The Experiences of Using an Anti-Collision Power Wheelchair for Three Long-Term Care Home Residents With Mild Cognitive ImpairmentBy Wang, Rosalie H.; Kontos, Pia C.; Holliday, Pamela J.; Fernie, Geoff R.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 347-363
Publication Date: July 2011
Paper presents three case analyses of long term care home residents with cognitive impairment who tested an anti-collision power wheelchair. The prototype chair used was a Nimble Rocket joystick controlled power wheelchair modified with a contact sensor skirt that caused movement of the chair to stop on contact with an obstacle. Participants were 3 male manual wheelchair users aged 88 to 91 years who were diagnosed with dementia. Case studies involved 371 hours of participant observation and 7 hours of open-ended interviews with the three participants, three family members, and 11 clinical staff members. Two of the three participants completed a 12 session training protocol, after which they were able to drive the power wheelchair independently and without supervision around their nursing units. Both declined continued use of the power wheelchair at the end of, and 18 months following intervention, respectively. The third participant participated in four training sessions before declining use of the power chair and discontinuing study participation. Results analysis generated themes related to technological, psychological, and social aspects of residents’ attitudes towards power mobility use. While observations and reports from staff and family members demonstrated encouragement for residents using the power wheelchair, residents presented with ambivalence about its use in regard to its potential for increased independence and the impact of its design on their self image, especially its aesthetics and slow speed. The authors conclude that technology alone is insufficient to help residents to fully benefit from the autonomy provided by a wheelchair intervention; rather, close attention is required to the social and organizational factors of institutional life.
Assistive Products Discussed: ROCKET
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )