Specialist seating in hospices is integral to the overall care of the patient. In any hospice, you’ll usually find that residents spend a lot of time laid or sat down, so the item that they’re sitting on needs to deliver the best comfort and support possible to enhance quality of life. We’ve supplied a lot of specialist seating to hospices in our time, and we designed the Arene to specifically suit the robust needs of hospices. So here’s a brief guide of what to look for in hospice seating.
Check the fit
There’s no point investing in a chair that simply does fit the patient’s body shape and type. It would be a bit like buying a pair of shoes that are two sizes too small! With that in mind, hospices need to choose equipment that can meet the needs of many different users over a significant length of time.
Any good quality rise and recline hospice chair should be available in different sizes and models. For instance, the Arene comes in small, medium, and large sizes, as well as bariatric. This flexibility will help to keep hospice residents comfortable and supported during their time there.
Another thing to consider is various positioning. For a hospice environment, you need a chair that can keep someone comfortable in different positions throughout the day. Rise and recline chairs are ideal for this, as they allow the user to adjust their position to suit their needs.
We would always recommend looking at including tilt-in-space in any hospice seating. This is a slightly different position which helps to redistribute body weight through a bigger surface area of the chair. This helps to tackle problematic pressure ulcers, which can harm quality of care and life.
For an individual with more complex needs, look at different backrests for the chair. In hospices, it’s not too uncommon to find patients who have significantly reduced strength in their core. This, in turn, has a significant effect on their posture and comfort when seated.
Choosing a chair that has a more supportive backrest can really help to maintain better posture and positioning when the person spends a long time seated. A lateral backrest can help with this, with soft cushioning down either side to help guide the user’s spine into a healthier position. This feature is available on the Arene chair, along with a waterfall backrest and a contemporary one.
Additional features to consider
For multiuser healthcare facilities like hospices, there are a few additional things to consider when it comes to seating. These options should help to protect the longevity of the chair and make it easier to use with different patients throughout the hospice.
- Large Castors: Adding castors to a chair immediately makes it much easier to move around. So if you need to use the chair in various locations around your hospice, we strongly recommend it has these fitted.
- Accupak Battery System: This is a common add-on for hospice seating. The Accupak is a rechargeable battery unit, which means the chairs can be used all over whilst charging with no hazardous trailing wires.
- Pressure Relief Gel Cushion: This can be built-in to the seat of the chair to provide an extra layer of pressure relief. This will help to stop pressure from building up in the user’s posterior and sacrum, which often happens as a result of sitting for a long time.
- Sensor Mat: This is a particularly useful feature for hospice chairs – the mat can be fitted into the cushion and will signal to nurses that the patient has stood up. This will help to minimise the risk of falls whilst the user is unattended.
Always arrange a trial
Before you commit to buying any chair(s) for your hospice, we highly recommend you trial the models you are interested in. Any quality equipment supplier will be happy to leave their chair with you on trial for a good length of time. There’s nothing better than seeing the chair in action first and judging whether it will fulfil you patients’ needs.
Try to get feedback on the chair from as many people as possible. Nurses, patients, and even patients’ families can give insight as to how the chair has performed and ultimately helped the person using it.
Our Arene range can be booked for free trials at any hospice throughout the UK. Get in touch with us if you need more information.