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Need your help again. :) - Carers UK Forum

Need your help again. :)

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I'd like to thank everyone who helped me when I asked about something to wash my mam's hair with. I need your help again. My mam has spondylosis of the spine and there are times (especially when she's not feeling well) that she tends to tilt towards the left when she's sitting. The guy from our local wheelchair services did give her something to put in the chair to help keep her up but she felt as though it was digging in her side. I'd be grateful if anyone has any ideas that might help her sit more upright as she gets in pain when she's tilting and I just don't know what to do to help her. It doesn't help that she has a tendency to be a bit hunched and her head is tilting down. I'm thinking of getting her a neck brace to help her keep her head up.
What about one of the "V" shaped pillows for sitting up in bed, adapted for bed or chair? Before Dad got his new recliner that was what he used to support himself from slipping to the side.

Hope you find a solution soon, as there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable and unable to do anything about it.

Take care
Thanks Meg. I don't think it would help as she did find them uncomfortable. Plus as they tend to be at the back and I need something that will keep her from sitting at an almost 90o angle.
Is the wheelchair cushion supporting her enough under her bottom? Hubby has a RoHo Quad, which is full of little air sausages, which can be pumped up and the air inside them can be manipulated to various parts of the cushion and then sealed off so that it stays there, supporting his bum and putting his thighs in the right position, making him sit straight(er). If the wheelchair isn't supporting her properly, it's the wheelchair service's job to correct that.

OR she may need you to grab hold of the side which is flopping and give her a pull to that side - thus counter-balancing her lean. (hubby needs that sometimes). Make sure her bottom cheeks aren't turned under, too, cos that makes a difference. Grab a load of trousers/skirt whatever - and pull upwards near the place, or pull whichever way you need to pull, but always, always stand on THAT side - don't lean over her, you'll do yourself in.

OR stick a normal pillow down that side vertically.

If I think of any more 'tricks of the trade' I'll let you know.
Thanks Frandrake. She has a variety of cushions for her wheelchair plus I bought her one of those T shaped wheelchair cushions. She wasn't too bad until a couple of days ago when started to tilt again. I just left her with just 2 x 2" cushions to sit on (no T shaped one) and a pillow under her arm and around the back. I've not heard of a RoHo Quad. Where do you get them from? I do try and push her up a bit when I'm there but I'm not there all the time and she finds it difficult to do it herself.
I would try wheelchair services again our seem to have lots of different solutions to problems. The have visited lots of times and messed about with hubbys footplates countless times to get it comfortable for him
I want to tell you a cautionary tale. My mum, now 85, has had arthritis if the spine since she was about 40, she now also has severe osteoporosis. Long ago she was told to wear a foam collar to support her head - didn't like it, gave up quickly. She was advised to go swimming to strenthen her muscles - didn't like the pool. She was advised to have a rest in bed every afternoon so she could flatten out - "a waste of time". Seven years ago she broke her leg, complications meant that she had to sit with her leg up for five months, in hospital. Her head was bent forward a bit before she had this problem. During the time she was in hospital she seemed to be bent forward more and more. I kept saying to the staff that mum shouldn't have been sat like that because of her spine, but they were only interested in the leg. (When will hospitals take a holistic approach to their patients!?) At home, she has been sat for a lot of the day in the same position. Now, she is permanently bent like this, so severely that she could not have an MRI scan recently - they couldn't flatten her out enough. It is awful to see her like this. What mum needed long ago was a reclining chair which leaned back slightly so that her head was supported and resting back. It's too late for that now. I'm currently waiting for her to have an appointment with a specialist chair company to have a chair tailor made. Please persevere and make sure that your mum's head position is taken seriously, so that she doesn't end up like mine.
Your wheelchair service should be the ones to sort this out. Posture should be an all important thing which concerns them - wheelchair cushion and wheelchair backrest should be their areas. Mention a RoHo Quad to them, they ought to know what it is. Your mum obviously needs more body support. You might mention the dreaded words 'pressure sores' to them as well (they don't like that, cos if the wheelchair they're responsible for the correct wheelchair to prevent these).

You can buy RoHo Quad cushions privately (at a Cost, note the capital C ............ :shock:), but the wheelchair service should get you one, or at least a suitable one.
Bun - different wheelchairs obviously need different size of cushions, make sure the wheechair service give you a cushion which actually fits the chair. They don't always think of that! (as we've experienced before). Just saying.
Thanks for all your replies. You've been very helpful. Unfortunately I think is't too late for my mam as well bowlingbun. She's had osteoporosis for years. Although she found it more and more difficult to stand straight over the last few years, she has got worse since my dad died in almost 18months ago. Now she can't walk at all and the physios that have seen her have not attempted to help her walk or done anything about trying to straighten her back a little. To me is seems like they've just allowed her to continue to bend over double. I knew that there would come a time when she couldn't walk, but it was less than a year ago when I could get her to walk along the hall to the stairlift and get her upstairs to the toilet and shower. The trouble is I get her loads of things to help her while she's in the chair. She says they work and she feels comfortable but then after a couple of weeks she says they are hurting her. I'll try getting in touch with the wheelchair services again.