Bariatric Wheelchair Cushions: Not an Accessory, a Necessity

May 31, 2018
tri foam bariatric cushion

Bariatric patients who use wheelchairs may be at a higher risk for pressure injuries partly because their extra weight does not necessarily protect them from the forces of pressure and shear, but may in fact hinder them.

Larger wheelchair residents are more likely to develop pressure issues on the thighs and tailbone, and in atypical and unique locations—hips, lower back, buttocks, and skinfolds.1, 2 The side panels of a too-small wheelchair, for example, can rub against the skin, creating pressure points.2 And many bariatric wheelchairs fold up, making the seats less sturdy and, as a result, can cause discomfort and lack of support.1

If your bariatric patients use wheelchairs, specialty seat cushions are a “must have.” Bariatric wheelchair cushions can decrease the risk of pressure injuries, as well as promote better posture and a straighter spine, reduce sciatica and leg pain, and minimize muscle strain.1

Sizing up the options

When choosing bariatric wheelchair cushions, consider:

  • Weight capacity—Cushions with incorrect weight limits can fall apart more easily.
  • Size—A too small or too large cushion can result in improper weight distribution and discomfort. (Measure your wheelchair side to side between the outside edges of the seat upholstery, and front to back along the side rail, for accuracy.1)
  • Positioning—If your resident needs help positioning or getting out of the wheelchair, contoured cushions help maintain posture.
  • Materials—Foam, gel, and air each provides a specific cushioning effect.
  • Ease of cleaning—Easy-to-clean cushions promote better hygiene.
  • Price—The least expensive models are not always the best for your residents’ specific requirements.

AliMed offers a range of foam, gel, and air bariatric wheelchair cushions that are extra roomy and durable to accommodate both weight and size, fulfilling your largest residents’ needs:

More products for bariatric residents

In addition, AliMed provides a wide selection of products for all your bariatric needs, from positioners and wheelchairs to orthopedic supports and mobility aids—all designed to maximize functional independence and quality of life.

References

  1. https://www.movementadvisor.com/bariatric-wheelchair-cushion/
  2. https://woundcareadvisor.com/providing-skin-care-for-bariatric-patients-vol4-no6