Carolina Case Study

A refurbished residential / care home with 87 beds were looking for new chairs throughout the home. In the past they had used high back wooden arm chairs and other furniture that didn't always meet their residents' pressure, posture or mobility needs. Many chairs used secondary pressure management cushions and people were being hoisted and moved several times per day from static chairs into wheelchairs and vice versa.

Main problems. 
Residents came into the facility with residential care needs but their needs often changed while they stayed there. By using secondary pressure management cushions on top of static furniture, the dimensions of the chairs changed and peoples' postures deteriorated. Lots of staff time was being used to transfer people between one style of chair and another and residents ended up sitting in transport wheelchairs for long periods through the day.

Top 3 Goals. 
• To find a chair that would meet basic pressure, posture and mobility needs 
• Had to be easy to move throughout the facility
• Had to be adjustable to different user sizes

We worked with the care, nursing and administration staff of the care home to find a solution. We trailed 5 Carolina chairs in the facility over the period of 4 weeks and recorded staff, resident and family feedback. Over this trial period, we found that the amount of hoist transfers between different surfaces (ie bed to chair, chair to secondary chairs) had decreased dramatically. Residents were able to be moved around in the Carolina chairs and be comfortable at the destination in that same chair, meaning a big cut in moving and handling. As the Carolina has pressure management cushions as standard, in most cases secondary cushions were not needed. In the one case where an active air alternating cushion was used, the Seating Matters cushion was removed and replaced without affecting the dimensions of the chair, meaning the resident maintained good posture. Directional lock castors on the chairs allowed them to be moved along long corridors easily and staff members were able to adjust the seat depth to match users' leg lengths easily and within seconds. The facility purchased 50 Carolina chairs as part of their refurbishment programme and continues to enjoy good results with them today.