Obtaining a wheelchair can be a complicated process, but it’s important to know how vital physical therapists are through this time.
Physical Therapists help treat many different conditions using different treatments, providing education, and providing hands-on care. What they also do, is work with different companies to help ensure patients’ wheelchairs are perfectly suited for them.
When customizing a wheelchair, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into it. Physical Therapists have to work closely together with companies like Ability Medical Supply, to provide a wheelchair that fits your needs.
With customizable rehab equipment, it’s always helpful to learn more about the process. This way, you’re more aware and can approach the right people with the right questions.
Physical Therapists’ role in the process
Physical Therapists have an important role very early in the process.
They’re involved at the very beginning of the process when they first evaluate a patient. They’re evaluating patients to see what accommodations need to be made for the wheelchair, and to see the different positions a patient is comfortable in. Also, they have to take into consideration your height and weight.
These therapists have to identify any contractures, to ensure the wheelchair doesn’t help the development. This goes along with positioning, as the therapists have to ensure the patient will be in a position that reduces the risk of contractures and pressure ulcers.
When evaluating patients, physical therapists have to be aware of any special considerations. If something needs to be altered on the wheelchair that can be done ahead of time.
While going through this process, it’s important that physical therapists do a skin check. It’s always good to prevent an issue rather than waiting.
Finally, they move forward with medical supply companies like us.
At this point, Physical Therapists will discuss the accommodations for the wheelchair with our Assistive Technology Professionals. They work together to customize your wheelchair.
While there is a lot more that goes into the process, this is a simple understanding of what Physical Therapists’ role is.
Educating Wheelchair Users
An important part of this process is educating the wheelchair user. Physical Therapists will educate the user along with their family with pressure relief techniques and a schedule.
Some things they may discuss include:
- Weight shifts.
- Switching positions every two hours.
- Skin assessment of areas that commonly with pressure ulcers with wheelchair users.
It’s better to know more than less. This way you’re aware of your wheelchair, and how to stay safe and comfortable within it.
Most importantly, they want to make sure you’re safe when they’re not around. It’s good to be knowledgeable when someone else isn’t there to help.
Evaluating a patient
It’s more than just a few questions when evaluating a patient for a wheelchair. In fact, Physical Therapists have an evaluation form that they need to complete.
These evaluation forms are very in depth and require these therapists to take everything into consideration when customizing your wheelchair.
The point of this form is perfectly crafted your wheelchair, by learning more about a patient. These forms are all different, but all have the same goal.
Understanding how in depth the evaluation form is can be very helpful. It can help show how much work is put into finding the right chair.
What happens from here?
Once the insurance approves the wheelchair, a medical supply company like Ability Medical will work with you from there.
Our ATPs will come and also evaluate patients, and then be the ones to deliver the chair.
Physical Therapists can help for any further treatments even when you have the chair and can help suggest anything that may need to be altered.
If you need help finding a Physical Therapist, feel free to contact us.