Freedom with an all terrain wheelchair
Q: What chair will give me the freedom to choose where I want to go?
A; Trekinetic Powered GTE & Manual K2
Getting out and about in woodlands, fields, on the beach or in snow is either difficult, or impossible for most people with Cerebral Palsy who use a wheelchair, and yet research has shown that being able to spend time outside, in natural light, fresh air and around plants and trees, has remarkable benefits on our mental and physical health.
A study conducted in Holland concluded that people who lived within 1 kilometre of green space, experienced less depression and anxiety than those living 3 or more kilometres away. This is probably due in some ways to the oxygen boost from fresh air, which encourages production of the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin, whilst being exposed to plants decreases the stress hormone, cortisol. We all feel better when we’re in the sunlight, it lifts our mood and it’s natural source of Vitamin D supports our immune system and helps us sleep.
Cerebral Palsy affects not just the person with the condition, but the whole family, and frequently means that families cannot do activities together because of the restraints imposed by the wheelchair. For example, unless specially designed as all terrain, most everyday chairs cannot cope with woodlands, muddy parks, sand, snow, cobblestones etc. This means that the family are either restricted as to where they can go, or, they cannot go out together, or, that some are excluded, left watching from the sidelines.
The Trekinetics, with their big mountain bike wheels at the front, and a sizeable one at the back, will cope with almost any terrain without the risk of any wheels getting stuck, or the chair tipping over. The variable camber bar which can be adjusted without the need for any tools, provides even more stability, and therefore confidence, when the terrain is particularly uneven.
These features not only offer a secure and comfortable ride, but are particularly beneficial for people who have Cerebral Palsy and experience uncontrollable body movements, as they will not be able to tip the chair over backwards or sideways.
Terrain is not the only restriction to getting out and about. Most powered chairs require an adapted vehicle, which means that those with Cerebral Palsy who use a motorised chair, cannot go out in anyone else’s car or get a taxi. Furthermore, for many families, there simply isn’t enough room in the car to go out together, so again, the choice is either not to go, or to go separately.
Everyone knows the importance of keeping fit and as active as possible, and this is particularly true for those who have Cerebral Palsy and need to exercise when and wherever possible. With the manual K2’s big wheels positioned to the front of the chair, the user can propel 30% more efficiently than with a ‘normal’ wheelchair. And rather like a body builder who can lift more when lying down with their back supported, the bucket shaped seat provides perfect support to enable the user to do the same
Great workout on the beach
Similarly, if walking is recommended, the chairs can be used as a walking frame as they cannot tip over backwards. So whether it’s walking or propelling, the Trekinetic’s will double up as the most beneficial of exercise machines !!
Thankfully, whether you choose a manual K2 or a powered Trekinetic GTE, the ability to exercise does not change, as unusually, the GTE can be easily switched to a manual mode for as long as the user desires, or they encounter a big hill !!!!! It’s also an invaluable option if the battery runs out.
The carbon fibre monocoque ‘bucket’ seat is not only designed to suit the human shape, but provides for a secure and comfortable ride and for those who experience floppiness, the high sides can provide support. The tilt-in-space facility enables the user to change their weight distribution thereby improving, circulation, pressure management and comfort.
With the ability to turn ‘on a sixpence’ the Trekinetics are incredibly versatile and ideal for people with Cerebral Palsy to use at home as well as outdoors. It may look longer than other chairs, but the small caster at the rear provides for incredible manoeuvrability.
The Trekinetic chairs are bespoke and can at times, where necessary be adapted to suit the individuals needs. For example, we have recently added ankle huggers and a grip handle, as well as making the necessary arm rest adjustment to a chair for a Ella, a delightful child with CP and dystonia.
Cerebral Palsy is frequently misunderstood by the general public. Difference unnerves them, they don’t know what to say, and so they avoid eye contact and conversation. The stylish, funky, state of the art design of the Trekinetic, which can be personalised in any colour, rarely fails to catch the eye of passers- by and often owners are stopped in their chair to talk about it. So once again, the Trekinetic breaks down barriers between able and disable and from exclusion to inclusion.
The ability to confidently venture onto previously inaccessible terrain, truly makes a difference to the lives of Trekinetic owners and their carers / families. Perhaps equally as important as all the features and benefits, is that the chairs offer freedom. Freedom to go on many different terrains; freedom to use as a power or manual chair; freedom to sit up or recline; freedom to go out with others in their car; freedom to choose the car you want to own.
And it’s all made in Great Britain!
To summarise the Trekinetic’s features & benefits
All terrain ability
Light weight & liftable
Removeable joy stick ....ideal when flying (GTE)
Tilt in space seat