FRIEDREICH’S ATAXIA & THE PRODUCTS THAT HELP
Cause & Symptoms
Friedreich's Ataxia (FA) is a rare, inherited neuromuscular condition that is progressive in nature and primarily affects coordination and muscle control. Most, but not all, people who have FA develop varying degrees of heart problems related to weakening heart musculature leading to heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Mobility & Accessibility Devices
There are a number of devices that help people with FA maintain their independence and safety. Your healthcare team can help you determine the devices that are best for you.
Power Wheelchairs can provide enhanced mobility and independent positioning. Used both indoors and out, they are suitable for people who are unable to propel a manual wheelchair, but who have the ability to control their hand movements. Other types of driving controls may be available on select models for those who do not have sufficient hand control.
Wheelchair Seating Systems increase the comfort and support a wheelchair provides and are also beneficial for people who are no longer able to shift their own weight. These systems provide extra support and aid in the prevention of pressure injuries.
Bathroom Aids are essential for people with mobility impairments. Bath seats, transfer benches and bath boards, in combination with hand held showers, allow people to sit down while bathing to increase comfort and safety. Raised toilet seats make a toilet higher, making it easier for a person to stand up. Grab bars and toilet safety frames will also help to make bathrooms safer.
Commodes can be helpful for people who are not able to stand or who cannot stand for long periods of time, and are available with or without wheels. Those without wheels are typically used at the bedside and wheeled models can be rolled over a toilet. Shower commodes can also be used in an accessible shower.