Elena Noble, MPT is a physical therapist who works in private practice and as a product design consultant for Rifton.
The Rifton TRAM provides smooth, safe and easy transfers. Positioning the body support snugly around the client’s torso is key to a successful transfer. However, sometimes the fixed armrests of a wheelchair get in the way of bringing the TRAM close enough. Furthermore, removing the armrests is a tool-dependent and time-consuming process. Here is a simple way to get the TRAM body-support where you need it without removing the armrests of the wheelchair:
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I always appreciate tips shared for using Rifton equipment, including the TRAM, as we have one at our school. One challenge I have with the TRAM for some students is using it with wheelchairs that have built in lateral supports that get in the way even more so than armrests of the chair. The only solution I have come up with is scooting the student/client forward enough in their chair to clear the laterals prior to bringing the TRAM in. This just requires more effort and usually a second person to help stabilize the student without the lateral supports until the tram is securely in place. It seems to work best when the student has a little more trunk control.
So the body support is sufficient for transfers without needing the straps? Are there instances where it would also be sufficient gait training without needing straps? Thank you.
Yes. It is possible to use the body support for transfers and gait training without the leg straps given the client has sufficient leg control and strength. This is a clinical decision that should be made by care providers who know the client’s abilities well.
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