Permobil Lifestand Helium LSA
The guys at Sherman Oaks Medical Supply delivered my newest "toy" the other day and gave me the quick rundown on it. I had been in communication back and forth with the folks at Permobil USA over the last year or more getting all the ducks in a row to get myself one of their Lifestand Helium standing chairs. I had even met with them during the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles to get fitted and go over the whole spec sheet with them to get it all dialed in correctly.
I have been up in the chair a few times, just on my living room, to help get used to how it works and feel. Now, it's time to venture out and use this chair for what it was really meant for. Bring on the high shelves!
It is amazing how well this chair performs overall and the freedom it affords me. I am able to roll around just like I normally would in my everyday chair, and yet I can pop right up into a standing position to reach so much more. As I rolled from spot to spot, I did keep the knee blocker and seat belt on just to make it a little easier to go up and down on call.
The chair is stable, even in the upright position. Although I wouldn't recommend leaning your upper body too far in any direction without bracing yourself on something stable, like a bench or counter. With the seat belt on, I am very stable in the chair, but with the absence of trunk control, my balance and upper body control leave something to be desired.
The Helium is a fair bit heavier than my normal everyday chair (35-40 lbs. compared to 26) and the overall length and width is slightly larger, but it still gets around very well. It could easily be used for day to day operation. I wouldn't want to have to lug the chair in and out of a vehicle, though. Even with the quick release rear wheels, the frame is still quite heavy.
The standing function of the chair works so smoothly. With the roll of both of the side guard bars in a forward motion the seat lifts right up, assisted by 2 gas shocks under the char. The mechanism is very easy and takes little effort to lift yourself up. It locks in the upright position nice and secure. Then when you want to come down, you just give the bars a slight tug backwards and ease yourself right back down. Two stabilizer “feet” come down automatically as you raise yourself up to help keep you planted.
I really cannot say enough about how well this chair works. And regaining the ability to reach things higher up is invaluable to me. Not to mention, the chair is downright cool looking! I give huge kudos to the guys at Permobil (www.PermobilUS.com) for producing this amazing chair. The next step is to bring the chair down to my shop and see all the cool things I can do with it while I work on my project truck. Stay tuned for more..