Living with hemiplegia: Rehabilitation after brain haemorrhage with a VELA chair

More than a decade ago, Conny suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her paralysed. Ten years ago, she also got a chair from VELA, but her energy decreased more and more as time went on. This meant that she didn’t have the strength to change the height of the chair. 

The woman is cooking, looking down into the casserole due to a VELA chair

Everyday problems

Conny adapted and found alternative ways to solve everyday problems – and she made it work. But only just because it wasn’t always easy. So, Conny eventually chose to ask for help with her challenges. 

As it turned out, a new chair made it more effortless living with hemiplegia for Conny.

Independence disappeared with hemiplegia

Before Conny got her new chair from VELA, she said:

I can do less now, and my energy level is also lower, so I don’t cook hot meals anymore. I am not able to do the same things in the kitchen as I was before, either. Now, it’s cold food, like open rye bread sandwiches.

Conny used to run a small Bed & Breakfast and, for many years, made a living serving others. So she insisted on doing everything herself, despite the consequences of hemiplegia. 

Against this background, it was a great defeat for her to see her strength and independent cooking crumble before her.

Increased mobility as hemiplegia recovery

As soon as Conny got the new VELA mobility chair and sat down, she immediately noticed a big difference. Thanks to the chair’s broad wheels, Conny was suddenly able to roll over the tiles in the kitchen again – without the wheels getting stuck in the joints. 

An essential part of good rehabilitation for hemiplegia is to be able to move around in your own home and do different things – and this has benefitted Conny in several ways after she got a new chair. 

She uses her body more because she can now get around by “walking” the chair around while sitting down.

Check how a VELA chair can help you at home

Assisted living

Living with hemiplegia: Conny’s strength failed her, but the chair took over

Over height time, Conny’s strength had weakened so much that she could no longer change the of her chair by herself. This meant that she could not look down into the pots when she was cooking, so she had to try something else. 

The solution to the problem was that she placed the pot on the floor between her feet when preparing the sauce. 

She often burned herself, constantly moving the hot pot between the stove and the floor. So this was not an ideal solution to the problem. 

The new VELA chair, on the other hand, was everything Conny dreamed of – and more. This chair has an electric lift, which means it can move up and down at the touch of a button. 

Now Conny can look down into the pots again – and there is no more burning herself or making do with cold food. 

Before, she would use up all her energy preparing the food, so she was completely exhausted when eating the food. Her energy has now returned, and Conny can both cook the food and enjoy it afterwards. A big step in her hemiplegia recovery.

Rehabilitation for hemiplegia requires the right aids

The electric lift and the wide wheels have given Conny much of her independence and sense of self-worth back. Rehabilitation and recovery after hemiplegia require activity, and she is now able to do that. 

Conny’s chair is made to fit her exact needs. This means that all adjustment levers have been placed on her healthy side, so she can operate them herself without difficulty. Therefore, it is easy for Conny to adjust the chair to the right height because it is done with a single press of a button.

Conny’s eyes started to shine

Disability after hemiplegia may worsen gradually. So you don’t always realise that you’re getting worse, or that new challenges are emerging. 

For example, Conny simply adapted her own daily life gradually, to a point where she could not do much anymore. 

When she first tried the electric lift in her new office chair with brake, her eyes started shining again. Now, she can reach the top cupboards again, reach the top shelf in the fridge, and she can look down into the pots when she cooks – without burning herself. That is a significant recovery!

She can even reach the bottom cupboards and walk the chair around.

Where do you need the chair?

Personal stories

Charlotte’s story

It’s easy to walk the chair between the kitchen and the dining table, and my VELA chair doesn’t take up as much space as the wheelchair.
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Alisson’s story

Now, I find that I am much less tired. Before I had my VELA chair, my husband and I took 15-20 minutes to move me from the office chair and onto my scooter to get home at the end of the day. Now, it only takes a moment because I have a lot more energy.
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Caroline’s story

Now I can reach pots and plates in both the top and bottom cabinets, and the brake allows me to sit safely while I stir the pot or slice vegetables.
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Solveig’s story

I used to burn myself on the oven all the time, whenever I needed to take something out of it. That doesn’t happen anymore. Now I raise the chair up to the oven, and that means I do not burn myself on the edge of the oven door.
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Aileen’s story

This chair is amazing. I feel so safe in it, and it’s a pleasure to be able to move from room to room with ease. It also has the advantage that I get to train my legs while I walk the chair forward.
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Kenneth’s story

Previously, I couldn’t help with making dinner while standing up, especially by the stove. I needed something to hold onto because you never know when you are going to fall. I cook and stir the pot now because I can use both of my hands.
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Lilly’s story

Now I enjoy cooking for several days at a time, and it makes a world of difference that I can peel the potatoes myself. A good diet is important when living with arthritis – and doing the work also builds up an appetite.
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Patrick’s story

I can’t stand up and talk to someone for more than a few minutes. If you haven’t experienced challenges with balance yourself, it’s really hard to comprehend how much it dominates everyday life.
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Ashley’s story

Ashley was born with several disabilities that challenge him in everyday life. He has reduced muscle tone, which means he has difficulty walking and keeping his balance. His feet also pronate, which gives him back pain and poor posture. Unfortunately, these challenges also affect Ashley’s breathing.

With his VELA chair, Ashley is now completely ready to take on 7th grade.

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