Lee Ann Hoffman: The 24-Hour Postural Support Goal

24 hour postural supportAlbeit a developing field in the North American marketplace, the provision and success of 24-hour postural support is evidenced widely in countries such as the United Kingdom, Europe, the Nordics and Australia, to name a few.

Exciting 24-hour posture care results from a home-grown project, funded by the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, and undertaken by Posture 24/7, is in its second year of working with children and teenagers across the state (posture24-7.org/mt-project).

Many developing countries have received outreach work, with limited resources, and have found success in the 24-hour posture care management approach: www.eleanoresproject.org

What 24-Hour Postural Support Does

Twenty-four-hour posture care management looks at all the positioning needs throughout the 24-hour period. Once the individual is out of the supportive seating system, consider all the available positioning options available to the individual, including but not limited to a standing frame, “relaxing” seating or an armchair, a bed, a shower chair/commode, a car seat and seating in leisure equipment.

Can 24-hour posture care management slow or prevent the asymmetry from worsening or advancing? Yes. The focus of the approach is to promote comfort, promote function and prevent or reduce the occurrences of secondary complications. Twenty-four-hour postural support has the ability to prevent, restore, preserve and protect body shape.

Asymmetry (tissue adaptation, contracture and deformity) is a secondary complication of poor posture/inappropriate positioning. The 24-hour posture care management strategy believes that body shape distortion is avoidable.

In our industry, we all have a duty of care, to provide the most appropriate intervention for the individual and their support network, within their given environment. We have the means to have a direct impact on the individual’s quality of life, and to ensure that individuals with complex rehabilitation needs are treated with care and dignity by addressing their positioning needs and not settling and accepting that postural distortion is inevitable.

Don’t you want better outcomes for the individual’s you work with?

I do.

— Lee Ann Hoffman, OT, MSc. Rehabilitation: Posture Management, Solutions Specialist/Seating& Positioning, Invacare Corp.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Mobility Management.

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