Page 29 - Mobility Management, March/April 2021
P. 29

“Especially when we’ve had to go from a medical stroller to a tilt-in-space chair, that’s a really hard move for people,” Rosen said, explaining that chair’s “medical” appearance. “But I try to pick seating that’s the least intrusive. I still try to help with that.”
She also tries to ease families into future changes. For example, when she’s recommending a positioning stroller, “they always ask, ‘What happens when she grows out of this?’ And we have the conversation: ‘It depends. We have a lot of options.’” That’s when Rosen will point out other wheelchairs in her collection. “‘We’ve got manual chairs, we’ve got tilt-in-space chairs, we’ve got power chairs. We just have to see what her function is at that point in time, and then we figure that out.’
“I try to set up the expectations, and I try to keep a version of everything that I would possibly do in here so they’ve at least seen it. I like them to see it before it shows up so maybe it’s a little bit less of a shock.”
Rosen added, “When they’re very unhappy with the cosmetics of the equipment, I say, ‘Yes, but see how much she’s moving her arms and her legs now that her trunk is nicely supported? When you don’t have trunk control, you cannot learn how to use your arms and legs, because it’s like trying to use your arms and legs on JELL-O: I lift my arm and my entire trunk falls to one side.’
“There are some people you’re not going to completely get
through to. But I try to tell them why everything is on the chair.
We’re putting the tray on because it’s an upper-extremity support tray, and it’s there to help with posture because those armrests are too wide and her arms can’t sit on them. So she’ll end up hunching forward [without the tray]. I try to explain why things are there so people will hopefully value them. There’s so much stuff on chairs sometimes that it’s overwhelming for families.”
Even once the chair has been delivered, Rosen keeps checking in. “Every time I see them, I try to re-educate them on the impor- tance of this part and that piece. For people getting their second chairs, I ask, ‘Do you like how this chest harness works?’ I’m not a big fan of the backpack-style chest harness, I’m a bigger fan of the butterfly style. But you might love the H-style. So if I’m changing your chair to a newer chair or even just growing the system, I will ask, ‘What do you like and what do you hate about the chair?’ Then we’ll get into details. I don’t like the foot tilt on the tilt-in-space chairs, but some people love it; they prefer it to the hand tilt.”
It’s all part of the larger mission of using a wheelchair optimally. “My original reason for making the chair smaller to the kid... I was thinking about function,” Rosen said. “But when you put a kid
in a chair that the kid likes, that the family likes, and it’s the least intrusive on their lives as it can be, then the chair is empowering from day one.” m
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