The Care Continuum and the Role of Medical Equipment for Long-Term Care Patients
A patient’s continuum of care, or the healthcare treatments and services a patient receives over time, can span every level and intensity imaginable. At every point in that continuum, equipment is essential to the quality of that care.
The right equipment helps patients stay mobile and perform daily activities at home or in a long-term care facility. In fact, research shows that comfortable, mobile, and functional equipment can substantially boost the quality of life for highly dependent patients who have chronic health conditions.
As older patients progress through their care, they become more dependent on specialized medical equipment like wheelchairs. They eventually transition from family and caregiver assistance at home to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Their needs change along the way, and they require different types of equipment to stay as mobile as possible.
At Broda, we focus on providing therapeutic comfort for patients who are more dependent on durable medical equipment. More dependent patients spend most of their time in wheelchairs and other seating, so it’s critical that our products always offer optimal comfort, mobility and positioning functionality.
How We Focus on the ElderCare Continuum
When seating needs are not considered an important part of a patient’s continuum of care, the patient’s comfort and care can be significantly affected. Regardless of age, sitting in an uncomfortable position for eight or more hours at a time is no fun. For older patients, suboptimal seating can increase the risks of falls or painful outcomes like pressure sores.
Poor seating can force patients to slump or lean to one side, slide out of their chairs, or become less able to propel themselves with their hands and feet. Caregivers can also be at risk of injury if a seating solution makes it difficult to assist and reposition patients correctly.
Not every patient needs a wheelchair, and for those who do need a wheelchair, not every chair correctly fits each patient’s unique seating and positioning needs. Thankfully, Broda offers comfortable options for patients with many different conditions throughout the care continuum — and specific options to accommodate unique conditions and needs.
Consider this real-world example of our products in practice. In one facility, staff members tried and failed with multiple positioning devices to help one patient improve her posture. Let’s call her Linda.
After switching Linda to Broda’s Latitude Pedal Rocker, staff members reported that she has stopped leaning and is more comfortable and mobile than she has been in years. The side laterals on the Latitude help keep her trunk properly aligned and gives the facility’s caregivers and administrators the confidence that Linda is safely positioned throughout the day. And Linda’s family is happy that she is comfortable in her chair and still able to self-propel herself around the facility when she wants.
In another skilled nursing facility, Broda’s Revive Shower Commode helped an elderly patient (let’s call him Joe) who is dependent upon the staff for daily showering and toileting.
Joe is a pretty “big guy,” so having a versatile shower commode chair makes it much easier for staff members to assist him on a daily basis. The Revive’s ability to posterior tilt 2 degrees, anterior tilt 10 degrees, and recline up to 67 degrees allows caregivers to safely position Joe during bathing, wash his hair, and access hard-to-reach abdominal and peri areas. The full elevating leg rest and swing-away removable armrests allow caregivers to easily transfer Joe to and from the chair. The facility administrators also love the fact that the chair frame is stainless steel so it will never rust and has already lasted through several years of repeated use.
Each of Broda’s chairs is carefully fit and adjusted to the specific needs of its respective patient. The numerous accessories and options we offer help facilitate better clinical outcomes, which is why so many caregivers, facilities, and families trust Broda to help their patients and loved ones progress along the continuum of care. Our seating options accommodate different levels of functionality:
- Rehab: Temporary rehab or therapy seating offers positioning functionality for patients rehabilitating an injury. Comfort is particularly important because of how long patients must remain seated during rehabilitation, and these seats ensure comfort through basic mobility and pressure redistribution. These chairs offer some lateral support, but they do not come with high backs.
- Mobility: With mobility chairs, patients are still able to self-propel with their hands or feet. These chairs allow for easy and safe mobility while still providing ample comfort via CTS and pressure redistribution through tilt-in-space functionality. The chairs also rock, which can occupy users and combine longer periods of sitting with increased mobility.
- Positioning: Tilt-in-space positioning wheelchairs help caregivers maneuver and position patients with ease. These chairs can tilt as far as laying the user completely flat or beyond (in the Trendelenburg position). Patients at this stage are more susceptible to sheers and sores, which makes the comfort, support, and accommodation of care that Broda’s chairs offer even more critical.
- Transport: Our transportation chairs are WC19-certified by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. They offer the high comfort and functionality of CTS seating while patients are being transported to appointments, rehabilitation, outpatient clinics, and more.
- Shower/Commode: Showering and using the restroom can become more difficult depending on each patient’s unique health conditions. Our stainless steel shower/commode tilt-in-space chairs help caregivers assist patients in these activities while maintaining the clinical need for supportive seating. Our chairs also optimize safety for patients and caregivers in sometimes slippery shower environments.
- Bariatric: Bariatric patients present caregivers with several additional challenges along each step of the continuum. They tend to have an amplified reliance on equipment, and their limited mobility exacerbates the need for comfort and tilt-in-space pressure redistribution. In turn, caregivers need more assistance and functionality from the equipment to protect themselves and their patients.
- Glider: Our stationary gliders are temporary seating solutions best suited for nursing homes or memory care facilities. The smooth gliding action and Comfort Tension Seating (CTS) offer patients exceptional comfort when occupying one of our gliders for long periods of time.
Helping Clinicians Consider the Importance of Seating in the Care Continuum
Focusing on the entire continuum of care means considering how drastically each patient’s needs can change. He or she might progress from independent and mobile to increasingly more depended and sedentary; caregivers, families, and patients all understand the paramount need for comfort at each stage.
For facilities, that need is even more paramount. Adequate seating reduces the risk of adverse outcomes, including slip or fall accidents that account for nearly 20 percent of deaths among elderly individuals each year. Beyond the unfortunate loss of 1,800 lives each year, these falls also place facilities at significant legal risk.
Understanding the spectrum of durable medical equipment that is available to cover the entire continuum of care is key for caregivers, facility administrators, and family members. Having the correct piece of equipment for each stage of care is critical to providing the best care at all stages of each patient’s journey.
At Broda, we have worked for more than 35 years to perfect comfort, mobility, and functionality in long-term care equipment needs. We have become a trusted provider to caregivers and facilities seeking to optimize comfort and safety for patients at different stages of care. If that includes you, then explore the entire line of Broda’s wheelchairs and learn how we can offer unmatched comfort and support for patients at every stage of care.
Comfort is Essential,
and when it comes to providing comfort,
Make Sure. It’s a Broda.