September 9, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
Paraplegics face countless challenges on a daily basis that most people aren’t at all aware of. Fortunately there is plenty of support available to you from the healthcare community. This includes a team of professionals, starting with doctors and nurses for treatment after your injury, and extended to occupational therapists who will continue to support you on an ongoing basis. There are also a number of products on the market that can help make your life easier as you adjust to your new normal. Here are some healthcare products that you can really benefit from:
If you think of a cushion as more of a comfort item than a healthcare product, it’s probably because you’ve never spent an extended period of time in a wheelchair. Paraplegics spend countless hours, in many cases most of their waking hours in that chair. If there’s not a proper cushion to sit in, it’s not just uncomfortable. There are numerous possible complications, including pressure sores, sometimes also known as bed sores. Do some research on this, as there are a wide range of types of wheelchair cushions available, included some that are filled with gel, or with pressurized air.
This product is still in the prototype stage. But when it hits the market it could have a large impact on the lives of many paraplegics. Developed by researchers at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, this unique wheelchair is designed to help people stand. It uses a hydraulic pump and a chain drives to move the wheelchair and its driver from a sitting to standing position. This allows people to reach objects that they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to. It also provides health benefits by getting the person out of that seated position. Shifting weight onto the patient’s legs helps to strengthen them. It’s also expected that there will be psychological and emotional benefits which result from being able to interact with others at eye level, instead of looking up from below their level.
This is is still kind of science-fictiony. It seems futuristic, but the future is getting closer. The FDA has begun to approve the first robotic exoskeletons. If it sounds like something from the movie Aliens, you’re remembering correctly. But these exoskeletons have a different purpose. They’re designed to help paraplegics walk again. It’s a motorized device that supports the legs and lower torso, and facilitates sitting, standing, and even walking.
You didn’t think I could get through an article on devices to benefit paraplegics without mentioning our own contribution. The Pants Up Easy products are designed to make it easier for paraplegics to pull up their pants unassisted. Though it could be classified as part of a broad category called lifting devices, Pants Up Easy uses a unique method to allow people to lift themselves up from the wheelchair or the toilet to easily dress themselves, which could otherwise be an awkward and time-consuming process.