Maintaining a high quality of life is very important for all people regardless of age and size. Whether you require comfort, pressure relief, mobility aids, wheelchairs, bathroom and toileting aids or any other rehabilitation or disability related piece of equipment, it is necessary to find one that it suitable for you and fits your body perfectly. Bariatric equipment caters for people who have larger and/or heavier bodies and require bigger, more sturdy pieces of equipment. In healthcare, bariatrics is a growing field with many products available to help and assist the larger user. Here are a few bariatric aids that will help improve quality of life.
COMFORT AND PRESSURE CARE
Cushions are a great way to invoke comfort and care into day to day living. Cushions are adaptable, versatile and highly functional and offer many benefits. Well-designed cushions can provide one of, or a combination of the following:
– Proper back support and alignment (specifically the lumbar spine)
– Coccyx support and alignment
– Pelvic support and alignment
Supportive cushions are highly beneficial for people who sit for long periods throughout the day whether that be in a wheelchair, a lounge chair or a chair at work. Bigger people need more supportive cushions as their bodies, bones and joints are larger and thus more stress and pressure is put through them. Cushions such as the Gelina offer support and pressure relief for bariatric clients. Supportive, comfortable, pressure relieving cushions are a sure way to improve quality of life for the bariatric user.
Wheelchairs are a must have for people with severe mobility impairments who still want to move about. Living without a wheelchair can limit, restrict and confine you to one room and can completely deplete your quality of life. Having a wheelchair will provide a means of transport for getting someone moving around the house and outside. Bariatric users require a durable, strong and sturdy wheelchair to properly support and carry them. Bariatric wheelchairs offer a larger frame and sitting area to accommodate for larger users while still offering many wheelchair features such as swing-away arms and adjustable foot plates.
Similar to bariatric wheelchairs, bariatric walking aids are necessary for bariatric users as the frames need to be larger and stronger as they’ll be supporting more weight. Bariatric walking aids include bariatric forearm walkers, bariatric walking frames and rollators and bariatric crutches. All these aids can assist users who have difficulty walking due to leg, hip, knee or ankle weakness, stiffness and/or pain. Walking aids are an easy way to increase a person’s mobility and freedom when they struggle to move independently.
Forearm walkers are designed with special forearm pads to reduce the pressure placed on hands and wrists while using the walking aid. It is a great walking aid for people with weakened or painful wrists who cannot place weight through them.
Walking frames and rollators have a four-legged frame with zero, two or four wheels. These frames are pushed along the ground as the user walks. Walking frames and rollators are ideal for use around the home and within the community, assisting with mobility and stability to prevent falls.
Crutches are used to take weight and load off your knees and/or ankles, usually used after surgeries such as total knee replacements. The crutches allow you to shift your weight from your weakened/painful leg onto the crutches.
All these bariatric walking aids offer heavy duty, sturdy and reliable assistance for bariatric users to improve quality of life.
Over toilet aids and commodes are necessary for people who need a higher toilet seat height or simply cannot get to the toilet. An over toilet aid is a piece of equipment that usually consists of a heightened seat with rails either side that is positioned over a toilet. These aids are used to assist people who need extra support and stability when sitting down, standing up and using the toilet.
Commodes are a device that can be thought of as a ‘transportable toilet’. A commode is simply a chair with a cutout in the middle that is used as a toilet. Most commodes attach a pot under the cutout as a collection bucket. Some pots are detachable allowing the commode to be used as an over toilet aid too.
It is important for bariatric users that these aids and commodes can support their full weight as well as be large enough to sit on. Bariatric over toilet aids and commodes are designed with wider seats and sturdier, reinforced frames to accommodate larger hip widths and heavier weights. These aids, if needed, will drastically improve quality of life.
Larger people need specialised aids to properly assist and support them when needed. These aids need to be durable, solid and sturdy enough to support heavier users and increased weight. It is important to acknowledge and note the ‘safe working limit (SWL)’ of these products when choosing the right aid as this will tell you the maximum weight the product is suitable for.