Wheelchair cushions are an essential part of any transportation setup in Senior Living. While standard sling seats may be fine for short-term use, they are not suited for seniors to use indefinitely. Augmenting these seats with cushions improves not only resident comfort, but the safety of the wheelchair as well.
Read on to discover helpful tips on selecting the perfect cushion in 2020.
The Biggest Factors in Choosing a Wheelchair Cushion
Wheelchair cushions are not a “one size fits all” solution for your fleet and should be suited to each resident individually. As you make this assessment, the two most important considerations are cushion shape and cushion material, each providing their own set of benefits. These different options cater to unique conditions however, and using the wrong cushion could lead to hazardous positioning.
What are the different wheelchair cushion shapes?
The four most popular shapes are saddle shaped cushions, pommel-shaped cushions, wedge-shaped cushions and anti-thrust cushions.
Saddle-Shaped Cushions: Perfect for residents with hip rotation or a lack of abduction control.
Pommel-Shaped Cushions – Suited for residents who tend to cross or buckle their knees.
Wedge-Shaped Cushions: Designed to help position residents with posterior pelvic tilt to remain back in their seat.
Anti-Thrust Cushions – Used to help mitigate slide for residents who are constantly moving in their chairs.
Choosing the Best Wheelchair Cushion Material
The three most popular materials are foam, gel and air cushions. The materials that your cushions are made of can also have large impact on the experience of the resident using them. Choosing between foam, gel and air cushions each present their own set of benefits.
- Foam Cushions: Best for maximizing immersion with a greater degree of pressure management and offloading properties.
- Gel Cushions: Best for regulating body temperatures and reducing buildup of moisture
- Air Cushions: Best for advanced pressure management and all-day comfort with a cool and dry surface.