The Delfi Pro from Consolor makes a real difference to Angel
Six year old Angel Street from Dorset is a fantastic example of what a difference the recently launched Delfi Pro seating system from Consolor can make.
Angel was born with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy which affects the movement in all her limbs and means she requires extremely specialist seating as Angel’s OT Mary Morris explained: “As the OT here at Langside School www.diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk I have been heavily involved in the upgrading of Angel’s equipment and nothing is more vital than her seating system”. Working closely with Angel’s parents, Mary and the wheelchair clinic assessed many different seating systems however nothing could match the level of support and comfort Angel received from the Delfi Pro.
Mary continued: “Angel’s level of CP results in her having a strong extensor thrust and developing established patterns of movement which we are always looking to change. The clever design of the Delfi Pro offers Angel superb levels of support at all times. The expanding back rest allows her to push against it when she is in extension and then as she slowly relaxes it brings her back to a better position for her hips and helps her stay symmetrical. I would certainly recommend fellow OT’s and parents consider Consolor when looking to purchase a new seating system” concluded Mary.
The unique qualities of the Delfi Pro are what make it such a special product and set it apart from any other on the market. It has a Dynamic backrest, which allows the seating system to absorb spasticity and therefore prevents the child from losing pelvic position in the seat during spasm. To further prevent a posterior pelvic position from being adopted, the system is fitted with a fully adjustable pre-ischial bar. As well as comfort and functionality, the Delfi Pro provides the user with enhanced flexibility as it can be fitted to any model of wheelchair or powerchair and can easily be transferred between indoor and outdoor bases promoting increased freedom and independence for the user and family.
Angel has been attending Langside School in Dorset for nearly three years and is one of 24 pupils all of whom have severe multi levels of disability. “Having a facility like this for Angel and the support of people like Mary and Consolor makes such a difference” commented Angel’s mother Paula. In the nine months that Angel has been using the Delfi Pro her parents and teachers have both noticed the change in her. As Paula continued, “If you or I are not comfortable this will affect our mood and the same is so true with Angel who is so much happier since she started using the Delfi Pro. In fact Angel spends the whole day in it whether at school or at home which means we can now enjoy days out as a family without having to transfer Angel and with the recline function Angel can be moved to a more horizontal position when tired.”
The Delfi Pro is a modular paediatric seating system, fully adjustable in both a symmetrical and asymmetrical manner, making it a cost effective investment for anyone looking for a high quality, versatile product that improves positioning and posture.
Parents and carers can feel confident that the Delfi Pro will always provide the best possible support to the user and if anything needs changing adjustments can be made with ease. The product comes in three sizes with sized parts fully interchangeable for example a size 1 seat could feature a size 3 leg support. This allows for a wealth of options and greater scope for growth. Consolor also offers a wide range of belts, buckles and accessories including footrests, trays, headrests and covers so further customising your bespoke Delfi Pro is simple.
A final word from Angel’s mother: “It is not easy to put into words how impressed we have been with the Delfi Pro, Consolor and our contact Kieran. From the very first meeting nothing has been too much trouble for Kieran and even though we have now had the Delfi Pro for nearly a year we still speak to Kieran on a regular basis regarding Angel’s ongoing requirements. I would urge every parent to speak to Kieran before making any decision on seating systems”.
Enabling Family Independence with Seating
As a child he was provided with a manual wheelchair to enable him to mobilize independently. In his early teens he was given a custom made power chair with a hi/lo function,which was capable of in and outdoor use. This is the only wheelchair provision that Richard has required over the years. In adulthood Richard opted for prosthetic limbs and still uses these for everyday life outside with the aid of walking sticks. These have also given Richard the freedom of driving independently. Indoors, Richard rarely uses his prosthetics and he still uses the power chair he was given during his teens for its hi/lo function enabling him to access the food preparation and cooking areas in the kitchen. Apart from that, Richard is very active and has tremendous upper body strength enabling him to transfer independently throughout their ground floor flat. Richard lives with his wife and they were due to have their first baby two months after my first meeting.
The challenge was to develop a seating system that would allow Richard to independently care for his baby boy. Richard wanted to be able to care for his son within the home environment, this would include, feeding, transferring in and out of the cot and moving his son to the changing table.
Richard was aware that he would need some alternative support to ensure he would be able to lift the baby independently and safely. The main objectives of this piece of equipment were to allow Richard to have a range of movement, while maintaining a stable and safe position, for example leaning forwards with both arms free. This would enable him to hold his baby securely whilst placing him in his cot or on a changing table.
