Having adequate cushioning in the wheelchair keeps the user comfortable and essential for his/her overall health. If you know someone who uses a bariatric wheelchair, then having a comfortable seat cushion is of the essence.
When you visit website of a reliable supplier, you will find hundreds of wheelchair cushions to choose from. With so many cushion options available in the market, it’s not easy to decide what’s best suited for your loved one. Here, you will find a few helpful tips to select the right bariatric wheelchair cushion.
Check the Weight Capacity
Some cushions are meant to bear more weight than others. While an extraordinarily soft and light cushion may give comfort at first, it is likely to fall apart quickly. It also does not offer the much-needed support to the bariatric patient.
Get a Suitable Size
Apart from having different weight-bearing capacities, cushions are available in different sizes as well. Buying a too-small product or too big results in discomfort, inadequate support, and improper weight distribution. To know the right dimensions, take measurements of the wheelchair side to side. To know the seat depth, measure the seat from back to front along the rail.
Know the User’s Positioning Needs
The user’s positioning needs is another crucial thing to consider while selecting a cushion. If the person can sit in and get up from the wheelchair without external support, then a flat wheelchair cushion would be sufficient. However, if the person needs help while getting in or out of the wheelchair, you must look for a contoured cushion to maintain positions and posture.
Choose the Right Cushion Material
You can find bariatric wheelchair cushions in multiple types of materials. Some are:
- Memory Foam: Memory foam has lots of open cells packed tightly together. It provides extreme comfort by conforming to the body, eliminating stress from pressure points, and offering adequate support. Some of these cushions also contain gel inserts for extra comfort.
- Gel Cushion: It has a water-filled gel bladder that is highly effective in relieving pressure on the thighs, buttocks, and tailbone. Some of these cushions have a foam layer on the top to help temperature control, reduce skin issues, and prevent overheating. They help in redistributing pressure and distributing weight evenly.
- Air Inflated Cushion: Just like gel cushions, air-inflated cushions also allow bony body parts to float, thereby reducing pressure sores. They are highly effective in redistributing weight evenly.
Find Out the Cleaning and Maintenance Needs
The cushion that you choose should be easy to clean. From spills and sweat to incontinence issues, wheelchair cushions are exposed to a lot of elements. That being said, prefer a cushion with a waterproof cover so that you can quickly remove it and wash it.
Look at the Attachment Process
Buying a suitable wheelchair cushion is not enough. It must remain secured to the wheelchair as well. Does it have a clip for attachment, or it just stays in the chair unattached like a pillow? Ensure that the cushion has non-skid features or clips or ties in place for added comfort and security. A cushion that keeps sliding around is uncomfortable and does not solve its purpose.
Other Things to Check
Even if you choose the right cushion in the best material and right size, the user may not find it comfortable. So, check the return policy and warranty of the cushion before purchasing. Also, check the price before buying one, as you will find many good quality wheelchair cushions at highly competitive rates.
The cushion that you choose for the wheelchair offers valuable benefits of added comfort and maneuverability. So, ensure to choose the right cushion according to your needs.