Cushion ConclusionsBy Kurfuerst, Sharon; Chew, Felicia; Rehab Management, Vol. 16, No. 7, pp. 52-56
Publication Date: August/September 2003
Article discussing the selection process of wheelchair cushions, with consideration to clients who are elderly. Six main factors in cushion selection are listed: (1) the degree to which the client is continent, (2) the ease with which the cushion can be cleaned by the client or the client’s caregivers, (3) the degree of maintenance required for the cushion, (4) the weight of the cushion, (5) cost, and (6) durability. Three different types of cushions are described: (1) air and floatation cushions, (2) foam and combined cushions, and (3) honeycomb cushions. Cushion covers are also briefly mentioned. Air cushions can provide significant pressure relief for clients who cannot independently shift their weight due to physical and/or cognitive disabilities. Advantages of air cushions include a lighter weight, which provides optimal pressure distribution. Air cushions are also waterproof, so they are suitable for clients who are incontinent. Foam cushions are low-cost, lightweight, and require minimal maintenance. Users may be at a risk for pressure sores as foam cushions age. Combined cushions utilize air, gel, and foam, and are favored by occupational therapists because they feature the best qualities of all cushion types. Honeycomb cushions are able to distribute weight evenly without the risk of leaking or puncture. The beehive structure of honeycomb cushions allows air to flow more effectively, thus keeping the user’s skin cool and dry. Cushion covers help to prolong the life of the cushion, resulting in less frequent replacement. A well-made cover promotes air exchange, responds to changes in both external and internal body temperature, reduces friction and risk for shearing, and positively influences postural stability.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J47084