by trainers who are wheelchair user themselves.
Types of wheelchairs
The active wheelchair contributes to the independence of the user. This equipment has to be available in different sizes, both for adults and for children. The folding backrest and the quick release axels enhance transportation by vehicle or train. Based on the needs of the wheelchair user, it is recommended to adjust this wheelchair by adding a few adaptations, like:
– Arm support
– Detachable handles
– Foldable or fixed footrest
– Pelvis or trunk straps
Positioning systems for children with cerebral palsy (CP)
Even though there is no treatment for cerebral palsy, the education, caretaking, support and stimulation of children, together with use of an appropriate positioning system, can help many children with CP have a beautiful life. Without the positive impact of these elements, the child with CP has reduced perspectives.
The positioning system for children with CP answers a basic need – stable support that helps the child develop a certain level of independence and mobility, which was not accessible before. After receiving the Positioning System, the child needs training and support in order to fully use his/her abilities, support which can also be given by the family. For example:
– Communication – a child who is unable to talk can learn to use alternative communication systems, such as a pictograms/symbol table.
– Feeding – the child can eat sitting upright, without the risk of choking. Certain children can even learn how to eat without assistance.
– Mobility – with the help of the positioning system, many children manage to push their wheelchairs themselves.
The positioning chair needs to allow the customization of certain features, such as:
– Adjustable angle of the backrest and footrest.
– Height of the backrest and footrest
– Seat depth
– Headrest, straps, abductor support and detachable tray.
This type of wheelchair makes it easy to go up and down. It makes it easy for persons with mobility disabilities to move inside their home and outside, but it does not offer the same ease of movement as the active type wheelchair.
The footrest and armrest should have a height adjustment option and be detachable, while the footrest needs to be adjustable in height, to allow the wheelchair to answer the user¢s needs. The quick release axel allows for the quick removal of the wheels. The foldable backrest and the folding system facilitate storage in smaller spaces.
Through sports, wheelchair users gain confidence and increased mobility. There are special wheelchairs designed for sports such as tennis and basketball. These are easy to handle and enhance quick movement and change of direction on different types of grounds (asphalt, clay etc.)