Seating specialist helps popular TV home design show change the life of a man with MS
In a recent episode of BBC One’s ‘DIY SOS The Big Build’, which featured Stuart Philp from Torquay, his mother Lin and daughter Lauren, seating specialist Repose Furniture helped transform Stuart’s life with a bespoke rise & recline chair.
Stuart was initially diagnosed with MS shortly after his daughter Lauren was born in 2002 and the condition has now developed into secondary progressive MS which means there is no remission. As a result of his MS, Stuart is unable to stand or walk and therefore spends all day in a chair.
During the planning stage of the DIY SOS programme, finding a suitable chair for Stuart was vital and Stuart’s occupational therapist contacted Repose to discuss seating options for him, including:
- What chair would accommodate his height, width and depth requirements
- Pressure relief requirements, now and in the future
- Tilting mechanisms
- Suitable hand controls
Following on from this in-depth assessment, in January last year, Repose’s managing director Lisa Wardley and National Sales Manager Helena Elcocks travelled to Torquay to personally deliver Stuart’s Multi C-air riser recliner chair.
Lisa explained: “At 6ft 7”, Stuart is taller than most of our clients but here at Repose we pride ourselves on offering bespoke seating solutions, following several conversations with the DIY SOS team and Stuart’s occupational therapist, we decided that the best chair to meet all Stuart’s requirements would be our Multi C-air.
“To ensure Stuart’s chair complimented the designers’ concept of the room in which Stuart would be siting, it was finished in Panvelle stretch Indigo inner on the seat back and legs while the inner arm, wings and tops of the arms were finished in a highland silver out – all of which are high quality healthcare fabrics.
“Seeing the difference our chair and the wider housing modifications have made to Stuart’s level of comfort, his quality of life and the positive impact on his mother and daughter over the last year is fantastic”.
The Multi C-air is a versatile rise recliner available in a range of sizes with an option of six different back styles. From a comfortable waterfall back, where the cushions can be positioned for individual comfort to lateral cushions that can support midline spinal position, the Multi C-air has been designed to offer superb levels of comfort.
Interchangeable seat cushions are also available to address specific pressure care needs. All the materials used are manufactured from a range of specialist pressure care materials ensuring different posture, positioning and pressure management requirements can be catered for.
It was Diane Hargreaves, who helps care for Stuart, that first contacted DIY SOS, as Stuart explains: “I can’t thank Diane enough for getting in touch with the DIY SOS team and everyone who was involved during the work for what they have done for me and my family.
“The house is just amazing, with my Repose chair being the icing on the cake and contrary to what some people might have read in the press I am absolutely delighted with everything. It was unfortunate the team were unable to obtain planning permission to extend my kitchen but despite that I could not be happier.”
Over the nine days, the team practically rebuilt Stuart’s home and this included repositioning his through-the-floor lift, installing an H track hoist system and a state-of-the-art voice-controlled bedroom and wet floor shower room.
In addition, Stuart’s mother, Lin, has provided ongoing care and support for him for many years but due to her visual impairment, she found it difficult to travel to him from her own home across town. The DIY SOS team designed her own space within the build and she now lives happily with Stuart and Lauren which has reduced her stress levels and enables her to continue to support her son and granddaughter on a daily basis.
Stuart commented: “It may be a relatively small item compared to everything else, but for me, the chair is a massive part of the house. Due to my condition, I spend up to 10 hours a day in it, so to have a chair which is so incredibly comfortable is amazing and the fact it has been designed to my OT’s specifications as I needed a special seat and back height to accommodate my height it is fantastic.
“In my old chair, my ankles would often swell due to my feet hanging off the end of the chair and this could be extremely painful, but thanks to the Multi C-air chair from Repose this has been eliminated.
“Another great feature of the Multi C-air is the controls, due to my MS I have reduced hand dexterity and strength but the simple design of the controls means I can operate the chair and change my position independently and with ease.”
Lauren, Stuart’s daughter, is equally impressed with the chair.
She said: “For years dad has had to have equipment in the home which looks very medical. Something like the Repose chair is great as it has a stylish design, matches the colours in the wallpaper and would fit in to any home.
“I have always felt strongly that just because someone has a disability it doesn’t mean that everything has to look like it belongs in a hospital and Repose prove this is possible. I just want my Dad to be happy and comfortable and thanks to DIY SOS and Repose he is.”
Repose Furniture has over 100 years of combined experience in designing seating solutions that deliver quality and comfort for the home, health and care markets.