Air Cushions for Wheelchairs / Air Pillow for Wheelchair
Air cushions for wheelchairs are by far one of the best types of medical grade cushions available worldwide. They are made with special cells that are filled with air and able to be inflated with an included specialty pump. There is actually much to know about air pillows for wheelchairs if you’re going to purchase one, and AvaCare Medical is happy to provide you with the information you need! Read more...
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How do Air Cushions Work?
Many of these pneumatic wheelchair cushions allow adjustability in terms of air pressure, and they can enhance the positioning stability of users when compared to other types of wheelchair cushions (such as gel or regular foam). While air filled wheelchair cushions may be used in conjunction with other wheelchair cushion materials, in general these are made of high quality neoprene rubber. Since they are designed to target pressure points, these air cushion seats for wheelchairs prove exceptional at benefitting users with the following features:
Amazing Pressure and Pressure Sore Relief
Many people develop what are known as pressure sores (also called bed sores) when sitting in a wheelchair or one position too long. This is especially true for users who are elderly or those with a severe disability, relegating them to a sedentary lifestyle and dependent on their manual wheelchair. Since the individual cells are able to inflate and deflate accordingly, an air cushion for wheelchairs may prove to be the best option for combating and preventing bedsores altogether.
Firm or Soft (Adjustable)
Adjustability is one thing that makes these air cushions unique. While much can be up to user preference, medical necessities may require a person to inflate these to be either more or less firm to increase their comfort level and help with seat positioning. Having an air seat cushion for wheelchairs that is partially deflated will allow more of a “pocket” for the user to sit in. Having the air pillow be more firm may help provide some spinal support.
Of course, air cushions are lightweight when compared to some other gel cushions or even memory foam pads. The reason isn’t simply because they contain mostly air; it is also due to their high quality rubber construction materials. They are often able to be carried easily, and many come with patch kits for ease of maintenance.
With an air pillow for wheelchairs, a user can easily and conveniently place and set the cushion up with ease. Many air cushions come with an easy-to-use pump to ensure that they can be inflated quickly, and they feature a cover that may be waterproof or even spill-proof to make cleanup a snap. Otherwise, many wheelchair covers that come with air cushions are actually able to be easily washed in a home washer and dryer.
How to know if You Need an Air Cushion for a Wheelchair
Finding the right wheelchair cushion is essential for comfort, security, and even pressure relief. However, some people may not benefit from air cushions if they need something that requires no maintenance since these options can develop leaks over time. When you have an air cushion, users are encouraged to keep their pumps on hand at all times and check for air leaks almost daily. They are great at adding a bit of stability, but should you need special positioning items (such as a back cushion for lumbar support), they may not be the best choice. These solutions are also a little more expensive than most gel or foam cushions!
Another important point to consider is the seat of your wheelchair, or the overall geriatric length (the back plus the seat, plus the length to the footrests). For longer air mattress-like wheelchair cushions that are air filled, always consider the geriatric length along with the seat width. Other air cushions may need to have certain specifications and should fit neatly in a wheelchair seat. Therefore, users need to choose one that matches the length and seat depth of their wheelchair.
How to Properly Clean an Air Cushion for a Wheelchair
As mentioned earlier, air cushions require a certain level of maintenance when it comes to cleaning and maintaining them properly. They have valves meant for inflating and deflating them, so it’s important not to have open valves that can potentially degrade the material from the inside out. While you can use all-natural solutions (such as vinegar and baking soda), it is highly recommended that you use other solutions on the outside. It is very important that water doesn’t get inside the cells, as this can damage the interior wall and cause more leaks. In order to clean an air cushion properly, a user must:
- Close the air input valve. This must be done to keep water out of your cushion.
- Rinse with warm water (not scalding hot water) and remove any loose particles between the cells. This needs to be done carefully, and no harsh chemicals should be used in this process.
- Once that is done, you may use a brush or a sponge to scrub the cushion gently. You can use a gentle cleaner, as well as a bleach solution in order to wash it well. This also helps to remove bacteria.
- At least once a week, disinfect the cushion with a partial bleach water solution. Always be sure to check the valve, though, before getting into deep cleaning mode. This bleach mixture should not be unduly strong. It needs to be only 1 part bleach with 9 parts of warm water in order to create a high quality sanitizing solution.
- Some people recommend that users scrub the cushion under the bleach solution, but others may just recommend soaking the cushion in the solution for 10 minutes or so, then rinsing with water. After that, it’s important to hang the air cushion to dry, as excessive heat will destroy it.
Here at AvaCare Medical, we know that air cushions for wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes. We want to ensure that you get the most out of your air cushion, and we also want to help you choose the one that best fits your medical and comfort needs! Give us a call at 1-877-813-7799 and we’ll gladly help you through your order process and answer any questions you may have!