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POWER SEATING FUNCTIONS

Power wheelchairs with specialized or rehab seating can be customized to meet the user’s individual needs. These wheelchairs can accommodate the use of the power seat functions described below.

Tilt in space – allows the body’s position in the chair to stay exactly the same while the entire seating system is tilted backwards

Recline – allows a change in the angle of the back in relation to the seat. This makes it possible to lay back as you would in a recliner.

Elevating leg rests – allow the user to raise and lower his or her legs.

Stand – a feature that gives the option to go from a seated to a standing position while still in the wheelchair.

Seat elevator – allows the user to raise and lower the entire seating system while in a seated position.

Power seat functions can be used separately or in combination, depending on the user’s needs. They can also assist the user to independently:

  • adjust body position
  • relieve pressure areas on the buttocks and thighs
  • participate in activities of daily living 
  • manage pain
  • manage spasticity (muscle tone)
  • manage lower extremity swelling

Benefits:

  • The seating system can be customized to the user’s needs in order to provide adequate support
  • A power wheelchair with power seat functions allows the user to change positions throughout the day while still sitting in the wheelchair
  • A specialized seating system offers the ability to modify the seating system to provide increased support if the user’s condition changes
  • The control of power wheelchairs with a specialized seating system can be customized to the user’s individual needs to allow for independent mobility
  • A power wheelchair with a specialized seating system allows the user to travel longer distances independently
  • A power wheelchair with specialty seating allows some for fewer transfers throughout the day
  • Power wheelchairs require maintenance and repairs to keep them in working order
  • If the home environment is inaccessible with steps and narrow halls or doorways the user may be unable to move around independently with the power wheelchair
  • Power seat functions may increase the weight of the chair, the over-all width and the floor to seat height of the wheelchair
  • Power seat functions may be too difficult for wheelchair users

Limitations: 

  • A power wheelchair with a specialized seating system is very heavy
  • Most power wheelchairs cannot be disassembled for transport and generally require the use of ramps or automated lifts with an accessible van
  • Power wheelchairs require maintenance and repairs to keep them in working order
  • If the home environment is inaccessible with steps and narrow halls or doorways the user may be unable to move around independently with the power wheelchair
  • Power seat functions may increase the weight of the chair, the over-all width and the floor to seat height of the wheelchair
  • Power seat functions may be too difficult for  wheelchair users

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