Caregivers for dependent seated long-term care residents often attempt to control both pressure redistribution of a patient independently from the functionality of a positioning or rehabilitation chair or wheelchair. Medical professionals and seating specialists — particularly occupational, physical therapists and assistive technology professionals (ATPs) — order a custom-fit chair frame to handle positioning and functionality, and then they separately manage wound care or pressure redistribution by selecting cushions for seating.
This separation in prescribing for both clinical needs is part of the reason clinicians and specialists are skeptical of something like Comfort Tension Seating® (CTS), which is a pressure redistribution seating component that comes directly integrated into most of Broda’s chairs and wheelchairs. They see the seating straps that cover a Broda product looks very different from the cushions and seating systems that they are a custom to using. As with most things in life, looks can be deceiving.
In truth, the simple seating system combined with lack of excessive padding already integrated into the frame can lead to as good if not better patient outcomes and ease of care for a range of conditions, especially found in long-term care.
Optimized Seating and Function Without Cushions
Clinicians and therapists have an incredibly limited amount of time to stay up-to-date on seating and positioning for rehab, mobility chairs, and wheelchairs. So when they’re taught that cushions on top of a solid seat pan are the only way to properly seat patients, it’s understandable that they take it as gospel.
Broda’s CTS-integrated chairs and wheelchairs offer similar pressure redistribution qualities as cushions combining dynamic, comfortable seating and optimal tilt-in-space functionality into a single chair. Instead of seat and back cushions, Comfort Tension Seating® chairs feature innovative straps that individually conform to a patient’s body. The proprietary strapping becomes malleable over time and with body heat, allowing the seat and back to conform to be a perfectly comfortable, safe, and clinically valid custom seating solution. By distributing that weight and pressure over a series of straps, CTS chairs can provide unparalleled relief, especially for patients who are seated for long periods of time throughout the day like elderly hospice and assisted living residents.
In addition to pressure redistribution, Comfort Tension Seating® allows for better mobility for foot self-propelling patients because CTS keeps them close to the floor instead of adding a few extra inches to the seat with a cushion. Also, Broda’s seating solution is enhanced with standard laterals or bolsters that prevent patients from leaning or slumping into a potentially harmful position, which is often found in senior and assisted living environments. Broda’s unified seating and positioning systems provide the comfort, positioning, and mobility that patients need.
How Integrated Confort Tension Seating Works
Comfortable, comprehensive therapy
Because Broda’s Comfort Tension Seating® straps conform to patients’ bodies, they offer a highly effective and more comfortable solution than most cushions can provide. This level of comfort is particularly important for long-term care patients who require more therapeutic accommodation than correction. Combined with adjustable tilt-in-space positioning, the straps can provide improved blood flow and oxygenation, better pain management, and reduced risk of skin shear.
Multiple-point pressure redistribution
Proper pressure redistribution is as important as comfort, and tension seating is designed to adjust to meet each patient’s unique needs. As the straps conform to a patient’s contours, they also distribute the weight across multiple points — reducing tension and the risk of pressure sores. For senior and assisted living patients, pressure sores are a nightmare. For facilities and caregivers, they can be costly and frustrating. The use of our integrated CTS chairs, wheelchairs, and other products helps prevent these sores from being a problem in the first place.
Dynamic accommodation for movement
Patients who experience agitations and involuntary muscle movements benefit from the improved comfort and pressure redistribution of Comfort Tension Seating®. The seating is dynamic, which means it provides adaptability to accommodate the thousands of natural daily micro and macro body pressure readjustments. Because this technology is integrated directly into the chair frame, it can be ideal for patients who have conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. Integrated CTS systems are designed to accommodate not only conditions that require individuals to be seated for long periods of time, but also conditions that are accompanied by tremors and involuntary movements.
Long-term structural durability
Integrating tension seating straps into the frames of our chairs reduces the wear and tear that the seats sustain over time. Conventional cushions can become ripped, torn, or even lost over time — and they are not cheap to replace. Broda’s chairs and wheelchairs boast legendary durability, with some equipment still being effectively used by clinicians after more than 20 years in long-term facilities. The integrated Comfort Tension Seating® is built into the 16-gauge steel chair frame that adds a safe base for tilting and reclining a patient. This stable base also makes it easier to safely transfer patients to and from the bed. The unmatched durability and functionality of Broda’s chairs and wheelchairs improve patients’ quality of life, and their reliability helps facilities optimize their return on investment.
Simplified cleaning and maintenance
The long operational life of our chairs and wheelchairs is great, but many people appreciate the ease with which they can be maintained. For instance, unlike air cushions, our straps don’t need to be constantly re-inflated or adjusted. And unlike conventional Geri chairs in long-term care, there is no need to purchase expensive cushions. Patients don’t have to go to great lengths to avoid dirtying or soiling the straps of their chairs or wheelchairs from Broda, as they are easy to clean and quick to disinfect.
For the past 37 years, facilities, patients, and families have relied on Broda’s dependable seating solutions. In addition to chairs and wheelchairs, we offer a Comfort Tension Seating® integrated seating lines that include shower and commode chairs, gliders, and other patient transport equipment.
Still curious about what separates Broda from the rest? Learn more about the Comfort Tension Seating® that’s an integral part of our full line of tilt-in-space positioning, mobility, rehab, and long-term care devices. Or see all the products that utilize Comfort Tension Seating®.