Standing: A Manufacturer's Perspective
For all the benefits of standing — and there are many, including the priceless opportunity to be face to face with able-bodied adults — Rob Travers, VP of sales and marketing for Amysystems/Amylior, mentioned one that might not be top of mind.
“Skin health,” he said. “We do all sorts of headstands trying to prevent pressure sores, and we all know the costs associated with treating a sore. You can tilt, you can recline, but there’s nothing better really than standing. So skin health is definitely number one.”
It might be a little unexpected to hear this from a power wheelchair manufacturer who’s also offered power tilt and recline systems for a long time. But Travers is also familiar with the numbers behind tilt and recline, and how often powered seating clients abide by repositioning best practices.
“The problem with tilting is that to get proper bloodflow and circulation, your legs have to be above your heart,” Travers said. “Not everybody tilts properly. Not everybody tilts all the way back. Some people get scared. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to get a pressure sore if you’re not tilting properly, but if a person is able to stand and a physician can clear standing as a benefit….”
Standing is a powered seating option on Amysystems order forms, and Travers acknowledges that standing isn’t typically the first positioning option mentioned in seating discussions.
“In Europe, in certain countries, if you’re in a complex situation, you get a stander no matter what,” he noted. “Because they strongly believe in it. It’s just not recognized that way in North America because of the cost.”
As for that other standing-height powered positioning option — seat elevation, which Amysystems also offers — Travers said, “The benefit of a seat lift is to get you to a certain level. It brings you to that level, but it doesn’t really bring you skin health. Why not just stand?”
This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Mobility Management.