Unfortunately, obesity is a real problem in Wales with the latest statistics reporting that 24% of adults fall into this category. This means there every chance that an OT will find themselves dealing with a bariatric patient. The seating requirements for bariatric patients are different to other patients, so it is important to know what to look for. Here is a quick guide to the most important factors to help your patient remain comfortable and reduce the risk of injuries.
Support around the lumbar region
Due to the excess weight carried around the lumbar region and buttocks, a bariatric patient will not need the same level of support that other patients do. In fact, it may be necessary to remove a cushion to allow correct posture and prevent forward curvature of the spine.
Give ample room for the legs and calves
The ideal resting position for the legs is at 90 degrees, with the feet resting flat on the floor or a footrest to evenly distribute weight. When legs and calves are larger, it may be necessary to look for a chair with a leg rest that retracts underneath the seat to give the extra space required.
Increase contact with the chair
The less a patient’s body is in contact with their chair, the higher the risk of pressure injuries. This is especially true for bariatric patients, due to the increased pressure on the contact points. One of the most effective ways to combat this is to ensure a greater seat depth. This will help the patient stay upright, and spread their weight across the buttocks, thighs and lumbar region.
In conclusion –
It’s impossible to seat a bariatric patient correctly without the right chair. The chairs in our Bariatric Range combine all the above features and more, and we are always happy to demonstrate the chairs to help you give the very best assistance to your patients.