Activity Chair Success, One Child at a Time

Lori Potts, PT | August 2012

Contributed by Amorita Durgin, Account Manager

A young boy smiles from his Rifton Activity chair as he sits on the patio in the fresh air Before ten-year-old Thomas received his new activity chair much of his day was spent transferring in and out of different pieces of equipment. His feeding chair had no tray, so he had to switch to a prone stander to do homework. Thomas’ grandmother found that chair difficult to use anyway, as it was too low to the ground and he kept sliding out of it. Just getting in and out of the bathroom involved another strenuous transfer because the wheelchair didn’t fit through the doorway.

Then Thomas had a chance to trial a Rifton Activity Chair, and though his impairments may have prevented him from verbalizing exactly what he felt, his joy was evident. He didn’t want his physical therapist to come by the house anymore for fear she would take the chair away.

With his new activity chair, he and his family felt they had a new lease on life. In Mom’s words, “he does everything you can think of in his chair; from doing homework to watching TV to interacting with friends.” The compact base of the chair allows Thomas to go through doorways with ease, and with a few simple adjustments to the back angle and armrests, mealtimes are a pleasure both for Thomas and his caregivers. The wheels help him to get around the house easily, and the tilt-in-space and backrest adjustments allow for dynamic seating and versatile positioning which can relieve pressure and provide comfort that his power wheelchair could not. Additionally, Thomas likes the security of the butterfly harness as he has no upper-body strength. He is a tall boy, but the adjustments on the backrest of the activity chair give him the space he needs.

If Thomas is thrilled, it’s hard to describe what his parents feel. His Mom said “It’s our lifesaver. If we did not have a chair like this, I don’t know what we would do.”

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