Adaptive Seating For Cerebral Palsy – Improving Quality of Life

Adaptive Seating For Cerebral Palsy

If you have cerebral palsy (CP), or you are a family member of someone with cerebral palsy, and are looking for ways to improve their quality of life, then it is definitely worth investing in some adaptive seating. There are a lot of physical supports available for CP, and an overwhelming amount of information out there, so we have made a concise explanation for you. Read on to find out what adaptive seating for cerebral palsy is, and how it can change the life of someone living with the condition.

Types of Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic (or hypertonic) cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy, and most people with this type have exaggerated movements and high muscle tone. This type of cerebral palsy occurs because of damage to the pyramidal tracts in the brain’s motor cortex, which impedes signals to the muscles and affects voluntary movement.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid cerebral palsy only affects a small percentage of people with cerebral palsy, and it causes problems with involuntary movement in the limbs, face, and torso. There is a combination of hypertonia (stiff muscles) and hypotonia (loose muscles), and this makes muscle tone fluctuate. This type is caused by damage to the basal ganglia and cerebellum, as these control voluntary motor function, and balance and coordination, respectively.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic cerebral palsy is another type that only affects a small percentage of people with cerebral palsy, and it can be characterised by difficulties with balance, voluntary movement, and coordination. Damage to the cerebellum causes this type of cerebral palsy, which affects the person’s ability to coordinate physical movement.

Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

People with Hypotonic cerebral palsy experience low muscle tone, which results in a loss of strength and firmness, and the muscles become floppy. This instability and lack of muscle tone means that a child could miss developmental milestones like standing, walking, or crawling.

Mixed Type Cerebral Palsy

This is the second most common type of cerebral palsy, and refers to when the damage to the brain is not only in one location. Mixed type cerebral palsy is when a person is showing symptoms of more than one type of cerebral palsy. The combination which occurs the most often is spastic cerebral palsy and athetoid cerebral palsy, as they both involve issues with involuntary movement.

What Is Adaptive Seating?

Adaptive Seating

Adaptive seating refers to certain types of chairs or adaptive seating systems which are designed to help people living with disabilities participate in everyday activities, and experience better quality of life. This is achieved by providing positioning support and postural control, and allowing the person to better interact with their environment. The seating usually includes positioning rolls and wedges which support positions for eating, transportation, and exercise. It is important to offer adjustable tables in school or in the workplace in order to accommodate these seating systems.

How Can Adaptive Seating Help Someone With Cerebral Palsy?

Adaptive Seating For Cerebral Palsy

Physical Assistance

Adaptive seating for cerebral palsy can greatly improve someone’s health, as it helps to prevent deformities, maintains skin and tissue integrity, stabilises posture, and optimises functionality. When the person does not have adaptive seating and is forced to spend long periods in abnormal postures and positions, it can lead to deformities and worsening musculoskeletal health. Adaptive seating can also help improve pulmonary function and lung health, which then improves speech. For someone who must stay seated most of the time, adaptive seating can provide postural control to ensure that the impact of this position is lessened, therefore making sure the person’s health is the best it can be.

Social Assistance

Adaptive seating for cerebral palsy improves speech for many people, and therefore this can have a positive effect on their ability to communicate with others. This then can make it easier for the person to engage in social activities, which improves overall quality of life. With the use of high-tech adaptive seating, they are also able to enjoy more independence because they don’t rely on their parents to push them around or carry them. Therefore the person can participate in more social activities, and interact with others more easily.

The support coordinators at St Jude’s are able to help those with cerebral palsy live independently. On the other hand if there is the need for 24/7 care, we’re also able to provide this in our range of housing and accommodation options.

Other Ways To Assist Someone With Cerebral Palsy

Assist Someone With Cerebral Palsy

There are a variety of ways to support someone living with cerebral palsy, including engaging them in physical therapy, providing environmental changes, and obtaining physical supports. Physical therapy can be used to improve the movement skills of someone with cerebral palsy, and may make activities like sitting, walking, or dressing easier.

Environmental changes can include ramps, grab bars, and widened doorways, and can make a world of difference if implemented in the person’s home. As part of the specialist disability accommodation at St Jude’s, we’re able to make specific home modifications that can help improve your quality of life throughout the day. Physical supports are also helpful, such as ankle foot orthoses, posture control walkers, chest-support walkers, walking sticks, and standers. These supports can make daily tasks more accessible and give a person with cerebral palsy more freedom.

St Jude’s Experienced Disability Services

St Jude’s offers a range of expert disability services, including home support services in Perth, and NDIS occupational therapy. We have been established for almost 40 years, and always provide understanding, professional services that will improve the lives of people living with disabilities. If you have cerebral palsy and need some home support or assistive technology like adaptive seating systems, then we can help.

In addition to our specialist disability accommodation, we also provide other services such as speech pathology and physiotherapy. We aim to cover all services that you may need under your NDIS plan, so you can be fully supported by the caring team at St Jude’s.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss how we can help you.