Wheelchair cushions are designed specially for helping the wheelchair users so that they can position themselves more comfortably when seated. Wheelchair pressure relief cushions are designed using a variety of materials. They are available in many shapes and thicknesses. These wheelchair cushions are also useful in reducing the risk of pressure ulcers and skin breakdown. At the same time, these wheelchair cushions encourage proper body positioning and posture control. Sitting in a wheelchair for a long time can cause various health problems including skin shearing, pressure ulcers, and infections, but the right support in the wheelchair can help in reducing this risk.
Features of Good Wheelchair Pressure Relief Cushions:
Diligent testing for a variety of features including comfort, design, cover options, and cost are being done by various companies these days. One of the most important features in any desired wheelchair cushion is pressure relief. People, especially old aged who are frail and ill, have to sit on wheelchairs for long duration. For them, it is necessary that wheelchair pressure relief cushions should be of good quality as their bony areas in the lower back sit bones, and, the hips are at risk the most.
A good pressure relief cushion is able to distribute the person’s weight over the entire surface of the seating cushion. This helps to prevent pressure spots that can lead to skin breakdown and pressure sores. The surface of wheelchair cushion must also be able to assist in reducing the risk of tissue trauma.
Shear force, or friction, is another consideration. Shear force can occur when skin, clothes, and the cushion slide are against each another. This puts undue stress on the skin. This can also lead to breakdown and pressure sores. Some cushions can cause the person to slide around too much or prevent him from transferring smoothly to another surface causing more shear force.It is important that the wheelchair pressure relief cushions provide stability and support. Some users may require more stability than others. This can be accomplished by choosing a cushion shape that contours or has contours built into the design.
The dimensions of the wheelchair seat should be measured before ordering or buying a cushion. You must note how high the person will be in the chair sitting on top of the wheelchair cushion. You must also check and make sure that the person’s legs can fit under a table or desk.
Some wheelchairs cushions have covers that can be removed and cleaned while others have added protective liners that can be bought separately.
There are different varieties of cushions to choose from, based on the type of material they are made up of: foam, gel, foam/gel combination, ROHO (air-filled), and memory foam. These materials have their own pros and cons so that you can choose according to the need or by consulting your doctor or therapist.
Why Choose Wheelchair Pressure Relief Cushions?
You might want to opt for a normal and regular cushion for the wheelchair user. However, these cushions usually are not able to relieve enough pressure. It would be a wise choice to invest in something specifically designed for preventing pressures sores. Of course, wheelchair cushions are for comfort, but for some people, these are a necessity.
Moreover, many of these cushions are expensive due to the use of unique technologies which help in relieving pressure. Depending on how likely the wheelchair user is to get sores and how much time he spends on the wheelchair without moving, you can choose from various options. These specially designed cushions are really worth the money as serious wounds and infections are not cheap either.