Wheelchair Cushions - Wheelchair Padding - Wheelchair Back Support
WHEELCHAIR CUSHIONS AND PADDING
Aren't sure what kind of wheelchair cushion would suit you best?
Well there are three main types of wheelchair cushions - foam, gel and air. All of which have there ups and downs. Below is a comparison chart to help you find the right type for your needs and requirements.
If you are also looking for wheelchair wheels, we recommend Wheelchair Wheel.
How to Determine if you need a new Wheelchair Cushion
Air Cushions: Be sure the cushion does not leak. If there is considerably less air in the cushion by the end of the day then the cushion may need to be replaced Know how to check for the proper amount of air in the cushion. The manufacturer or a therapist should be able to tell you how to do this.
Gel Cushions: You have to make sure that the gel is protecting the skin over your ischials. Ask someone to put his or her hand under the gel bladder of the cushion. This may be awkward, but be creative in making this happen so that you can know if the gel is doing what it should do. Your friend should be feel the gel under your ischial, and not your ischial. Oftentimes, the gel will migrate away from your ischials and cause you to 'bottom out' on the firm base of the cushion or on the upholstery of the seat. Check the cushion for leaks. Check the gel for fluidity and for lumps or inconsistencies in the gel.
Foam Cushions: As with gel cushions, you have to make sure that the foam is protecting the skin over your ischials. Ask a friend to put his or her hand under the foam while you are sitting on it. He or she should feel if there is soft foam under your ischial bone. If you 'bottom out', that is, your ischial bone goes right through the foam and onto the seat upholstery, your cushion may need to be replaced. Some foam cushions will 'take a set.' That is, they will form themselves to your body, and will not recover or bounce back into their original shape. This often indicates that the foam has deteriorated and is not cushioning you as it should. Usually these cushions become hard to the feel.
What Cushion Is Right For YOU?
Materials used for wheelchair cushions have come a long way. You now have quite a choice based on your individual need. Cushions protect skin from damage that can lead to pressure ulcers, and they affect many functional activities such as reaching, transfers and wheelchair propulsion.
Many researchers and clinicians who have studied cushions have
developed a common conclusion: ‘No one cushion is best for all people’.
Because so many cushions are available commercially, wheelchair users should
be able to find one that adequately meets their needs.
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