Wheelchairs Asssessment, Trials & Prescription
Wheelchairs are a mobility device used to assist people to transport themselves.
People require wheelchairs for many different reasons, and it may be a temporary or permanent piece of equipment for them.
At Total Health Physio, our Occupational Therapists help the community by prescribing a wide variety of wheelchairs on an individual basis, to help that person find the best type and most suitable wheelchair to meet their needs.
Our compassionate OTs are mobile across South-East and West Melbourne and we would love to work with you.
Occupational Therapy in South-East Melbourne
Types of Wheelchairs
Total Health Physio provides assessments, reviews and ongoing support for a wide range of wheelchairs.
We work with many mobility aid companies to source the wheelchair that best meets your requirements and ensure it is the most suitable option for you. The common types of wheelchairs are listed below:
Manual wheelchairs help those who are unable to walk or have mobility difficulties
There is a diverse range of manual wheelchairs for use in all environments, including aged care facilities, hospitals and in daily life.
For those in need of a manual wheelchair, options include both self-propelled and attendant-propelled choices
While self-propelled wheelchairs allow the individual to push themselves, attendant-propelled wheelchairs are designed to be pushed by a carer using the rear handles.
There are options to have these wheelchairs customised the individual also.
Tilt in Space
Tilt in space wheelchairs help to alleviate pressure and provide the optimum seating position for the individual
It is designed with the long-term user in mind who requires trunk support
Custom tilt in space wheelchairs offer a broad range of configurability options thanks to the numerous adjustment points.
Height adjustable seating, padded headrests and armrests, adjustable back rests, and elevating footrests enable the tilt in space wheelchair to be tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
Designed to be as transportable as possible by folding to save space.
Can be stored in a car-boot and is a great option for families who get “out and about” and want a lean option.
A folding wheelchair provides a convenient option for individuals with mobility issues looking for a travel-friendly option.
Ideal for users who don’t consistently require the use of a wheelchair, a fold up wheelchair can easily be stowed away when not in use or placed in the boot of a car when needed for ventures outside of the home or facility.
Princess Air Chair
A highly supportive and comfortable chair that is used for individuals who have higher support needs.
These are typically not an outdoor wheelchair, they are geared towards comfort.
They can recline and have adjustable neck, foot, food trays and calf support.
Cushioned adjustable air cell support has been incorporated into the design to allow pressure relief.
Care Solution: Designed for pressure care management and mobility. Completely adjustable for both patient and carer.
Power / Electric
A battery-assisted wheelchair.
Used by those wanting to travel longer distances, increase access to the community and increase independence.
These can be controlled in various ways, from joysticks to software apps.
Typically a higher cost option.
There are a wide range of scooters available, from smaller models that can fit into the boot of a car, through to heavy duty mobility scooters that are able to navigate steep hills and travel long distances on a single charge.
How Wheelchairs Can Be Customised
Wheelchairs are an important asset to people. As such, they can be customised to optimise the experience for the user, for example
- Different seats, cushions (i.e. ROHO cushion)
- Trunk supports, typically from a large band
- Different wheel thicknesses
- Different arm heights
- Smaller/bigger turning circles
- Different locations of controls
- Different storage compartments
- Different sizes
When is a Wheelchair Clinically Appropriate?
The overarching objective of wheelchairs is to maintain or improve a person’s independence. The use of a wheelchair is very individual, they may be appropriate for:
- Recovery post-surgery
- For various physical or neurological conditions, such as those living with stroke or MS
- Those looking to improve their independence
- Those who need extra support due to physical decline and reduced mobility
Importantly, there may be other equipment, such as a four wheel-walker, which may be used instead of or in conjunction with a wheelchair.
If the patient is ambulant, it is important that they do not become over-reliant on their wheelchair. The ideal amount of time per day to use the wheelchair is education that our Occupational Therapist will provide to the lovely patient.
Wheelchair Assessment & Trial
Patients, family members and support organisations are able to contact Total Health Physio for an assessment, which takes place at the person’s home.
Our OT will perform a comprehensive assessment, looking at both equipment and home modifications that may be required. For wheelchairs, ramps, door widths and transfer safety (i.e. from bed to wheelchair) are particularly important.
We would then engage a disability equipment provider to source the wheelchair for a trial. The trial length is anywhere from one day to two weeks.
If the wheelchair is serving its purpose and the patient is happy, we assist the client to purchase it. The OT will also provide detailed reporting on the holistic healthcare that should be provided.
In the case of NDIS participants, we are able to submit Assistive Technology requests forms to ideally, obtain funding for that wheelchair. There are both low cost and high-cost wheelchairs, so it’s important to prescribe one that is reasonable and necessary.
Wheelchair Referrals for Total Health Physio
Total Health Physio is an appropriate provider to consider for adults (over18) living with a physical and/or neurological disability.
- We are highly caring, empathetic people
- Our assessments are comprehensive in nature
- We are experienced with wheelchair prescription
- We actively listen and believe in patient-directed care
Wheelchair Prescription FAQ
What rehabilitation should accompany wheelchair prescription?
The Occupational Therapist will prescribe the appropriate rehabilitation strategy.
This may be with a Physiotherapist, an Exercise Physiologist as well as prescribed exercise for that person to perform independently or with a carer.
What training will the patient, family or carers be provided?
Education is provided by both our OT as well as the equipment supply company, this will include:
- How long to use the wheelchair per day
- How to safely move, turn, navigate obstacles and apply the brakes
- How to transfer, such as from wheelchair to shower or bath
- Equipment warranties, manuals and support
- Manual handling training for carers or family members