Wheelchair seat cushions are an essential part of any transportation setup in Senior Living and Healthcare. While standard sling seats may be acceptable for short-term use, they are not suited for seniors to use indefinitely. Augmenting these seats with cushions improves not only patient comfort, but the safety of the wheelchair as well.
Read on to discover helpful tips for selecting the best wheelchair cushions in 2021.
What Are 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 patient 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 wheelchair cushion could lead to hazardous positioning.
What Are the Different Wheelchair Cushion Shapes?
The four most popular wheelchair cushion shapes are saddle-shaped wheelchair cushions, pommel-shaped wheelchair cushions, wedge-shaped wheelchair cushions and anti-thrust wheelchair cushions.
Saddle-Shaped Wheelchair Cushions: Perfect for seniors and patients with hip rotation or a lack of abduction control.
Pommel-Shaped Wheelchair Cushions: Suited for seniors and patients who tend to cross or buckle their knees.
Wedge-Shaped Wheelchair Cushions: Designed to help position seniors and patients with posterior pelvic tilt to remain back in their seat.
Anti-Thrust Wheelchair Cushions: Used to help mitigate slide for seniors and patients who are constantly moving in their wheelchairs.
How Can I Choose the Best Wheelchair Cushion Material?
The three most popular wheelchair cushion materials are foam, gel and air. The materials your wheelchair cushions are made of can have an impact on resident comfort and experiences. Foam wheelchair cushions, gel wheelchair cushions and air wheelchair cushions each present their own set of benefits.
- Foam Cushions for Wheelchairs: Best for maximizing immersion with a greater degree of pressure management and offloading properties.
- Gel Cushions for Wheelchairs: Best for regulating body temperatures and reducing buildup of moisture.
- Air Cushions for Wheelchairs: Best for advanced pressure management and all-day comfort with a cool and dry surface.