In the process of recruiting for my research, I have been popping into more residential services. Everywhere I go the first thing I notice is if the main living area has height adjustable stools or not. I am a huge fan of the height adjustable stool. If you see height adjustable stools, you see people sitting down with people with PIMD. If you don’t see stools you don’t see people sitting down with people as much.
I love height adjustable stools (ones that have a small round seat and a gaslift) because:
– you can move them in really close to a wheelchair and if you a bit flexible you can move your legs around the wheelchair too and get your face nice and close to people who need it
– you can get the height right (although yesterday I was interacting with somebody who was very small, in a very small wheelchair, and in order to get my face under hers I jsut had to resort to the floor)
– the stools are brilliant for helping people with eating, reducing the twisting, turning, reaching, and stimulate optimum chin position in the person you are assisting because they don’t need to look up at you
– they can move easily in or out when interacting with people (which can be very useful with people with startle reflexes)
Things to think about when you are looking at stools.
– look at the range of height (some don’t go down far enough to get your head level with the person you are interacting with)
– look out for the broadness so you can get in close
– look out for foot rests (these can make it harder to get in close)
– look out for smoothness of movement – you want them to move around easily so you can get to where you need to and you can push them aside when not needed.
In the photo you can see Leendert and Afke, two great people I met in Noordenhaven, an institution in the Netherlands. Stools were available everywhere so staff could sit down and spend time with people.