Postural Care for Adults
How to enhance function and quality of life by protecting body shape by supportive lying and sitting
A person’s lying posture can have a distorting effect on their body shape and structure. This is particularly relevant to people with mobility impairment. Their reduced ability to effectively change position when lying in bed appears to be directly related to the development of destructive changes in body shape and has an impact on health, function, and quality of life. It appears that the interrelationship between position/posture, mobility, and gravity determines body shape. The destructive position adopted in unsupported lying is always reflected in the seating position.
Participants will become aware that protection of body shape is most effective when done in lying and sitting (standing if possible) over a 24-hour period. Postural care is always gentle and respectful and family/ person led to be successful. Postural care adheres firmly to the principle of ‘Primum non nocere’, first do no harm. This means that effective postural care might not be possible for all but should be explored for people considered at risk of, or already have established body shape distortions. It is recognised that more research is required in this area (2,3).
The session will:
- Explain how peoples body shape distorts (contractures, windswept legs, scoliosis etc)
- Discuss how lying posture relates to sitting
- Relate supported lying and sitting to improved function and QoL
- Demonstrate and provide an opportunity to experience or practice supported lying
About the Presenter: Bas Jansen is a physiotherapist with a special interest in 24-hour postural care. Bas migrated from the Netherlands to Perth Western Australia back in 1998. Bas has more than 25 years of experience providing postural care including complex seating for people with severe mobility impairments, both adults and children. He is a strong advocate for family-centered practice and building the capacity of the first circle of support in the area of postural care (paid and unpaid carers). Bas regularly provides postural care courses for families, carers, and therapists through Postural Care Australia (PCA) (https://www.
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