Imagine sitting on a couch without a cushion or maybe sitting in a car without a cushion. Seems uncomfortable, right? Now, imagine the condition of a person sitting in a wheelchair. They might face discomfort, this is where cushions come into play. The wheelchair cushions provide support to the user and maintain the well-being of the person for a long time. There are many types of wheelchair cushions, one of which is a gel pressure relief cushion.
Gel cushions are beneficial, as it provides proper pressure distribution. Not only is the cushion apt for relieving pressure from sore parts but also provides adequate comfort to the user. These cushions are well constructed and are not affected by extreme temperatures. They are extremely long lasting and it becomes a good choice for investment.
A gel wheelchair cushion generally consists of various pouches that are made up of gel. They are attached to the foam base which makes it easy for the wheelchair users to sit for a long time. A gel layer on top of the foam layer allows the gel pressure relief cushion to adjust the body temperature and the gel on different layers allows the weight of the person to be distributed evenly. The cushion can bear weight up to 500 pounds which makes it convenient for persons with bariatric wheelchair.
The factors which one should keep in mind while buying a gel cushion are following:
#1. Size – The size of the cushion is an important factor. Just like a wheelchair’s size varies from one chair to another, the size of the cushion also varies. Getting a wrong size cushion may prove to do more harm to the user than any good. The seat fails to provide comfort to the user and does not relieve the individual from pressure points. Buying a bigger size and then cutting the sides to customise the cushion according to the chair also does not work, as it can possibly ruin the stability of the cushion. Before buying a cushion, one must measure the length and breadth of the chair. Measuring it more than once leads to accurate measurement.
#2. Weight Capacity – As mentioned above, gel pressure relief cushions can carry weight up to 500 pounds but not all cushions are designed in that manner. Some cushions can take weight up to 200 pounds so buying this cushion for a person who weighs 300 pounds, may not last for long. To avoid the hassle of purchasing the cushion again and again, one must buy a cushion which is proportional to its weight. The difference in the carrying capacity of the cushion might prove uncomfortable.
#3. Mobility and Design – A gel cushion may be either flat or contoured. A flat chair is used for those individuals who can move and require minimum assistance for mobility. These allow the user to move easily. For a person who requires support for mobility and needs to sit on the chair for a long time, requires contoured cushions.
#4. Securing the Cushion – We know that gel cushions are heavier as compared to the foam ones. Non-skid cushions may be preferred by some whereas some of the cushions are attached to the wheelchair with the help of straps.
#5. Material of the Cushion – The material of the cushion is an important factor to look for before buying it. Whether the material is washable or not, if the material is breathable or not are some of the important determinants of the cushion to ponder.
Thus, these are some of the important factors which one should verify and think about before buying a gel pressure relief cushion. The return or exchange policy of the cushion is equally important to consider while buying.