Friday, September 30, 2016

Seating Problems

I feel like Goldilocks - I want to complain about seating.

I have a very sore right hip and leg right now. I can't get comfortable.  The couch is too soft, the reclining chair is too hard the other chair is too low.  I am putting a pillow under my behind on the upright recliner and I have a small rolled up toss blanket behind my back to make things tolerable.

A few years ago. when I had so many issues with my left side. I was having a different set of seating issues. How do I sit down? How do I get up? How do I keep the chair from tipping over?  The chairs needed to be very stable because I was not stable and tending to loose my balance. They needed strong arms for me to push off on. If I sat on the couch I needed to be in the right side corner so that I could  have that arm to help me up because my left arm was not strong enough to get me anywhere.  I wanted the chair  or couch to be on the left side of the TV or where ever the action was because I was seeing better out of my right eye and frankly was recognizing movement better with my right eye due to some lingering left side neglect. I found that I would go to group events and I constantly got given a seat all the way to the right of a long table. I found not only did I not see the people on my left side properly.. I found I had trouble hearing properly from that left ear too. In particular I had trouble discerning whose voice was whose. I tried to turn my head to correct and that just made me dizzy and nauseated.

I find the same thing happens with my stroke friends and other people I know. Seating is undervalued.  Individuals have their own interests and needs and it takes a little effort to accommodate them but the seating can make all the difference to a persons enjoyment and comfort and I would even say their quality of life. 

People like to be near their friends, People like to sit away from people they don't care for. Some individuals like to sit close so they can get a view or where the best lighting it and others like to sit close enough to hear the best they can.  Music systems with their amplification might seem great for people with hearing loss but their hearing aids might react badly to the louder sound range and those individuals not only want to be far away from the amps, they want to be out of the room!

What chair feels good? Is this wheel chair easy to move? Can we get a comfortable cushion for the wheel chair seat? (they are unbelievably expensive) 

How about a bed that is at the right height to get in and out of with comfort and maybe a grab bar to help the process?  Clothes they will not get caught up when you are trying to slide in and out might be helpful.

My former physiotherapist spent a few of our appointments teaching me how to drive a scooter. It was kind of embarrassing and fun all at the same time. She ran ahead of me in the hospital hallway yelling.. "Beginner driver! Get out of the way!" I was not talented at going Rabbit speed or Turtle speed which were the two options on the scooters. She said I better work on recovering fast and walking again because I was not a safe driver. Considering my vision issues at the time it was brave of her to take me out in the public!
The fact is the scooters and powered wheel chairs have a lot of different options, and for some people they can provide so much independence and freedom. Potential users do need an opportunity to learn how to use them properly and safely and the vehicles do need to be physically a good "fit".

We also can try and work on exercises to help us in recovery and in maintain  our strength so we can get out of those chairs. Yes.. that is what I have to do again- I have to work on getting my back and hip stronger according to my current physiotherapist.

I will work hard at getting stronger again  but I might just need to purchase a different comfy chair.

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