Case Study - Fall Prevention, Arthritis

Rachel, a 94 year old female, has arthritis in her left knee and a history of falls. She mobilised with a walking frame and needed assistance for all transfers.

By Martina Tierney, OT

Rachel was a lady who took part in a Seating Matters research trial as part of the Intervention Group, which meant that she was assessed and matched with clinical, therapeutic seating from the Seating Matters range.

Rachel’s old chair wasn’t made to fit her size and the long seat depth and high seat height were causing her to slide from the chair, which resulted in a nearly horizontal resting position for long periods of the day.

Rachel had high pressure underneath small, bony, load bearing areas like her sacrum, heels, shoulders and the back of her head. This was both very uncomfortable, as well as severely limiting her functional ability. With pressure damage to her heels, her mobility was restricted.

The caregiver’s main frustration was that no matter how well they tried to position Rachel, she would always slide into the posture shown in the image above, ‘bracing’ herself in the chair with this extended position. It then became very hard to assist Rachel to stand, as she could no longer position her feet behind her knees in a ‘ready to stand’ position, or use the armrests for propulsion and support.

Upon assessment, it was found that Rachel had no postural difficulties such as fixed hip angles, that might cause her to slide from the chair. Her sliding from the chair was simply due to the over-sized seating, which could not be adjusted to suit her needs.

After assessment, it was decided that Rachel was most suited for a Seating Matters Monaco chair.


Once positioned in the chair, Rachel no longer slid into a near-horizontal position and she was able to easily maintain upright posture, as well as bend at her knees and hips. Rachel felt that the chair was very comfortable and her emotional well-being greatly improved because she could now achieve small tasks, such as enjoying a cup of tea and a scone easily without fear of spilling it on herself or choking.

Prior to the provision of the Monaco chair, two caregivers were required to assist Rachel into a standing position, but with her improved sitting position in the Monaco, her posture improved and the number of caregivers required was reduced to one. Also, she no longer needed to brace herself in the chair and her feet were fully loaded.

Since using the Monaco chair, which was manufactured and adjusted according to her size, the risk of developing pressure injuries on the bony prominence’s, has been significantly reduced as Rachel is now able to spread her body weight over a larger surface area, redistributing pressure.

If you would like to speak with a Seating Specialist about the Monaco chair or would like to organise a FREE, No Obligation Seating Assessment or Seating Trial, please contact us on 1300 001 050 or ausoffice@seatingmatters.com


*This case study should not be interpreted as a predictor or guarantee of future financial or clinical outcomes with different patients. Clinicians and users must employ correct decision making, undertake proper assessments, education, comply with local regulations and ensure correct use of equipment.

* Note: The Seating Assessment carried out by the Seating Specialist is to provide information and advice on the product only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, prescription or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own doctor or physician.

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