Annie was a 73 year old lady with advanced rheumatoid arthritis and low tone in her trunk. She was on long term steroid treatment which caused her skin to be prone to breakdown and ulcers.
She had a history of severe lower limb oedema due to circulatory problems. Annie’s chair had such low arms that she appeared to sit ‘on’ the chair as opposed to ‘in’ the chair. It also was lacking in the support she needed for her lower limbs.
Her main problem was the constant leaning to one side due to lack of arm support. This caused respiratory problems and pain in her side. One side of her body was being stretched while the other side was being compressed. When Annie leaned to the side there was an imbalance in her weight distribution and therefore an increased risk of pressure ulcers.
With the combination of inadequate arm support and low muscle tone she could not correct this posture unaided. The staff used pillows to position her in the chair which caused difficulties when they fell out of place. Another issue her family noted was the increased swelling in her feet each time she would sit in the chair. After a thorough assessment, Annie trialled an Atlanta™.
This chair was made to fit her width and provided the support she needed for her arms. The benefits in terms of physiological functions were notable. Her posture improved instantly by having her arms supported at the correct height. Using the integrated tilt and recline mechanism, she was able to maintain a midline position of her trunk.
A concave head support was used to support her head without the need for additional pillows. She noticed a reduction in pain when sitting and her respiration became easier due to the reduced compression of her internal organs. The elevating leg rest on the Atlanta helped to elevate her feet higher than her heart and her family and caregivers noted that this helped to reduce oedema considerably. Having her legs elevated while in a seated position also allowed her to interact with her environment as opposed to being in bed with her legs elevated through the day.