Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (known as CP) is brain damage that occurs during pregnancy or during or shortly after birth. The brain damage is not progressive, but many sufferers find that the motor difficulties associated with brain damage worsen with age.

Children with cerebral palsy risk adopting incorrect postures, which may develop into contractures (restricted movement of the joints). Over time, these may lead to a reduction in the child's functions and possibly even loss of the ability to walk. In the long term, people with cerebral palsy are at risk of losing mobility as a result of decreased muscle strength, poor balance when walking and standing, fatigue and chronic pain. In addition to this physical handicap, people with cerebral palsy can have problems with speech, vision and hearing, and some have ADHD.

Physical training and therapy is important in order to stave off and reduce the physical problems that accompany cerebral palsy. It is equally important to ensure that the child is provided with aids that are appropriate for their age and changing functional ability at any one point in time.

VELA has several types of 'active' chairs and electric wheelchairs that are specifically designed to make life easier for the child, his or her parents and any carers.

If the child has a slight functional impairment, such as reduced balance or difficulty walking, a customised chair can facilitate everyday activities:

  • Increased mobility: The child can 'walk' the chair forward, and thereby move around without assistance. There is plenty of room for the feet between the large, smooth-running wheels. A push bar installed at the back of the chair enables a good working position for the child's helpers when pushing the chair, and can also be used by the child as support and when practising walking.

    Greater safety and peace of mind: Children with poor standing balance benefit from extra safety and peace of mind when the chair's central brake is activated. This ensures that the chair remains completely stationary when the child stands up and sits down. The armrests also provide safety and peace of mind: the child can use them to lower him- or herself calmly into the chair and will feel securely encompassed when undertaking activities.
    Easier operation: For a child with reduced strength or cerebral palsy, special easy-to-operate handles and extension handles can be fitted to the chair. Electric adjustment of the seat height and operation of the central brake are simple, improving the working environment for the child's helpers.
    Improved sitting posture: The child can adopt a comfortable and ergonomically correct sitting posture, which minimises stress on his or her joints. The seat and back can be replaced and adjusted as the child grows and his or her needs change. In addition, children who have difficulty maintaining their upper body in an upright position can have adjustable lateral supports installed, which promote a good, stable sitting posture.
    More comfort and support: The child benefits from good support and comfort when using the chair over extended periods through a choice of extra padding on the seat, backrest and armrests with softer foam, or through various options for seat cushions adapted to the child's size and needs.

  • Less pain: Ease of operation and adjustment of the chair can reduce the risk of pain – electric height adjustment in particular spares the child unnecessary shocks and bumps and makes getting into and out of the chair easier. Reduced pain, greater safety and increased comfort also result in less tiredness.

If the child has a severe functional impairment, an electric wheelchair with adjustment options in terms of both sitting posture and drivability can make everyday life easier:

  • Increased mobility: The child can move around by themselves both indoors and outdoors which means a certain independence both at home and at school. VELA electric wheelchairs are also available with advanced controls and specially adapted drivability for children with special requirements.

    Greater safety: Children who have poor standing balance benefit from extra safety and peace of mind with an electric wheelchair that is adapted to their specific needs. Drivability can be programmed so that the child can enjoy a pleasant, safe experience and can manoeuvre safely around at home, at school and out in the street.
    Improved sitting posture: The chair promotes a comfortable and ergonomically correct sitting posture, since seat and backrest can be adjusted according to needs. Sitting positions can be set manually or electrically, depending on the child's level of functional impairment and needs.
    Easier operation: If the child has reduced strength in their hands and fingers, a special, easy-to-operate joystick and switches can be fitted to the chair. If the child is unable to operate an electric wheelchair themselves, attendant control can be installed so that others can drive the chair for the child.
    More comfort and support: Extra padding for seat, backrest and armrests is an option, as are softer foam or a variety of seat cushions. Special pressure-relief seat cushions can promote comfort and ease any pain. The child's sitting posture can be stabilised by means of various back support systems, such as lateral supports and head support. It is also possible to install specially adapted seating systems and custom moulds.
    Less pain: Easy operation and use of the wheelchair's electronic functions, e.g. seat tilt, can allow for a variety of sitting postures over the course of a long day. The distribution of pressure on the child's body is thus alternated and the risk of pain and pressure sores reduced.


Contact VELA or one of our dealers

We recommend the following chairs for people with cerebral palsy:

VELA Blues 210

The VELA Blues 210 is suitable for users with an active lifestyle, e.g. work, school or training course. The chair has mid-wheel drive and is well suited to combined indoor and outdoor use, with suspension that provides comfort and good driveability in uneven terrain.

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VELA Hip Hop 100

The VELA Hip Hop 100 is a smart chair, especially for the child who often sits and works at a table. The chair is suitable for most school desks, and its discreet design means that it does not take up much space in the classroom. The central brake provides safety and aids concentration

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VELA Tango 100El

VELA Tango 100El is a customised chair with electric height-adjustment and a low backrest, which provides good lumbar support and free movement of the back, shoulders and arms

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VELA Tango 100ES

The VELA Tango 100ES is a children’s chair with electric height adjustment – perfect for children and young people with special needs. The electric height adjustment helps the child to get into and out of the chair and makes it possible to vary the seat height for different activities.

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VELA Tango 100S

The VELA Tango 100S is a safe chair for children and young people with special needs. The chair is perfect for use in school and at home since the central brake provides stability during activity and when the child has to get into and out of the chair.

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