August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month, the focus of this month is to raise and improve awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is a result of a genetic disorder that progressively weakens a person’s muscles and restricts their mobility over time. There is no known cure for SMA but there are several ways to help treat and care for people with the condition to facilitate a better quality of life and comfort for people with SMA in the future.
By having significant limitations in their mobility, people with SMA can regularly have problems trying to go to sleep, unable to reposition themselves in bed and needing to rely on the assistance of carers to find comfort. This can affect the overall quality of life for the carer who may need to get up overnight to reposition; for the person with SMA this complete reliance on their carer to sleep can have a negative impact on their dignity and social wellbeing. Furthermore, if this process of moving and handling is repeated at a frequent basis, the carer puts themselves at risk of straining or injuring themselves.
Centrobed have products that can help support and improve the lives of people with SMA and those caring for them. The Arctic turning bed is one of our most versatile products with a large range of profiling and turning movements available, this bed can provide suitable care for a variety of complex needs including SMA. All of these movements are operated by an easy to use handset allowing the person to be repositioned with just a few button presses. This handset can facilitate greater personal independence for people with SMA, repositioning themselves without having to rely on the help of the carer. By extension, these features of the Arctic reduce the carer’s risk of strain or injury by eliminating the need for physical manual handling; instead, the Arctic can perform all moving and handling movements in a smooth and comfortable motion. Another notable feature of the Arctic is the option for automatic programming. Instead of being woken up and needing to reposition themselves or rely on other people to do so, people with SMA can now be automatically repositioned over night for hands-free care and a sustained better night’s sleep.
For children growing up with SMA, they face the same problems as adults of being unable to reposition to find comfort but are more vulnerable and prone to injury. The Flores shares many of the features of the Arctic; a fully profiling bed that has a high/low action. The main feature that distinguishes the Flores is its high wooden surrounds that is bespoke to the client’s own needs and preferences facilitating growth and accommodating their long-term needs. By installing padding, the Flores gives extra protection for the child, minimizing any risk of injury from collisions. In some instances, people with SMA require the use of a feeding tube; holes can be in the Flores for tube feeding. The Flores has Perspex windows giving the child visual reassurance while keeping them in sight of the carers; this cot has large foldaway doors giving parents easy access to their children.