To relax and be active with a multi-positional wheelchair
Etac Prio and Star
Georgia Moore, aged 14 from Cambridgeshire, is a positive and enthusiastic disabled young lady who is benefiting from the ability to relax and be active with a pioneering multi-positional wheelchair – the Prio from Etac.
Georgia lives at Aurora Meldreth Manor School, Cambridgeshire during the week and returns to her Colchester home each weekend. She is cared for 24/7 at the school and by her mum due to conditions including Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and Autism. Georgia requires carer assistance and equipment for mobility around her accessible apartment however independence is encouraged where possible. Since the age of 2½ Georgia has been supported by attentive service and appropriate products from Etac R82. With the proven assistance of an R82 Kudu and the predecessor Panther, Georgia has been able to develop positively into a confident teenager. To enhance future progress and achievement, she is now the proud owner of a pioneering Etac Prio wheelchair which delivers proven Ability Based Seating.
Etac’s Ability Based Seating® system
The Etac Prio is an active multi-functional wheelchair for users who want to increase independence but are not suited to medium active wheelchairs. Based on Etac’s Ability Based Seating® system, it includes multiple features which are unique to its design. These include a dynamic pelvic support, back support, advanced postural balance ideal for amputees, one-piece footplates and low seat height for ease of propulsion and standing transfers. There is optional powered functionality and the Prio 3D provides a fully shapeable back support to accommodate and correct postural asymmetries. These ergonomic and highly-adjustable features provide the ability for Georgia to be active and relax on her own terms – with which reduce the risk of tissue deformation from extended periods of sitting. The capabilities of Star cushions, due to patented innovation, provide far greater options for postural correction and protection against developing pressure injuries. Georgia’s StarLock enables her to sit for longer without the need for transfers out of her wheelchair resulting in more enjoyable gigs and festivals.
"No other wheelchair allows me to recline, tilt and reposition Georgia’s whole body so she can be moved and remain comfortable over long periods of time"
Paula explains: “As Georgia is waiting for Scoliosis surgery the need for her Prio was even more essential. We are massive rock music fans however we were finding that achieving and maintaining a comfortable position, especially at long gigs, was becoming more challenging with Georgia’s increased size. Hence Etac suggested a Prio wheelchair might provide a more appropriate solution and therefore arranged for OT Jo McConnell to visit us for an assessment. The caring Etac team has been so attentive to our needs over the last 12 years, ensuring Georgia has always had the right R82 product and the ability to develop. Jo is equally as fantastic and in her clinical opinion, she confirmed a multi-functional Prio would give us the future proofed features to suit Georgia’s changing needs.”
No other wheelchair allows me to recline, tilt and reposition
Paula continues: “To a certain extent, other wheelchairs can provide what Georgia needs however not that well. Plus, they are not holistic like the Prio, it does everything. No other wheelchair allows me to recline, tilt and reposition Georgia’s whole body so she can be moved and remain comfortable over long periods of time. If we are out seeing bands then we can be leaving home at 10am and not return until 1am the next day. With the Prio I have the confidence that Georgia will be happy and comfortable in our WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) and at the event. If there is an accessible changing place at the venue I can transfer her out however with the adjustability of her new wheelchair, this isn’t as essential. When Georgia was a small child it was much easier to lift her, now she is adult size this is no longer possible, hence the Prio makes extended periods of sitting more manageable.”
Paula lives with a musculoskeletal ‘nursing’ injury from caring for Georgia. She is Georgia’s full-time carer and the years of helping her daughter have contributed to back problems. The Prio has eased the pressure on Paula’s condition as less bending and lifting is required. She adds: “The fact that I can achieve so many different positions for Georgia reduces the number of transfers I have to complete. This is vitally important if Georgia has a non-epileptic seizure as I can recline her into a recovery position without the need to lift her quickly out of the chair. In this position, I can monitor Georgia and check she is ok.”
StarLock - Star air cell cushion range
“The easy maneuverability of the lightweight Prio is also a massive plus for me, especially when we are watching bands at older venues where accessibility is not so good. I have enhanced comfort from a StarLock cushion.
The StarLock is part of the Star air cell cushion range from Etac which assists with the prevention of pressure ulcers, asymmetrical posture and seating stability. A diverse choice provides appropriate products for all user weights and pressure redistribution needs with effective designs that envelope body structures. Star provides the largest range of cell heights in the market and high-quality neoprene materials use crutches sometimes but can still push the Prio smoothly without straining up slopes or ramps. I can turn it with minimal effort and adjusting the back and leg rest is simple. As the wheelchair is so sturdy, the push bar actually gives me support so I can walk more effectively. Through my volunteering at festivals as an accessibility assistant, I have seen so many products that do not deliver the flexibility and inclusion provided by the Prio.”
Georgia is so proud of her wheelchair especially as the wheels have been customised with rock music graphics subsequently signed by multiple bands.
Georgia is so proud of her wheelchair especially as the wheels have been customised with rock music graphics subsequently signed by multiple bands. She describes the ability to have met bands, such as Alter Bridge and Tremonti, as “absolutely awesome” – all made possible by the lifestyle advantages provided by her new Prio.
Jo McConnell, Etac Education Manager and Occupational Therapist comments: “The Etac Prio wheelchair maximises occupational performance in terms of activity and rest. It employs the Etac Ability Based Seating design concept which facilitates greater movement through bespoke configuration. Its 3D back can be fully contoured to suit Georgia’s postural needs and when in recline, the dynamic pelvic support means her pelvis rolls back ergonomically for more comfort. Tilt-inspace can be achieved with minimal effort by the carer and incremental footrest adjustments are quick to configure. Currently Georgia’s asymmetric posture is being supported by additional swing-away lateral pads. However the outcome of pending surgery will hopefully remove the need for these as the contours and lateral support created by the 3D back will give sufficient support.”
Jo concludes: “The StarLock air cell cushion gives Georgia a base of stability which also redistributes pressure. Risk of pressure sores is reduced and Georgia regularly comments on improved comfort when compared to many other cushions she has tried over the years. The ability to correct Georgia’s
posture by shaping the Starlock is also really important for her changing needs.”
The benefits of bespoke adjustments
The Prio was set up for Georgia so she could be as active as possible at school and home. She can sit upright with appropriate lateral support from the 3D back rest and a Starlock cushion provides a stable base. This means Georgia can particpate more fully in lessons and when enjoying activities with her mum.
It was important that Georgia’s Prio could be easily adjusted to a supportive lying position using the tilt function with recline. This allows Georgia’s legs to be elevated and hence a reduced need for transfers out of her wheelchair and into a bed. With a Prio Georgia can relax in total comfort whilst listening to music, watching television or using her computer tablet. As Georgia grows the Prio seat depth and back height can grow with her.
Shape Up! It’s a matter of individual ability. Our aim is to make the most of the users´ability, using shaping and supportive features. Proper positioning improves the activity and mobility level
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