Did you know wheelchairs are not just about the user? As Occupational Therapists, we need to think about not only the user, but we also need to consider those that may be helping them to use their chair at home and in the community.
ATTENDANT - PROPELLED FUNCTION
Some manual and power wheelchairs have an attendant-propelling function. In manual wheelchairs, you can tell it is an attendant-propelled, or transit wheelchair, by the small back wheels. In a power or electric wheelchair, the attendant is able to push, steer, and engage the brakes while standing behind the user
POWER ASSIST DEVICES
Power assist devices are mechanisms that act as a motor on an otherwise manual wheelchair. These are extremely effective for wheelchair users and attendants when mobilising over long distances, up inclines (hills or ramps), and maximise propulsion efficiency if the user is self-propelling. This reduces the load through the shoulders and wrists, reducing the risk of serious degeneration through these joints long-term. Power assists can also support carers or family members to push the user more safely and efficiently, reducing the force required to push them along.
personal care equipment
Attendance propulsion is not exclusive to wheelchairs; it can also apply to shower and toilet commode chairs. High-needs users requiring physical assistance with showering and/or toileting are likely to require attendant propulsion in their personal care equipment.