In Inpatient Rehab and Skilled Nursing Facilities it is common to have patients that are unable to sit independently. For these patients, learning to sit again safely is a big goal. Although originally designed to train standing balance, the ADL Balance Trainer is helpful for sitting balance too. The following blog post will highlight 3 ways to use the Trainer to help improve sitting balance.
- Wheel patient into ADL Balance Trainer and remove foot rests, arm rests, and scoot them forward on seat pan (prevents using chair for support). As noted in previous post (5 Tips for Learning to Stand Again Using the ADL Balance Trainer), remove the black platform, sit on a rolling stool in front of patient, and use your handling skills to spot and facilitate. With this set up it is easy to improve sitting posture by blocking/facilitating trunk movements and encouraging weight shifting/tilting at the pelvis, to name a few. Additionally, with the Trainer on each side and you in front, the patient naturally feels more safe and secure.
- Use Placing Games to motivate patients to move into needed directions. For example, patients with "pusher syndrome" tend to lean back and/or to one side in their chair and struggle to shift their weight forward. By placing platforms low and far in front, patients are motivated to lean and shift their weight forward, reaching down to place cone or ring on platform. As the patient improves, moves the platforms further forward and away to progress patient into increasing ranges of forward bending and reaching.
- When sitting, patients are able to work the same ADL Balance Games as standing patients- just lower the vertical platforms to a height that patient can reach (see picture at top of blog). Balance Games are a great way to improve sitting endurance, trunk strength, and stability with reaching tasks. Similar to Tip 2, move platforms further away from patient as they improve - increasing reaching and balance challenges.