For therapists working in Early Intervention with 3-5 year olds transitioning into the school system, the dilemma arrives with parents often preferring a lightweight stroller base versus the standard heavier wheelchair. Another scenario occurs when the older child or young adult lacks endurance, strength to ambulate throughout the day or self-propel, but does ambulate in classroom brief periods. An example is a client with mitochondrial defect. Self-propulsion is too energy consuming and power requires a van with lift. The individual or family desires a lightweight solution.
Looking from the other perspective, clinicians, ATPs and some caregivers offer four reasons why they do not prescribe or purchase more “stroller” style wheelchairs: age appropriateness of the design, no width growth, perception of poor durability and ability to provide more complex adaptive seating.
During the first quarter of 2018, Convaid | R82 will launch the Convaid Flyer that fulfills the above requests bridging the gap between the lightweight stroller realm and the traditional wheelchair frame. The Convaid Flyer, one of the lightest central gravity tilt frames on the North American market, has a seat pan that grows 4” in width and depth, a height adjustable back, provides 5° anterior to 40° posterior tilt, as well as seat to back angle adjustment (with option for full recline).
The frame itself is both unique in design and extremely lightweight, appealing aesthetically to both young and older clientele. A 12” base frame weighs approximately 14 lbs. and seating system with front-rigging approximately 15.5 lbs. Without front rigging (3.4lbs.), the seating system is only 12.1 lbs allowing for easy portability, continuing in Convaid’s landmark motto Now You’re Going Places. Seat to floor height can be 15” or 17.25”, depending on choice of 11” or 16” rear wheels, allowing for easier transfers and interaction with peers, as well as an appealing older look.
Clients with mild to significant postural needs can be addressed in the Convaid Flyer. Multiple lateral trunk support options both in pad dimensions and hardware (fixed vs. swing-away), as well as chest options (various butterfly to vest choices) are available to accommodate limited trunk control. Pelvic control and lower extremity issues can be addressed with the width and depth adjustable lateral thigh or pelvic supports. For the client with head issues, multiple headrest pads and hardware options are available including the anatomical headrest pad with multi-adjustable hardware.
Convaid Flyer front-rigging choices include standard 90° separate front rigging, or separate, adjustable elevating front rigging, footboard or footbox. The Convaid Flyer seat pan grows 4” in both width and depth on each frame and the multi-adjustable back accommodates trunk pad placement easily for growth as well as headrest mounting.
Convaid Flyer 5° anterior tilt provides active sitting for the cerebral palsy client GMFCS II-III, developmental delay or Down’s Syndrome. Posterior tilt can provide assist for postural control, skeletal alignment against gravity, pressure relief and feeding assistance for those living with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Disablity, Muscular Dystrophy, Down Syndrome, mitochondrial defects, metabolic disorders, Autism and other sensory processing disorders to name a few. The seating system detaches easily from base for storage in a small trunk of a car or can be secured in a vehicle since it is WC-19 crash tested.
In summary, the Convaid Flyer is an extremely light central gravity axis tilt, providing both anterior and posterior tilt in a short but very stable frame. It combines the lightweight of the stroller realm with the adaptive seating of the wheelchair realm. It comes standard with an adjustable seat pan that grows 4” in seat width and depth, a height adjustable back, multiple front rigging options, and multiple seating options to address the mild to more involved client. The larger Convaid Flyer rear wheels provide the look of an older chair, but the unique design ensures an extremely light weight package mimicking the stroller realm, hence bridging the gap between the stroller type frame and traditional wheelchair frame.