Headpod

Revolutionary dynamic patented head support system for inadequate head control due to hypotonia of the neck muscles

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HeadPod is a unique dynamic head suspension system for children and adults with low muscle tone in their neck and trunk. It allows the user to maintain an upright position, while still allowing the head to rotate with total precision, helping to improve the muscular development of the neck. 

The HeadPod is best used with children aged between 2 and 12 who are unable to hold the weight of their own head due to neck and trunk weakness, provided that there is no high extensor tone in the trunk or any significant deformities. It works well for children with cerebral palsy, neurological diseases or conditions that cause hypotonia of the neck muscles. It can also help older kids and adults who have low muscle tone and no significant kyphosis or spinal deformities.

  • Holds head up and assists the development of the neck muscles
  • Allows the user to have focused and balanced posture that helps them to carry out daily activities e.g. physical therapy, speech therapy and education
  • Facilitates feeding at mealtimes
  • Helps to prevent musculoskeletal deformities, contractures and pain
  • Allows for easier breathing, thus reducing complications such as respiratory failure and pneumonia
  • Decreases drooling

How will I know which wheelchair cushion or backrest is right for me and my needs?

Occupational Therapists will help you decide what is required from these products; and can also source these items. There is a vast array of different products and brands in New Zealand, with each product having different pros and cons. Registered professionals are able to guide clients through their options and help short-list the appropriate products.

When selecting a wheelchair cushion and/or backrest for a family member the following factors need to be considered:

  • Does the user have a history of pressure areas or sores?
  • How long will the user be sitting in the wheelchair for each day?
  • Are there any incontinence issues?
  • Does the user have any significant postural challenges e.g. slumps to one side?

Cushions offer benefits such as comfort, pressure relief and can contribute to optimum positioning.  Cushions can be manufactured from a range of different materials; where some require more maintenance than others. 

Can I trial different backrests and wheelchair cushions?

Yes; these items can be trialed, provided there is a request from a therapist. The trial process is very important to determine whether the selected product is suitable. Generally, the trial time frames are two weeks and therapists will set the product up to meet your needs. Adjustments can be made to ensure comfort throughout the trial.

How do I wash my cushion cover?

Please refer to the manufacturer specific washing instructions. Each cushion has washing instructions within the product manual, so we recommend you read this.

  • For Ottobock cushions, turn the cover inside out, zip closed, and wash in warm water in a regular machine cycle. Regular detergent is OK, please do not use bleach. Air dry flat
  • For Varilite cushions, turn the cover inside out, zip closed, and wash in warm water in a regular machine cycle. Regular detergent is OK, please do not use bleach. Air dry flat
  • For Ride Design cushions, turn the cover inside out, zip closed, and wash in warm water in a regular machine cycle. Regular detergent is OK, please do not use bleach. Air dry flat
  • For Axiom cushions, turn the cover inside out, zip closed, and wash in warm water. Regular detergent is OK, please do not use bleach. Air dry flat
  • It is not recommend that any covers go into the tumble dryer.

Can I sit on the wheelchair cushion without its cover on it, while the cover is being washed?

The cover is an important part of the cushion and the two parts are designed to work as a team. It is not recommended to use the cushion without the cover.

How long will a cushion or backrest last?

Wheelchair cushions and backrests are designed to last for at least five years. Appropriate care and maintenance are very important for ensuring longevity and reliability of the cushion.

How do I adjust a Varilite cushion to contour to me?

With the cushion fully inflated and valve closed, transfer onto the cushion and open the valve by turning counter clockwise. Listen for a change in pitch and close the valve.

Are wheelchair backs easily removable so that I can fold up my wheelchair and take it in the car?

Yes. There is a large array of styles and brands of wheelchair, and backrests have different types of mounting brackets. Most of these simply unclip and allow the backrest to be pulled off, it simply slots back into place and is then secured using the clips once assembly is required again.

Need more advice or help?

Our team of Business Territory Managers are available to help with the selection of the correct product and trouble shooting.

Our Customer Care Team is available from 8am to 5.30pm every weekday.

Phone: 0800 31 61 81.

 

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