I’d never heard of the neater arm supports or the neater eater before, so was super excited but a little nervous at the same time as arm strength isn’t as good as it was a few years back, but me being me I’m always up for trying anything once (within reason of course not about to sign myself up for disco dancing!!) Just to see if these arm supports worked for me.
Becoming the bionic woman.
Definitely felt like I was suiting up to become a new Avenger not sure what my super power would be!? But I’m sure it would be pretty cool.
The motor to move the arms normally sit behind you as the motor is fixed to the back of your wheelchair running off your wheelchair batteries, but for demonstration reasons that obviously can’t be done (that is of course fixed to your wheelchair if you choose to get them permanently) so what I can only call a small scaffolding is erected behind you so the motor can sits nicely acting like it is fixed to the back of your wheelchair.
My arms where then placed into a black sling, to stop my elbow slipping out the bottom there’s a round rubber horse shoe shape (surprisingly very comfortable and you don’t feel it’s there).
Then when your feeling comfortable your arm are strapped so they don’t go flying as your moving your arms around (good job really as mine definitely have a mind of their own most days).
As my left arm is my strongest I started with that arm as if the neater arm support didn’t work with my strongest arm it definitely wasn’t with my right arm being that’s pretty dormant as an arm goes.
Plugged in a ready to go your given a round white button it’s not that big and can be held in either left or right hand again with the thinking that my right arm not the strongest, my right hand would be better to try just to see how tough it would be to push the button.
The way the button works is holding the button down once your arms go up when you have them at the position right for you stop holding the button down, then when you push the button again your arms go down – I was pleasantly surprised the button was very easy to use no pressure really needed to push.
When my elbow was half way well in line with my boobs, I was then give some basic movements to do which I’m sure you can guess my arm hadn’t done in a years.
- Try moving my arm towards me
- Try moving my arm out
- Touching my nose
- Pushing my elbow out
After about 10 minutes I’d say of swing back and forth my muscles and shoulder had warmed up and I was for the first time in many year able to touch my own nose and put a spoon to my mouth (soup is possibly not a good idea as swinging my arm I’d end up wearing more and still hungry!)
Now to give my weakest arm a go, same as before with my left arm for my right am put into the sling and strapping, I was ready to see how much movement I could do, obviously wasn’t expecting my right arm to do as much as my left but I was pleasantly surprised just how much movement my right arm actually had, after a few swinging of my shoulders with both arms my left arm was definitely doing a little more work than my right which I expected, I was given some more movements to try out with both arms together.
- Forward Punching (my husband was scared at this movement!!)
- Push my arms out to my side (remind me of I must I must improve my bust!!)
- Swing my shoulders together
- Touching my nose
Your arms have a weightless feeling as you’re in the neater arm support like there floating, after your finish and your arms are taken out they do feel a little heavy but that feeling goes after 10ish minutes I’m guessing that also depends on the person as well.
It definitely surprised me when I found out that neater.co.uk had been around for 25 years, so why with all the professionals i see had no one thought to mention these before now, something I think that needs to change when theses arms are possibility life changing for people like me to have the use of their arms again and also that little bit more independence!
The powered Neater Mobile Arm Support enables people like me with muscular Dystrophy and other disabilities with muscle weakness to use their arms, it has a unique power drive system which provides power assistance for you, you need very little movement or ability to use the mobile arm supports as the system negates gravity and effortlessly lifts the arms to a functional position.
We are able to offer a number of possible solutions to clients with muscular dystrophy. Our most popular is our powered mobile arm support which enables users with this condition the independence to carry out a range of activities with their arms. In addition we offer the electronic programmable Neater Eater and the Neater powered drinker
- Large movement range reduces development of joint contractures
- Arm supports helps maintain strength
- Reduces development of postural deformities
- Less dependence on careers
- Encourages social interaction
- Helps maintain dignity
- Promotes engagement in activities and mealtimes
If your interested they do offer a FREE home assessments in the UK only, You are able to apply for funding.