Technique – The moulding technique was carried out like any other conventional custom seating. We used a tilt in space wheelchair and a moulding bag to capture Richard’s body shape, paying particular attention to his pelvis’ shape. We evacuated the air and then plastered the impression to preserve the shape ready for manufacturing.
We factored in lateral and anterior support thus freeing both arms for these activities in the form of a bespoke, custom made moulded seating shell. It was mounted on to an electrically operated indoor hi/lo base with the seating shell positioned in an anterior tilt as its normal and functional operating position. When the electric rearward tilt was engaged it would then bring the system back to a neutral upright position. Across the laterals we fitted a padded 40mm Velcro securing strap giving security while tilted forward.
Testing – It was decided that it would be worthwhile conducting a mid-fit to ensure we were meeting our objectives and that the base was stable enough for all the distal functions Richard completes. With the cot in position, we were able to carry out simulated actions Richard would be required to perform. This gave us a better idea of where to position the anterior padded belt to give maximum support and reassurance to Richard. We were also able to fine-tune the interface angle thus ensuring that Richard could achieve the required amount of forward movement to make certain he could retrieve his son from the cot. It was also identified that the back of the moulded shell would need several cm’s removed so that when Richard was to hold his son over his shoulder he wouldn’t come in to contact with the shell
Conclusion – Richard using the equipment is now able to care for his son independently. He is now self sufficient and has the ability to place his son in his cot, reassure his son during the night if needed and also transfer him from the cot to the changing table. All of these activities are performed at various heights with easy use of the electric hi/lo function of the base. This equipment has given Richard a full and active role in such a demanding time of his son’s life.
Consolor helps Dan achieve his goals
Despite living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, 19 year old Daniel Saunders is in his third year of Oakmead College, Bournemouth, studying Forensic Science and Travel and Tourism. The challenges he’s faced at college have been eased greatly by his bespoke, moulded Consolor seating system, which he’s had for just over a year.
The seat has made a huge difference to his daily routine, giving Dan enormous independence and enabling him to really apply himself at college and create better opportunities for the future. “My Consolor seat allows me to do so much more, especially at college. I’m able to be there all day and really get on with my work without having to get out regularly and stretch, because my seat supports me in a very comfortable way.”
Sue Howarth, Dan’s TA/PA, commented: “The Consolor seating system is helping Dan enormously at college. Before, when he was in his older chair, I would have to adjust him to make him comfortable but now I don’t have to do that and we can just get on and do the work. He’s so much happier, able to take more in and focuses better, all because he’s more comfortable.”
It’s not just at college that Dan’s seat has given a new lease of life; he also finds it easier to enjoy the things he loves doing when he’s not busy studying: “Outside of college I can go out with my mates, go shopping, and even go out for a walk with the dogs. It has totally opened my world. I chose Consolor because Joint Owner Kieran came highly recommended by a friend, which gave me great confidence in Consolor and the work Kieran does. I was buying a private chair and when I bought the seat Kieran moulded it and he’s now done the same with my NHS chair. I had looked at different makes but others I’ve used are more expensive, so I wanted to try something new, and working with Consolor was so easy because Kieran could come to my house. As a company Consolor has been extremely helpful and I now consider Kieran a friend.”
The freedom that his Consolor seat has given Dan is evident in his enthusiasm for the future; after finishing college he plans to take a gap year and then go on to start up his own business or do a foundation degree.
Dan’s mother Sarah is also delighted with the difference that his Consolor seat has made: “The seat, which is moulded to Dan’s shape, has absolutely changed his life, making it so much easier for him to do the things he wants to. The Consolor team are brilliant at everything they do and they are great with the adult or child they’re dealing with, as well as the parents. With Consolor it’s not just a case of supplying the product and that’s it; Kieran still helps us now! The Consolor seat is so much better quality than any seat Dan has had before and the service we get from Kieran is second to none. I would definitely recommend Consolor to anyone looking for a specialist seating solution.”
One of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of seating systems, Consolor was born through a desire to provide the best possible products with a service to match. Kieran commented: “Consolor believes that the safety, comfort and quality of life of its clients are the most important factors in the provision of all products and services. What makes working with people like Dan so rewarding is seeing how much they appreciate their Consolor product and the way that it enhances their independence and enjoyment of all aspects of life.”
Consolor supplies to the NHS as well as the private sector and its product range consists of a number of high quality off-the-shelf products in addition to fully bespoke options. You can be sure that Consolor will always find the best possible solution to suit any requirement so for more information visit www.consolor.co.uk or contact Kieran and the team on 01202 827650
Sports Success Stories
Consolor are able to adapt their contoured seating systems to aid sports players in achieving their maximum potential. By applying the same approach and theories that are implemented in most contoured seats, sports seats can be designed and tailored to the individual user to improve posture, support comfort and performance. Read below to find out how some of our sports seats have helped athletes and clubs.
