Safe and Efficient Wheelchair Use
Because no two wheelchair users are alike, the Wheelchair and Positioning Center at Marianjoy recognizes that having the properly customized equipment is an integral part of the rehabilitation process, a key component of comfortable, safe and efficient mobility for an individual at home and in the community. Marianjoy is one of the only healthcare providers in the Midwest to offer wheelchair and positioning services. Marianjoy therapists have years of clinical experience and are specially trained and certified by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) as Assistive Technology Professionals (ATPs). Using a team approach, collaborating with patients and their caregivers, Marianjoy clinicians can recommend, design and customize assistive device solutions unique to each individual.
The benefits of a customized seating and positioning system include:
- improved functional abilities, mobility, and independence.
- improved posture and trunk stability.
- protection of skin integrity and prevention of skin breakdown.
- improved comfort and decreased pain.
- improved physiological functioning, including breathing, digestion, swallowing, and bowel management.
- management of spasticity and maximizing muscle tone.
- decreased progression of orthopedic deformities or loss of mobility.
The services Marianjoy provides include:
- comprehensive evaluation of seating, proitioning and mobility needs, for manual wheelchairs; power wheelchairs; power-assist systems; stroller systems; standing frames; transfer, feeding, and bathing systems and additional options.
- pressure mapping and SmartWheel assessments.
- modifications to patient's current wheelchair and seating system to address the user's needs.
- fabrication of custom-molded seating systems.
- wheelchair assessment, trial, and training.
- integration of communication or environmental control devices with a seating and positioning device.
The initial visit to Marianjoy’s Wheelchair and Positioning Center will include a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s seating and positioning needs, as well as mobility goals. The evaluation will include the opportunity to try out a variety of devices. Working closely with rehabilitation technology suppliers and vendors, Marianjoy clinicians can also help with the purchasing and subsequent servicing of a patient’s assistive technology products.
In addition, therapists are available to help complete the documentation required to secure funding from third-party payers and advocate for individuals who face challenges with obtaining the recommended devices or services. When appropriate, our clinicians can make referrals for other assistive devices, therapy services, or even evaluations by a physiatrist in the Marianjoy Medical Group clinic.
After funding approval, the patient will return to the Wheelchair and Positioning Center for a final fitting and delivery of the recommended equipment. To ensure comfort and safety, therapists provide education on the use of the equipment, while customizing the device to an individual’s particular needs. Periodic re-evaluations in the Wheelchair and Positioning Center are recommended to ensure the device continues to meet the patient’s needs and to provide adjustments to the equipment, as necessary.