Posted on October 13, 2021
Written by: ROB FUZESI, RRTS® AND NICOLE SAXVIK, RRTS®
One day is not enough. That was the mantra we followed to enable a young man’s goal of power mobility. Tristan, a young client living with cerebral palsy in a remote First Nations Community in British Columbia, had never had the opportunity to trial power mobility primarily because of his location. We set out working with Tristan’s therapist to find a way to make his goals a reality. We were able to source a donated power wheelchair that could be shipped on a long-term loan to Tristan to initiate the trial process. Given that Tristan never had the opportunity to utilize power mobility and with the strict funding ability requirements of his funding source, we arranged for an extended trial/training period of six months. During this time, he was able to practice his driving skills. This period provided his occupational therapist ample time to gather enough justification of Tristan’s skills to fulfill the funder’s requirements.
We, along with Tristan’s occupational therapist, set up the trial power wheelchair for his unique needs, and we provided Tristan and his family with education on the chair’s operations. We also assisted in driving training sessions with Tristan to help him feel more comfortable with the chair. We traveled back to the community to continue training sessions with Tristan, utilizing the Dalhousie Wheelchair Skills Program to provide evidencebased practice. The extended trial period and skills-building work done with the client led to him being able to demonstrate the abilities required to be eligible for power mobility.
Once the funding application was approved, a new power wheelchair was ordered specifically for Tristan and delivered to him. This success story highlights the incredible, positive client outcomes when families, clients, clinicians and suppliers work together using evidence-based training to enable a client’s goals to be met.
Originally Posted in NRRTS Directions, Volume 5 2021: https://issuu.com/nrrts/docs/directions_2021v5_full_issuu