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Wheelchair Cushions / Wheelchair Pads

Manual wheelchairs don’t always come with extra padding or a captain’s seats like other wheelchairs, so when that is the case, wheelchair cushions may be needed for added comfort. AvaCare Medical offers an exceptional supply of wheelchair pads from the top manufacturers on the market. There are also many benefits you can get from a wheelchair seat cushion, aside from just comfort. Read more...

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Why Wheelchair Cushions Are Necessary

Some people don’t mind not having a cushion during short transports, or during just short-term daily use. But such prolonged use can lead to many discomfort and pressure related problems if a user is confined to the wheelchair frequently throughout the day or in it for long-term use. Whether the patient uses a power wheelchair or transport chair, a cushion can greatly help users be not only more comfortable, but also safer and healthier. 

More than Just Comfort

Wheelchair seat cushions provide extra padding that keeps the user happy and comfortable, but there are many more practical uses for different types. Medical seating cushions are made to enhance certain things that elderly or handicapped people can’t really control as much, from moisture absorption to pressure relief, bedsore relief, and sore prevention. They also offer exceptional positioning stability for improved posture. Therefore, it’s important to choose the medical cushion that a person actually needs. Here are some wheelchair cushion types that are on the market:

Gel Cushions

Gel cushions and pads are used either as a standalone or often with memory foam or harder foam wheelchair cushions. This is one of the power wheelchair cushions for wheelchair seats that are very popular. They allow maximum cooling and comfort while adding to the firmness and stability. They are usually made of T-Gel™ or silicone.

Air Cushions

Air cushions are one of the more advanced medical cushions. They are made as both power chair seat cushions and manual wheelchair cushions as well. They are very adaptable and offer alternating pressure, or even just standardized adjustable pressure to target areas while allowing pressure points to get the most relief. Air cushions can be costlier, but part of the reason for this is because their niche is specialized.

Back Cushions

Back cushions are specially shaped cushions that provide spinal and posture relief or correction. They are often shaped similarly to a wedge cushion, while sometimes they have additional support for the lumbar region via an air sack or extra hard cushioning inside.

Wedge Cushions

Wedge cushions may be made of a firm foam, and some even include hybrid gel and foam together to create extra seating support and positioning, while adding to posture correction. They help a user to not slide around in his chair so much, and they encourage correct posture. Some users may use wheelchair pads in combination with a back cushion for superior cushioning and comfort.

Wheelchair Pillows

A wheelchair pillow cushion is simply a cushion that is made to add a layer of positioning stability and support. These are also used as a light-duty means of helping to control bedsores, and provide a layer of extra comfort for users. These standard wheelchair cushions and power chair cushions are made specifically for the purpose of comfort and offer basic medical benefits to users. Wheelchair pillows are great for helping to provide pressure relief as well.

Waffle Cushions for Wheelchairs

Waffle cushions feature a special design that wheelchair cushions and pillows often have. Since they have a larger natural weight capacity, they are frequently used in bariatric wheelchair cushions and provide a particular amount of pressure for relief. Some waffle cushions are actually larger in order to provide use in larger wheelchair seats.

Wheelchair Foot Cushions

Foot pads are very advantageous for wheelchair users. Some users with limited or no mobility can still feel their legs, and when their legs or feet are in the same place every day, a hard footrest or foot pad can take its toll on comfort. That’s where a foot cushion comes into play, to provide extra relief for users who have to remain stationary throughout the day.

How to Choose the Right Cushions

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the proper cushion for a user. While some people may think that they need a certain type, they may be able to benefit more by purchasing one that is recommended by a physician to help with comfort and stability. If a user is having problems with comfort, bed sores, or simply needs help with positioning, it is recommended to talk to a doctor and get an idea of which would be the best cushion to help them. These are still medical devices, and some people forget that.

Users should consider their own individual needs when choosing a cushion. Comfort is not the only factor in play. One should measure the seat width and depth of and ensure that their seat cushion will actually fit in it. Along with this, thickness should be seriously considered. It is a common misconception that cushion thickness equates to comfort. In truth, the materials and the density and firmness of the foam are what is needed in order to find the proper comfort and support. Users should also consider the maintenance that is required for wheelchair cushions of different types. Some cushions, such as air and gel may require additional maintenance and be subject to tears and air leaks. They are a great long-term investment, though.

Natural Wheelchair Cushions May Be a Good Investment Too

Another type of wheelchair pad on the market is a sheepskin wheelchair cushion or cover. These wheelchair pads can offer exceptional moisture control and even help the skin heal and prevent pressure ulcers. Many people can benefit from using a sheepskin wheelchair pad, and some users may even be able to drape them over their current wheelchair cushion for even more comfort, since sheepskin pads are made of genuine sheep hides.

Conclusion

Wheelchair cushions like the ROHO cushion, foam cushions and gel cushions add comfort and safety to your wheelchair. Positioning, sitting stability, sore prevention and pressure distribution can all be improved with the use of the correct seat cushion. If pressure reduction is an important factor, try the gel foam or air cushions. Positioning is best provided with the gel and gel foam cushions, while both foam and gel cushions offer good seating stability. Besides those benefits, there are many other factors involved in choosing the best cushion, such as durability, firmness adjustability, maintenance levels and of course, pricing. For more detailed, helpful information about wheelchair cushion types, read the cushions section of our Wheelchair Buying Guide.

 

Whatever wheelchair seat cushion type you decide to purchase, we are here to help! Here at AvaCare, our customers are our highest priority and we want to hear from you! You can call us during business hours or even speak to an agent online. If you would like to get in touch with us via email, you can always send a message any time of the day as well! And don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to preventing bedsores, and obtaining complete comfort in your wheelchair for more information!