For individuals struggling with impaired temperature regulation, the consequences of overheating are quite profound and impact daily life decisions and health. Susie, our WheelAir Clinical Educator, shares her experiences as an OT trying to manage the challenge of impaired temperature regulation for an individual struggling with overheating.
What are some of the techniques OTs use to help keep individuals cool?
The solutions that we were using for overheating were fans by the bedside, retreating to a cool space, or using water sprays and ice packs. While they had some effect, they were impractical and lifestyle-limiting. Additionally, the use of water sprays is dangerous to the skin, as it causes dampness and subsequent risk to skin injury.
When did you first find out about WheelAir?
I was working with a client, and he was struggling with overheating and sweating. He had several changes of clothes a day and experienced a lot of pain. This was causing him to lose independence and reduce participation in his daily activities, and he had become depressed and anxious about the pain and sweating.
I was really keen to find a solution to his issues, and even the best wicking fabric on his wheelchair and techniques to lean forward weren’t wholly practical. Some weeks later, I met Corien from WheelAir! I arranged an assessment, and the result; a very happy man. The effects of the airflow were immediate. He was delighted, and I was delighted.
What were some of the benefits of WheelAir?
This experience reiterated the impact that impaired temperature regulation has on wellbeing and health. He no longer needed to change his shirt as he was no longer sweating, his skin was drier and less red and irritated, he had less pain and felt much brighter and motivated to go about his day. He did not have to retreat into another room or avoid going outside on sunny days. He finally began building his garden.
It is encouraging now that there is a versatile and effective option for wheelchairs users with the WheelAir product. We OTs can now be more active in our assessment regarding symptoms related to overheating and temperature regulation. We can all relate to the feeling of being too hot and how important it is that we try and remedy those feelings to feel more in control, healthy, and comfortable. The WheelAir is now our tool to afford that temperature control and well being to wheelchair users.
For more information
If you have any questions for Susie about her experiences as an OT using WheelAir to help individuals manage their challenges with overheating or about the WheelAir, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org