Positioning Cushions

Wheelchair adaptations for stroke patients

For individuals who have had a stroke and have not regained enough muscle control to walk safely, a wheelchair is the means to independent mobility.
However, wheelchairs were designed to be propelled with two arms, and most stroke patients have full use of only one. Some patients can be taught to propel a wheelchair using one arm and one leg, but this only works for patients tall enough to reach the ground with their feet while seated. This can be a major inconvenience. Here are three approaches to solve this important problem.

1. Use an AliMed® Stroke Cushion The Stroke Cushion fills the sling-seat area and protects ischial tuberosities with shear-reducing gel. Stroke cushion nestles into the concave seat without raising the seat height. For added comfort, choose the Stroke Cushion with a T-Foam™ layer.

2. Install a “drop seat” Not all wheelchairs are adjustable to hemi height. Drop seats replace wheelchair sling seats to lower the seating surface by approximately 2". Drop seats install on the chair frame and require the use of a wheelchair cushion for protection. When you install a drop seat, you won’t be able to fold the chair unless it is removed.

3. Buy a hemi-height wheelchair A hemi-height wheelchair has a seat that is 2" lower than a standard wheelchair. Average cost is $400 to $700. You’ll find hemi-chairs from all of the wheelchair manufacturers we represent.

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