LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Power Wheelchair Positioning Options
Power Wheelchair Manufacturers Are Offering More Positioning Options than Ever Before
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The power base is what makes a power wheelchair go, but a power chair’s powered seating is what makes the end user truly functional upon arrival. And today’s powered positioning systems do a better job of that than ever before.
New generations of power chair designs have made positioning more precise, more nuanced and more functional, as well as more complex. Not so long ago, powered positioning meant tilt or recline. Today, there is not just tilt, but posterior tilt, lateral tilt and anterior tilt options. Legrests don’t just elevate; many can now articulate, so that they get shorter or longer as needed. Seat elevation no longer needs to happen only when the power chair is stationary; many power chairs can now be driven while the user is at an elevated height. And recline is often accompanied by shear reduction to reduce the risk of injury to skin and underlying tissues.
From standing to rising to tilting forward, laterally and backward, powered positioning advances are making it possible to adapt more precisely to every power wheelchair user’s needs, goals, tasks and environments. And to optimally support its user, many power chairs offer power positioning options that can be used in combination with each other. Check out the powered positioning options here to see what’s new.
Amylior’s Amyseat power positioning offers a tremendous range of versatility, with the ability to create custom systems when needed… not just for its own Alltrack power chairs, but for other manufacturers’ chairs as well. Amylior calls its power positioning line “a complex seating solution carefully crafted to meet any type of specification. Whether standard or custom, each power seating system is developed and manufactured in Amylior’s local facility to insure optimal quality in the final product.”
Amylior offers power tilt, recline, seat elevation, elevating/articulating legrests, lateral tilt, and latitude positioning (to move the seat forward/closer to the floor). “Amylior offers a multitude of power seating modules and is specialized in designing and building customized solutions, such as a lateral tilt or a latitude seat system,” the manufacturer said. “Most of our modules are made to accommodate weight capacities of up to 550 lbs.” Power seating modules include 50° power tilt; power recline with Integrated Shear Reduction (ISR); 11" (280 mm) of power seat elevation for consumers weighing up to 400 lbs.; power elevating and articulating separate legrests (swing-away legrests); power elevating and articulating center-mount legrests; and adjustable seat widths and depths in ranges to fit standard, pediatric or bariatric consumers, or those who need custom sizing.
Invacare’s venerable TDX power chair series now includes additional choices for consumers who require heavy-duty models. The TDX SP2 HD power chair with LiNX Technology and captain’s seating (pictured) offers up to 12" of seat elevation with a 450-lb. weight capacity.
Other members of the TDX SP2 family offer positioning options including CG tilt, recline and elevating legrests. And the positioning possibilities for TDX SP2 power chairs expand even further when combined with Motion Concepts options such as Ultra Low Maxx Tilt and Ultra Low Maxx Recline.
LEVO describes its standing wheelchairs as “Simple — Straight — Standing,” largely based on the power chairs’ exclusive Dual Drive System that delivers traction to both the mid and front wheels. This design, LEVO says, produces the convenient maneuverability of a mid-wheel-drive chair. “In the standing position, the motor/chain-driven front wheels lower to the floor (and the mid wheels up), offering sturdy and stable traction,” LEVO says, adding that its technology is “the best of both worlds in a standing power wheelchair.” Other positioning options are tilt in space and a reclining backrest. The standing system uses patented Low Shear technology.
Best known for its bariatric and heavy-duty power chairs, PaceSaver also offers significant positioning for those models.
PaceSaver’s Equalizer HD Tilt has a 600-lb. weight capacity and is capable of 60° of tilt when the appropriate power base is used. Power articulating and elevating legrests are also available, as is a power center column. PaceSaver also considers the special requirements that often accompany higher end user weights: The company offers, for instance, custom-sized footplates; seat widths to 32" and seat depths to 24" to provide optimum tissue space; and multiple options to accommodate and optimally position a client’s pannus or redundant tissue.
“Your world isn’t one dimensional,” Permobil says. “Your seat elevator shouldn’t be, either.” Enter Permobil’s ActiveReach power positioning system, which combines anterior (forward) tilt with seat elevation. The result: technology that both raises the power chair user and moves that user forward to facilitate such activities of daily living as brushing teeth, cooking dinner on the stove, or just moving a little closer for a personal conversation.
After debuting on Permobil’s front-wheel-drive models, ActiveReach is now available on Permobil’s M5 Corpus (pictured) and M3 Corpus mid-wheel-drive power chairs: “By combining 14" of seat elevation and Corpus seating functions, Permobil’s ActiveReach technology enables you with up to 20° of forward tilt,” the manufacturer says. “This can be used for reaching beyond obstructions, into high cabinets, or even assist in transfers.”
Permobil provides a standing option via its F5 Corpus VS front-wheel-drive chair.
Thanks to robust marketing, educational and advocacy campaigns, Quantum Rehab’s iLevel power adjustable seat height system has become well known among industry professionals and end users alike. iLevel allows operation of the power chair at speeds up to 4.5 mph while the seat is elevated 12", while patented Extra Stability Technology offers enhanced safety for transferring, reaching, and other activities of daily living. Quantum’s Edge 3, Q6 Edge 2.0, Edge Z, and Q6 Edge 2.0 X power chairs offer 12" of lift and a 300-lb. weight capacity, while 10" of lift and a 400-lb. weight capacity are available on the Q6 Edge HD.
Quantum’s TRU-Balance 3 power positioning system (pictured right) offers iLevel seat elevation plus additional positioning options, such as 50° of power tilt and 85-175° of power recline.
The latest and greatest from ROVI is the new UPfront Maxx Module from Motion Concepts. Exclusively designed for ROVI X3 and A3 power bases, this standing option helps people “to get a bit closer to their everyday,” according to Motion Concepts. The fully functional power positioning system includes 5.5" of forward shift so end users can enjoy greater accessibility in everyday environments. The UPfront module gains its stability by automatically tucking the user’s feet rearward, under the front of the seat pan as the front casters lock out. The result is greater functionality and peace of mind for active power chair users.
New SEDEO seating gives clinicians and ATPs the ability to choose the best positioning options for every power wheelchair user. The SEDEO ERGO (pictured top) offers power recline with 7" of shear (165°); power center-of-gravity posterior tilt of 50°; a power center-mount legrest with 90° to 0°, and 7.5" extension (3" to 17.5" leg length); and C-Me seat elevation of up to 12" while traveling up to 3 mph (250-lb. weight capacity with C-Me). Available on Sunrise’s Q700M power base, SEDEO ERGO features Biometric Repositioning: When moving from a reclined to a seated position, the SEDEO ERGO will first pass through an intermediary tilted position, using gravity to realign the pelvis in one smooth, effortless motion.
The SEDEO PRO (pictured bottom) offers power recline with 4" of mechanical shear reduction (150°) or semi-power recline (130°); power center-of-gravity posterior tilt (50°); power legrest options, including a center-mount legrest or power elevating, swingaway legrest with calf pads; and C-Me seat elevation up to 12 mph while driving up to 3 mph. SEDEO PRO is available on Sunrise’s Q700M or Q500M base.
This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Mobility Management.