The most important accessory in a wheelchair is the seating
system or a wheelchair cushion. Cushions help in the prevention
of pressure sores, increase body comfort and support. A lot
of medical companies have spent huge sums of money in research
and technology development for Wheelchair cushions.
results are remarkable and we have a wide range of products
to choose according to the individuals need. At the
same time, this huge choice makes it that much difficult to
decide on a particular wheelchair cushion.
users physical condition and the way of life should
determine the type of cushion he / she needs. Factors like:
Type and extent of deformities
Duration of time spent in the wheelchair
Weight of the individual
ability to transfer Weight
good wheelchair cushion should contour well into the shape
of the buttocks and should distribute the persons weight
evenly and should not create any pressure points. Any good
cushion should not slip from the wheelchair. If the cushion
slips when a person is sitting it could cause a lot of discomfort
and undesirable consequences like sores, rashes etc. The wheelchair
cushion should also be water resistant and shock resistant
to make it comfortable for the user to travel in different
terrain and weather conditions.
Cushions can be broadly divided into 3 types:
A foam cushion is basically made out of Polyurethane. Suits
people with good sensation level, skin condition and weight
transfer ability. Foam cushions should always retain their
shape after the weight is removed. One can use this phenomenon
to check the condition of the cushion and replace whenever
necessary. Foam cushions are less expensive. The price range
of foam cushions varies from $20 to $25.
As the name suggest, this wheelchair cushion is filled with
gel on the sitting side. The other side could be foam. This
gel has a good heat transfer property. Hence can keep the
temperature under control and because of the fluidity, a gel
cushion can spread the weight evenly. Pressure points are
not created. Check for the fluid condition of the gel. When
lumps or inconsistency is found in the gel, it is the time
for replacement of the cushion.
Can be one large air pillow like cushion or could contain
a number of small air cells (compartments). Has a good heat
transfer and weight distribution property. Check for air leaks
regularly. You can apply pressure with then palm of your hand
and check for the right amount of air to be filled before
sitting. If the air reduces after every usage or daily, the
cushion has to be replaced.