The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has shared some of the most crucially needed statistics for the hour. By the year 2030, the total number of elderly in the Country would double and reach 71.5 million. Besides, 18% of Americans have a disability which involves limitation in activity and this incidence increases to 55% by the age 65 to 68. Approximately 1.5 million people in the country use a manual wheelchair (MWC) according to the National Health Interview Survey on Disability. Most of these wheelchairs are either bought due to a sudden onset of diseases or the fact that the elderly cannot afford it or they are not aware of other options. However, in the whole scheme of things, what gets neglected is the importance of individualized seating. Wheelchairs come with a sling seat and a back support that essentially is supposed to ‘fit all who need it.’ How is this even possible when not everyone weighs the same or has the same body proportion at the very least?
There are very few adjustments available in an MWC, and it comes with a lot of discomfort and offers very little posture stability. After a brief period in the wheelchair, the elderly end up either leaning forward or sideward and sometimes trip over, due to the wheelchair’s unstable condition. Besides, imagine the damage it does to your system (external and internal) just by squeezing in and sitting all day! The simplest solution suggested by experts is the usage of cushions that are specifically designed for wheelchairs. Wheelchair cushions offer comfort, pressure management, better posture, and stability. While there are several wheelchair cushions available in the market, what is important is selecting and maintaining the wheelchair cushion.
- Always remember that the cushion is added to reduce the discomfort that arises from the usage of a wheelchair. Make a list of its shortcomings and ensure the cushion lives up to its expectation.
- If you are using an air cushion, ensure its inflated on a daily basis.
- These cushions are designed to be used for up to two years. So, ensure to replace your cushion if it is old.
- While cushions come with a waterproof layer, it’s always best to add another layer of incontinence cover.