Leaning on an Armrest? Check the Basics
Leaning on an armrest can be caused by a number of postural
issues. But it can also be caused by more basic problems, says
Ryan Hagy, MOT, OTR/L, ATP, area VP of sales for United Seating & Mobility.
“First, I’d probably start looking at the sitting surface they’re on,” he
says. “Depending on the patient, if that cushion wasn’t comfortable
to them, maybe they put something else underneath to add comfort,
setting them askew.”
He also suggests taking a look at the cushion itself.
“They might have taken the cushion cover off to wash it,” he points
out. “And sometimes, they don’t put it all back together the right way.
Once you pull the cover off — it says ‘back’ and ‘bottom’ on it, but it
doesn’t say that on the cushion, so it doesn’t necessarily go back on
the way it comes off . Is the cushion they’re sitting on placed the right
way, is it put back under them correctly? I’d look at what they’re actually
sitting on first.”
All of which underscores the need for a comprehensive mat
“I don’t know how many times,” Hagy says, “we’ve removed
someone from their seating system and put them on a mat, and
then looked at the cushion and said, ‘It probably shouldn’t be doing
This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Mobility Management.