Knowing his mom is safe and comfortable in her BRODA Chair, gives Bill Laidlaw peace of mind
There is no more difficult decision for a child to make. Bill’s mother, Isobel, had been a very active volunteer with the Toronto Junior League, the inner wheel with the Toronto Rotary Club and at Humber Valley United Church. But after 84 years of independence and productivity,the signs and symptoms of dementia were there. Bill and his family made the decision to move their Mom, first to a retirement home in 2004, and then in 2008, to West Park long term care facility. As the Executive Director of the Canadian Assistive Devices Association (CADA), Bill Laidlaw is no stranger to the Canadian healthcare system. The experiences over the past 8 years with his Mom have further strengthened and personalized Bill’s position as an advocate for access to technology for the disabled. Isobel now lives in a cheerful room, filled with photographs, plants and stuffed toys at the West Park Long Term Care Facility in Toronto. Her dementia has progressed, and Isobel is completely dependent on others for her care. “As my Mom’s condition progressed, she needed a wheelchair. After a few years, she was prescribed a rehab-style tilt wheelchair, but she was so uncomfortable – she would fidget and slide out of the chair,” said Bill. After several falls, Bill worked with the Occupational Therapists at West Park to find an alternative wheelchair for his Mom that would be comfortable and safe.
A Broda 785 Elite chair was selected to enable Isobel to sit comfortably. With infinitely adjustable tilt and recline and Comfort Tension technology, Isobel is happy to be in her Broda chair all day long. Isobel is comfortable and safe during meals, which ensures she receives appropriate nutrition and hydration. “Isobel is so comfortable and so content when she is in her Broda chair,” says Marion, her Personal Support Worker. “She enjoys going outside and around the facility in her chair. Most of all, she loves to hear me laugh.”
Bill visits his Mom several times a week. When Isobel is a bit unsure of her surroundings, Bill will chant the team cheer “Oske Wee Wee” from her beloved Hamilton Tiger Cats football team, or use her nickname (Timmy) to reconnect mother and son. Staying comfortable in mind and body is the top priority and Bill says, “What a difference now that Mom is safe and comfortable. It gives me peace of mind to know that she is sitting in a Broda chair. My only regret is that I did not get this chair sooner for her.”
My father, Richard Potter, enlisted in the Air Force and trained as a machine gunner on B17’s during WWII. Photographs of the “Flying Fortress” grace the walls of his room in the Kansas Veterans’ Home in Winfield, Kansas where he has been living for the past 6 years.
For the first 2 years in the Veterans’ Home, my father used a power wheelchair for mobility and independence. But at the age of 82, with advances in his Parkinson’s and dementia, his power wheel chair was taken away for safety concerns. He was provided with a standard issue VA manual wheelchair with no tilt or recline. His posture in that chair was terrible … he was very slumped over and leaning to the side. Even his breathing was limited as a result of his poor posture. All he could do was stare at the floor. It was so disheartening to see him this way. I would have to kneel on the floor to see him eye-to-eye due to his hunched posture from Parkinson’s disease.
In a fortunate twist of fate, it was determined that my father was an ideal candidate for a Broda chair. And as a vested veteran, he qualified for the VA to fund the chair. He has now had a Broda chair for over 4 years!
Since he’s been in the Broda chair we can now sit beside him on visits and look at each other face-to-face. Being able to tilt back in the chair and look upward, he can enjoy watching John Wayne westerns in the VA lounge. He can even use the Broda chair when he travels by transport for dental appointments. He can stay in his chair for the bus ride and in the office, since the chair can be tilted enough for the dentist to work on his teeth.
In summary, the Broda chair has been a blessing for my father, his caregivers and my family. The Broda chair improves his quality of life and I can’t imagine him not being in it over the past few years. We are fortunate that the VA will fund Broda chairs for veterans like him who need them.
We have found the Pedal Chair beneficial in reducing the need to use added restraints and even more it has improved out of bed positioning for our residents. The chair enables a resident’s position to be changed by tilting instead of reclining. This is beneficial in that changing position with tilting instead of reclining reduces the sheering forces in the areas of the sacrum, coccyx, and ischial tuberosities thus reducing the potential for skin integrity problems. The Pedal Chair also enables residents, with the ability, to be independently mobile while in a tilted position which decreases the fatigue of the trunk musculature by not having to support their upper body in a fully upright position all day.
My dad had dementia accompanied by a gradual loss of motor abilities. We cared for him at home. When he was no longer able to walk, a standard wheelchair was provided. It was fine for a time. However, as trunk control diminished there were problems with the standard chair.
He would lean to one side hanging over the edge of the chair. Due to muscle contractures, it was very difficult to get him to sit upright. Another problem was that he would scoot and slide out of the chair. At that time, a Broda was recommended. It worked wonderfully. With the side supports, it prevented him from leaning sideways. The tilt feature prevented him from being able to scoot out. The tilt and the high back also helped keep his head upright so he could see around him, rather than his head hanging so he was staring at his lap. In addition to the tilt, the full range of motion (sitting to reclining) greatly helped to prevent bed sores. When he was out of bed, he was in his Broda chair. Since it rolls, and the arm rests are removable, we could bring him to the table to eat with the family while he was able. The tilt feature also made it easy to shave him and brush his teeth. In a pinch at an extended doctor’s appointment, we even changed him in the chair. When pivot transfers to bed became increasingly difficult due to loss of motor control, transfer to a Hoyer lift was safe and secure. In the full reclining position we rolled the Hoyer sling under him and he relaxed as he was lifted out of the chair. We were able to obtain a second hand chair for our home. It was sturdy and reliable.
We are currently using a Broda 785 for a Huntingtons resident. We were very concerned about the safety and the comfort of the resident until we tried him in the Broda chair. Now, he is happier and more comfortable than we have ever seen him.
We are very pleased at how much the Broda chairs help. We also recently purchased a Broda Pedal Chair and a Glider. Both of these have also helped improve the quality of life for our residents.
We have two Broda chairs- one for a resident with Huntington’s, and one for a resident with Parkinson’s. The Huntington’s resident is severely spastic with uncontrolled movements. We have tried multiple chairs with lap restraints and lap belts with no avail.
The resident had severe, injurious falls and has had no falls since the Broda placement. The chair for the Parkinson’s resident is used for comfort and he has had no discomfort since using the Broda chair. The staff really likes the Broda chairs. They are easy to use, adjust, roll, etc. They are excellent, durable chairs and we are very satisfied.
Thank you for creating such a carefully thought-out product!
My SNF was pleased to have the use of the Bariatric Tilt Recliner for a several-month period of time. We were so pleased with how the wheelchair allowed us to provide a way to get our resident out of bed and provided a way for her to be upright and to participate in many facility activities which she couldn’t safely do in her standard bariatric wheelchair. By using the removable armrests, our staff was able to use a mechanical lift to safely transfer the resident without injury. Several staff members commented on how the tracking brake feature allowed them to propel the wheelchair safely in a straight path with decreased stress on their bodies. The manual foot pump also allowed staff to position the resident comfortably for upright sitting activities with minimal stress. Overall we were very pleased with the features and performance of this wheelchair and would choose it again if the situation presented itself where we had a resident in need of this type of specialty wheelchair. In this case it improved the resident’s quality of life.