Healthcare professionals' practical experiences with Fitform Vario care chairs

On this page, you can read stories about practical experiences with Fitform Vario care chairs. Care professionals tell what these chairs means for the well-being of their patients or residents. 

The story of Trea

Trea Post works as an occupational therapist. Many of her patients have sitting problems and this can have a negative impact on their daily lives. A Fitform care chair can change all this, at least in Trea’s experience.

“I work with adults and am specialised as a Parkinson and Multiple Sclerosis therapist. My elderly patients more or less all live at home independently. If they have problems they call me in. I see quite a lot of people with deformities, resulting, for example, from scoliosis. Sometimes, if they have a serious kyphosis, the deformity can be significant. This often leads to neck problems.

Because of their problems, a lot of people are not able to achieve the rest they require to fall asleep. That’s on top of having worked hard all day. To improve this situation, I recommend changing their sitting patterns. It raises a lot of questions. I therefore spend a lot of time and effort trying to explain how a good sitting posture can bring about improved relaxation. And that it helps you get through the day more easily.”

My experience working with Fitform chairs has been extremely positive. In a care chair, individuals are better able to relax. They often tell me they have more energy left over at the end of the day and it makes life a lot easier. It means they have more time for their partners, instead of having to go to bed early. If they have visitors, they can stay up for longer. Some even experience less pain. I have also seen several patients taking up a hobby again, for example embroidery, thanks to an adapted chair. All in all, they are able to get through the day more easily. That adds to their pleasure and they become less sombre. A good care chair contributes to the quality of life.

A good sitting support also has a preventive function. If users start to slump in a chair because the support is not adequate, that has an effect on the whole of the body. Not only is this bad for the lungs, but for the intestines too. What’s more, there’s less chance of choking when you sit upright properly. The oesophagus is aligned vertically with the stomach, making swallowing easier. Some people are better able to eat in an adjustable care chair, because it costs less energy than when sitting at a table. They are able to enjoy their food more.”

The story of Edith

Edith Ruiten is an occupational therapist who visits people in their homes and also provides support to care home residents. Most patients are no longer mobile and this often causes sitting problems, such as pain and difficulty getting up out of a chair.

“It’s important for people who spend a lot of time sitting that they can regularly change their posture. This helps, for example, prevent or eliminate the risk of pressure sores. In my work, being able to sit in a good chair can make all the difference. One of my patients was a young mad with AS (Ankylosing spondylitis). He was constantly shifting around in his normal chair or on the settee because he could never get comfortable. Each time he shifted, he was trying to change his position and relieve the pain. It was extremely tiring for him.

Initially, he was against having an adapted chair. I’m far too young, he said. Now he has a Fitform chair and is as pleased as punch. His body is more relaxed, his pain is much less and he has more energy for his family.”

“For the patient in question a Fitform chair is a great solution because he can retain a 90-degree angle if he changes to another posture. This prevents users from slouching. That happens when people shift their position in a normal chair. The result is that for specific problems, like scoliosis, this makes things worse. It’s also very important that the chair is individualised. You often see the children of elderly persons buying any old kind of chair for their parents. It might look good, but often the seat is too short or too wide. That’s not going to be much good for the mother or father.

I also see people just staying in a normal chair because they find it too difficult to get up. Getting up to pick up the newspaper off the table costs so much effort that they no longer do it. A safe riser-recliner mechanism provides someone with greater mobility. And because it’s easier to stand up, you will pick up the paper. This means that people stay more active during the day.

If I recommend a care chair, I often have to explain this aspect. People can’t see for themselves how they sit. I once told a young woman who had a lot of problems: “When I see you sitting like that, I could almost cry.” She had a lot of pain when sitting up, so she often sat on the sofa. But that was totally unsuitable. It was too low and had too deep a backrest. We had to stuff it with cushions everywhere. With pain, most people think, oh, it will pass and I’ll be able to get up. But if your sitting position is that bad, the pain will not cease. And being able to stand up properly is not the same as sitting properly. Thankfully, she has bought herself a Fitform chair and much has improved as a result.”

More experiences from health care professionals

“Our residents often come to us with problems caused by scoliosis and kyphosis, as well as deformities in the hip. And anyway, as people get older, their fitness levels are not what they used to be. They start to slouch more. We try to activate younger people with daily activities, older patients tend to stay on the unit. Often, we opt for a comfortable care chair from Fitform, since it provides the best possibilities for changing position. I’m extremely enthusiastic about the tilt function: it means that the seat and backrest can be tilted simultaneously. If the sitting angle stays the same, the user cannot slump, meaning less pressure on the coccyx. This is one way of preventing pressure sores."
Ineke Driesen, occupational therapist at Severinus, Veldhoven (NL)

“I’ve always worked a lot with Fitform chairs and believe that the height-adjustable lumbar support, in particular, gives it an advantage over other chairs. Even when a special support is necessary, for example, a special seat or backrest, I recommend these chairs.” 
Saskia Daam, occupational therapist and occupational therapy teacher at Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen (NL)

“It’s important for users to be properly supported when sitting. It will prevent physical problems occurring, such as pain in the back, legs and shoulders. If you’re not sitting comfortably, you feel restless and start shifting around, which is not good for the skin. A Fitform armchair is highly suited to residents on a nursing unit. Often, they get more tired but don’t always want to go to bed for resting. Now they get adequate support when sitting or can rest properly lying down. The riser-recliner function is extremely useful too. Many people have difficulty getting out of a chair, but not everyone likes to be helped doing this.”
Henriëtte Hutten, occupational therapist in Deventer (NL)

“After a busy round of activities, it’s good for patients to relax a bit. Our target group can get easily agitated. For that reason it’s good that they can relax after a busy day and put their feet up. With soothing music and possibly a relaxing scent, it is wonderful to be able to sit back and relax in such a comfortable chair.”
Annemieke Witteveen, day care supervisor at Severinus, Veldhoven (NL)

“This chair allows residents to relax with an afternoon nap and get support when getting out of the chair. There are many possibilities. Not everyone wants to take a nap in their own room. Some people fall more quickly in sleep in a setting where there is a noisy background. They can find their moment of downtime properly in this chair.” 
Fleur Sneep, director of residential facility De Meerenburgh in Leur (NL)

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