There are different reasons to use a gel pressure relief cushion. To understand its benefits and usage you first, need to start with knowing the variety that is available of such cushions.
- Foam cushions are the most common type of cushion and are simple and least expensive. It may come in single-density or contoured bases with multiple layers of foam. A foam cushion is best if you are looking for low maintenance and cost, stable seating surface, lightweight, low to mid-range positioning. However, these are not suitable for advanced positioning or exceptional pressure relief.
- Gel cushions are specially designed for optimal pressure relief. It allows the pressure points to “immerse” into its gel pack thereby reducing pressure. These have a contoured base and advanced positioning features. A gel pressure relief cushion is best for very stable seating surface and needs low maintenance. However, these are not cheap and not lightweight.
- Air cushions are another type filled with air. You can adjust the firmness of these cushions by adjusting the air pressure. However, these cushions offer reduced positioning and stability as compared to foam or gel cushions. The air cushion allows pressure points to “sink” into it. These are light in weight and needs low maintenance.
Reasons to Choose a Gel Cushion
Most patients prefer gel pressure relief cushion for the significant benefits that it provides. These benefits include:
- Providing proper pressure distribution
- Providing adequate comfort
- Maintaining cooler temperature than other cushions
- Durability and well-constructed features.
The gel is placed in individual pouches that are attached to the foam base. This makes it easy for the cushion to conform and provide support for the body. The gel layer also facilitates in better temperature control of the patient’s body.
Moreover, since the gel is distributed between different layers of the foam it helps in better and more even distribution of support and pressure. The most significant benefit of using a gel cushion is that the weight is ideal for patients moving in a bariatric wheelchair.
Things to Consider
When shopping for a gel pressure relief cushion you must investigate several factors and features apart from the basic design concept.
Size of it is important as wheelchairs come in a variety of different sizes. If you buy one that is too big or too small, it will make the seat uncomfortable with reduced function and stability of the cushion.
Measure the wheelchair seat width from the outside edge of the upholstery to the other and the seat depth from front to back along the side rail.
Choosing the Best Gel Seat Cushions
For a wheelchair, the doctors usually recommend a gel pressure relief cushion. It takes off the pressure from the spine.
- Consider the category of these cushions when you buy. There are three main types categorized according to risk bands. These are low risk, medium risk and high risk of developing pressure injuries or sores.
- Always consult with your physician to choose the right cushion. The combination of silicone gel and viscoelastic foam allows better circulation of air and therefore provides better comfort which is what you want in the end.
- Also, consider the price of the cushions as different manufacturers offer different rates. Choose a manufacturer that provides the best rate but stick to a reputed company.
- Compare the rates of two or more manufacturers and choose the most suitable one according to you. Also, make sure that you research well before choosing a company so that you can make an informed decision.
One of the most important things to consider is the dimensions of the gel pressure relief cushion. It must suit your need and fit in the chair properly to provide the best support and pressure relief.