In our previous two articles on choosing the right wheelchair cushion, we looked firstly at the importance of maintaining tissue integrity and then at making sure of the right posture. In this final article we are going to look at the factors you should consider to ensure it is functional as well.
If you have bought a lightweight wheelchair, you don’t want a heavy cushion to negate its benefits. Similarly, if you have to remove or put it in the chair on a regular basis, you don’t want to be struggling with a heavy weight.
Also, it is worth checking to see if your chosen cushion has an upper user weight limit, as some are only recommended for use within a range of user weights.
This is a very subjective topic as this will mean different things to different people. The factors people normally consider when assessing comfort include: softness, stability, support and security.
As you will be sat in it every day, the cushion covers should be washed regularly. The CE label should give you instructions for this, but it is important that the cover can be washed at 60C or higher to ensure microbes are killed off. Also, consider that you will need at least 2 covers, so that your cushion has one on, while the other is being washed and dried.
You have enough already to concern yourself with, so you don’t want to have to worry about having the right tools available to keep your cushion performing as you expect. Consequently, it is essential that you choose one that requires low maintenance and just does what you bought it for with minimal user intervention.
Vibration transmitted through the seat can be very fatiguing for the user. So, it makes sense to choose a cushion with high vibration dampening, ideally one that complies with the tests under the ISO 16840-2:2018 quality standard.
Virtually all cushions will perform well when new. But, over time performance falls off, leaving you with an unsatisfactory product. The new ISO standard ISO 16840-6 looks at how properties change with use and classifies cushions by type of use (e.g. by sports) and not by their materials.
We hope you have found these 3 articles on wheelchair seating cushions useful. But, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch by calling us on 0800 180 4850, or filling in the form at the bottom of this page.
Thanks to our seat partners BES Rehab for help in putting this article together.
For more info visit their Web site