Cynthia is an itinerant teacher for orthopedically impaired students and an assistive technology consultant in Northern California.
In school, it always took two adults to transfer Kristen for toileting. She assisted to the best of her ability but as she grew, this became increasingly difficult for all involved. She is now in middle school and is a fashionable young lady concerned with being hip.
Because there was concern about possible staff injury, alternatives for Kristen’s transfer were being considered. At Maywood Middle School, the administration and staff are concerned not only about Kristen’s safety, but maintaining her dignity during this self-care procedure. Kristen was adamant that any kind of lift was not to her satisfaction. Not only was she scared to be lifted straight up from her electric wheelchair and onto the toilet, but it was just not a dignified thing for Kristen to be doing. Length of time for transfer was also a top concern for her teachers -- she was missing class time.
It was by a stroke of luck that I found Rifton’s Support Station. The Medi-Cal requests were being collected and I happened to be browsing my newest Rifton catalog with the intent of ordering mobility equipment, and came across this new transfer-assist concept. I emailed the product description to our CCS PT to see if this device would be a feasible piece of equipment for Kristen, and the answer to our dilemma. It was! It was also approved (our SELPA director mentioned that it was a perfect Medi-Cal request), and with the assistance of Dan, our maintenance director, Kristen’s new Support Station was installed!
We were all thrilled about the compactness of this device; there were no storage issues. We had a staff training session, and Kristen was assessed and trained on what she would be doing. She was thrilled and totally willing to try this out. Originally two staff members were present, but because Kristen has improved her side stepping skills and increased her weight bearing strength, it is now safe for just one staff to assist her!
Summer school for 2007 occurred in July - but not at Maywood. Kristen would be attending Maywood until June 2008. Instead of transferring the Support Station to this other campus, the county decided to purchase and install another Support Station at the summer school location. Again, Dan (remember, Mr. Maintenance?) had no trouble installing it.
As you can see from the picture, Kristen delights in using this dignified piece of equipment for toileting. Her teachers have noticed her taking less time away from class. The Support Station has been added to the list of Rifton products that Kristen uses daily at school. And, most important, she thinks it’s hip!
Read more… Lance and the Support Station