Backrest cushion allows disabled man to stay cool in his wheelchair
Jamie Hamblin has been able to stay cool in his wheelchair during this year’s particularly hot summer due to wheelAIR’s cooling backrest cushion.
Jamie lives in a Choice Care Group care home in England for adults with complex needs and, due to relying on a wheelchair as a result of paralysis of his right leg, experiences overheating issues.
Millie, Jamie’s support worker, explained that he can get very hot and clammy sitting in his wheelchair, which triggers his seizures. Although he is on medication, if he has a maximum dose within 24 hours and still has a seizure, Jamie could end up in hospital.
Being clammy and sweaty can also lead to itching, scratching, flare ups and open wounds.
Overheating can also leave Jamie exhausted and, if he is too hot, he is unable to take part in vital weekly physiotherapy sessions. Therefore, if his temperature is not managed properly, he misses out on crucial activities that keep him healthy.
As Jamie is confined to his bed or wheelchair, he has a bespoke, cushioned wheelchair which was made for him to help reduce the risk of pressure sores.
With this in mind, wheelAIR created a bespoke cushion to fit Jamie’s unique wheelchair after the company’s Managing Director, Corien Staels, visited his care home to take some measurements.
As his mobility equipment is longer than manual wheelchairs, wheelAIR’s cushion had to accommodate for this, meaning that the company had to create a taller cushion to fit Jamie’s chair properly.
wheelAIR’s solution means that Jamie can now go to places that are not air conditioned, such as to the seaside or parks. Previously, he was confined to locations where the temperature could be controlled.
Furthermore, since getting his cooling cushion, he has not had to cancel any of his activities due to a heat-induced seizure and has been able to actively participate in all of his therapy sessions.
Millie added that the wheelAIR has helped keep Jamie physically cooler.
“I really think it was a good buy,” Millie commented. “Jamie has been on two day trips which would have been almost impossible in the absence of his wheelAIR.
He has experienced reduced heat rash symptoms and has much more energy. He itches and scratches less as well, no longer having to take antibiotics to manage his skin care. He does not have flare ups anymore, either!”
Millie continued by saying that the wheelAIR has made her job much easier, helps to keep Jamie healthier and more comfortable, and means that both Jamie and his peers’ routines are not so disturbed.
She concluded: “Personally, the satisfaction in my job role is when those we support have quality of life despite their challenges. Especially when they are not able to express themselves or make choices.”