For people who heavily rely on wheelchairs for mobility, choosing the right wheelchair cushion is just as (if not more) important as taking daily medication. One misstep and your overall health can completely unravel. Individuals who are seated in wheelchairs 24/7 are at very high risk for developing pressure sores due to prolong sitting and lack of movement. Despite using active pressure-relieving and mobility strategies, pressure sores are a very real problem and can be potentially lethal if left unmanaged.
In order to prevent pressure sores, wheelchair users should be rightfully selective about their wheelchairs cushions. So, what wheelchair cushions are out there? What are the best ones? What do I want and not want in a wheelchair cushion? The following information is a list of 5 top-rated wheelchair cushions on the market today. Each cushion is provided with a list of pros and cons:
The Miracle DuoGel is unique in that the pad is made of squishy cells on one side of the pad while the other side is quite firm.
Pros: It is not an inflatable cushion and has very little risk for going flat. The internal gel temperature stays regulated. This cushion can be used for multiple seated surfaces including manual wheelchairs, power chairs, and scooters.
Cons: If you read some of the Amazon reviews. Some that have purchased revealed that the pad might be too squishy for some users. Some feel it does not offer enough hip and buttock support for long periods of time when sitting in the wheelchair.
Pros: The cushion comes with a nonslip, ergonomically friendly fitting surface that conforms well to the hips and buttocks. It’s advertised as a multi-purpose cushion that can frequently be used for injury recovery. You can view all the other benefits and features of the Bonmedico wheelchair cushion here.
Cons: The thickness of the cushion seems to seat users pretty high up from the wheelchair. It would be essential to measure the user and the wheelchair to make sure that the height difference doesn’t throw other measurements off such as conformity to the footrests.
Roho cushions have been a favorite for many years now. The Roho Mosaic presents with inflatable chambers across the cushion in order to let the user adjust the firmness to their liking.
Pros: The cushion weighs about 1 pound, making it easy for travel and storage. The cushion is covered with a two-way stretch fabric that is very difficult to rip. It’s anatomically-designed cell heights are more effective. Better controlled air flow through the air cells. Allows you to sit longer with less pain.
Cons: Persons who have difficulty with upper extremity strength or hand dexterity challenges may have trouble managing the air pump by themselves. May require the assistance of a second person to pump the cushion cells to an acceptable height. Read more reviews on this cushion on Amazon.
Pros: The cover is water-resistant and antimicrobial, which is very beneficial for wheelchair users who struggle with incontinence. The gel supposedly massages the muscles. The gel interior is designed to take pressure off of the tailbone or coccyx and the lower back.
Cons: Reviews on this cushion reveal that the fabric may not be very breathable for some users and that the cushion has a tendency to slip out of the chair.
The LiquiCell wheelchair cushion is made up of aqueous membranes that were created to improve circulation and reduce tailbone numbness from prolonged sitting.
Pros: The membrane creates a water-like motion to reduce overall pressure on the tailbone and buttocks. Most reviewers of this cushion state that it is very effective for sciatica pain, back pain, pressure sores, and numbness from long periods of sitting.
Cons: The Ergo21 is a very expensive cushion, but many reviews state that it’s worth the money for elderly seniors who need a slightly more firm less soft cushion.
Comparison Table:Table could not be displayed.
In today’s world, there are hundreds of options readily available when it comes to purchasing a wheelchair cushion. Personal comfort and use can be positive as long as there is a detailed assessment on the functional mobility of the person using the cushion and their long-term or short-term sitting needs.
Think about past history and risk of sensitivity to skin breakdown. The ability or lack thereof for the person to use pressure-relieve tactics or to move around in their own wheelchair. What will be their tolerance for temperature changes when going in and outdoors. Fabric preferences because of incontinence or sweating.
Also, one needs to assess the possible risk for slipping or falling out of the chair with a wheelchair cushion. No one cushion can suit every wheelchair user, thus it is essential that you do your due diligence and thoroughly research which cushion will benefit elderly seniors that sit for long periods during the day at home or in a facility.
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