Page 23 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
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ent and his or her caregivers, a therapist, the medical provider, and a durable medical equipment provider. Sometimes a nurse or manufacturer’s representa- tive is involved in providing additional information. Each member of the assessment team helps provide a complete picture of the client’s medical and func- tional needs, ensuring that the appropriate equip- ment is selected.
The evaluation is broken into four parts: an inter- view, a mat assessment, an equipment simulation, and the equipment specification. The focus of the interview process is to “paint the picture” for the therapist and equipment provider. Questions can in- clude the medical diagnosis, current equipment and what is or isn’t working, what limitations are experi- enced, pain issues, the amount of time spent in the wheelchair, how the equipment is transported and used, and most importantly the goals for the new equipment.
The second phase, or mat assessment, involves transferring the client to a mat so the therapist can evaluate the client’s musculoskeletal, neuromuscu- lar and integumentary (skin, hair, nails, and glands) systems. This evaluation can include range of mo- tion, muscle strength and tone, motor control, pos- tural symmetries/asymmetries, and balance. The mat’s stability helps the therapist to assess the cli- ent’s posture and support needs,
which determines the elements or equipment that should be incor- porated into the wheelchair.
Information gathered from the interview and mat evaluation shapes phases three and four – the selection of equipment and the equipment simulation. Gay- lord has a large selection of equip- ment on site, including manual and power wheelchairs. Power as- sist systems and support surfaces, including back supports and seat cushions are also available for cli- ents to try. The equipment simu- lation is critical to ensuring that clients can easily propel and oper- ate the equipment and in identify- ing the correct support surfaces for positioning and pressure relief and comfort. After pinpointing the most effective equipment to meet the client’s needs, a letter of medi- cal necessity is generated.
Phase four of the wheelchair assessment is a 45 to 90 minute fitting of the new equipment. A
durable medical equipment provider and a rehab technician or the therapist will make any necessary adjustments. Small adjustments can mean the dif- ference between independence and equipment not being used.
Additional services offered through Gaylord’s Wheelchair Assessment Services include com- puterized pressure mapping to determine how to provide optimal pressure relief while sitting in the wheelchair, standing frame evaluations, and custom molded seat cushion and back support fabrication. For more information about Gaylord’s Wheelchair Assessment Services or to make an appointment for an assessment call (203) 284-2888, option 1.
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation- focused, nonprofit health system, located in Walling- ford, Connecticut, that provides inpatient and out- patient care for people at every point in their journey from illness or injury to maximum recovery.
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare includes three components. Gaylord Hospital offers medical reha- bilitation for acute illnesses, accidents, or complex medical conditions. Gaylord Outpatient Services of- fers nearly 40 programs for a wide range of neurolog- ical conditions. Gaylord Physical Therapy provides orthopedic rehabilitation for recovery from surgery or injury.

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