PAC Will Have You on the Edge of Your Seat
by Stephanie "Teffie" Landmann, COTA/L,
PAC Support Mentor, Coach, and Trainer
The first thought I have when I say mobility and movement is walking or getting around in a wheelchair. Both are a big part of mobility and movement, but there is so much more. For example, getting up out of a chair? When was the last time you actively thought about getting up from a seated position to stand? For me it’s when I was about to get up from a hammock. From a chair, I can’t say I actively think about it, I just do it.
Check out this video where Amanda helps with Hand-under-Hand® (HuH) to support someone from sitting to standing.
Take a look at these chairs. What do you see? Which chair looks easiest to go from sitting to standing? Which one looks safe? If you answered the green one with stripes, yes. If you answered none of them, yes.
The blue chair is on wheels and could roll away from you as you are trying to stand up. The black chair in the middle is not on wheels, but it is so low to the ground I might as well be sitting on the floor. The green chair with the stripes has a seat higher from the floor and arm rests, but it still has a very deep seat.
Usually, we don’t think about the steps needed to get from sitting to standing. Add in brain change to the sensory motor strip and even the easiest movements become a bit more difficult. For someone living with brain change we might need to break it down step by step for them. Bring your feet back (pause), scoot forward (pause), lean forward (pause), push up or stand up.
Try it at home in one of your own chairs, safely please. Sit all the way back in your chair with your back against the back rest. Now, stand up. Did you do it? Did you cheat? Did you scoot forward and lean forward? I did. The brain goes so fast on a movement that I’ve been doing for many years. Let’s try it again, this time don’t scoot forward and don’t learn forward. How did that go? I’m still sitting. I can’t get up without being on the edge of my seat and leaning forward.