Another sports star Consolor has helped along the way is 19-year-old Abbie, a Paralympic star in the making. Abbie is aiming to compete in both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. The club thrower is also on the Paralympic Futures Programme by British Athletics, the sports national governing body, after throwing 17.79m and finishing 6th in the world’s rankings.
Abbie competed in the Swansea 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships where she came fourth where she beat her personal best, managing to throw over 19m. Abbie also achieved Bronze in the IPC World Championship in Doha!
Consolor provided us with two seats for Abbie to use; one for her day chair and another for her throwing frame.
The seat Abbie uses for her day chair is custom contoured to fit Abbie’s shape, which means she can sit comfortably and securely without slipping forward and tilting her hips.
Abbie needs to sit upright and have strong core strength to control her body when throwing, so having a seat specifically matching Abbie’s shape to use in her day chair has really helped her posture and ultimately her throwing.
The seat for her throwing frame was just what we needed! Shaped so that it tilts from the front to back to ensure she stays put when throwing was essential. The cover was also a consideration; it is made from a fabric that doesn’t let her slip whilst keeping her cool – particularly important for the hot conditions she faced in Doha.
Thanks to Consolor this extra bit of help makes that little bit of difference, and perhaps the bit that helped her gain the Bronze Medal in the World Championships!
Last updated: October 2015.
Jim, a SailAbility member, and his fiancée Charlotte, reached out to Consolor after a stroke meant Jim was no longer able to go out onto the waters as he found the seats too uncomfortable and lacking support – he would often slip forward and end up in a lying position.
Charlotte said: “For Jim and others in similar circumstances, this will make the difference between whether they can sail or not. Before, it was far too uncomfortable for him to venture out on to the water but now thanks to the new sailing seat, he has signed himself up for as many more sails as he can!
“Believe me when I say, the efforts of everyone at Consolor are greatly appreciated – the seat looks and feels wonderful and I am extremely impressed.”
Although it was Jim who was initially assessed for the Sailing Seat, its symmetry and size means that many others can also enjoy and reap the benefits.
“Everyone who has been able to use the seat has reported how very comfortable it is and that it has made his or her sail much more enjoyable.”
Comfort, quality and safety are the three key elements Consolor considers when delivering a seating system. The Contoured Sailing Seat was designed to provide comfort as well as support for the user’s posture.
The carved foam that was used can offer pressure relief and support whilst the materials and shape makes the overall seat quite insulating and is low on maintenance requirements – making it ideal for use on the waters!
Last updated: January 2015
Click here for more information on specialist sailing seating or go to ourDocuments page to download.
Sports Success Stories
Mel is a hugely successful Paralymic Archer, having won both Silver at London 2012 and Bronze at Beijing 2008. Her other accolades include winning Gold at the European Championships in 2002 and becoming the first disabled archer in Europe to win a place on the national able bodied team in 2003.
Her current chair did not provide much lateral support but provided some reference points so she knew how to position herself when shooting. Mel’s seating requirements included a back support system and a more supportive and stable seat. There were also certain rules that were applicable to Mel’s physical ability grouping; the thoracic lateral supports cannot be deeper than half the depth of the trunk and straps, including pelvic belts, cannot be used.
The session was helpful in providing insight into Mel’s technique – which is very different from her teammates. Having no feeling below her abdomen – where the core stability usually comes from – and no sight in her right eye – which should be her shooting eye – Mel’s technique is very different, biomechanically. It was also observed that when shooting, Mel’s pelvis would tilt before coming back to a level position.
Mel was moulded using a beanbag. The mould was made very tight, firm and slightly undercut to ensure that it looked her in position. Underneath was also shaped to limit the dynamic pelvic obliquity. On initial testing, Mel found the chair much more stable.
The mould was turned into a very firm carved foam cushion in a plastic shell, which was fitted to the chair with a drop hook interface. After a few weeks, the seat was further improved by the addition of an ‘active user’ 10” MaTRx Elite back support and a ½” thick evazote layer cover – further improving the stability of the chair. Two new reference points were also added in the form of solid plastic cylinders, which were rounded at the end, enabling Mel to feel where she needed to be precisely in every plane before firing an arrow.
The seat proved successful when the following weekend, Mel shot 11 points higher than her personal best!
Last updated: October 2014.