Page 22 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
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Wallingford Magazine – Summer, 2019
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare’s Wheelchair Assessment Services Helps Clients Get the Best Wheelchair For Their Needs
by Kimberly C. Thompson
“The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive devices for enhancing the personal mobility of people with disabilities. An estimated 1% of the world’s population needs a wheelchair.” World Health Organization
A wheelchair and associated equipment that is carefully matched to the user’s needs and body can make many everyday activities physically easier and less emotionally stressful.
But overuse injuries, pressure wounds, chronic pain syndromes, depression, and other problems can arise when someone depends on a wheelchair for mobility. Ill-fitting equipment can affect accessi- bility, impact basic daily needs, and can cause arm, shoulder, and skin problems.
Hundreds of wheelchair users and their equip-
ment are evaluated every year through Gaylord Specialty Healthcare’s Wheelchair Assessment Ser- vices, which is located at the hospital’s Wallingford campus. A team of experts performs a comprehen- sive assessment. Jillian Cacopardo, MPT, ATP, SMS, is the clinic’s clinical program coordinator. “Wheel- chairs are not one-size-fits-all,” said Cacopardo. “There are hundreds of chairs, seating options, add- on technology, and other options to consider... find- ing the correct, unique combination to meet each individual’s needs is a science.”
Cacopardo, who is one of only a handful of certi- fied seating and mobility specialists in Connecticut, explained that the certification recognizes the prac- titioner’s competence in performing seating, mobil- ity, and positioning assessments, as well as, funding, intervention, and outcome assessments.
The initial 90-minute evaluation includes the cli-

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