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Permobil Blog / February 16, 2023

Taking a closer look at wheelchair cushion and back support covers

Cushion selection can be hard to narrow down as there are so many options out there. It's a topic we've spent a lot of time discussing on this blog. We've discussed the topic of selecting a cushion in different ways from looking at benefits & considerations of cushion mediums to exploring different ways of providing pressure redistribution. Once you've found the right cushion for you, you now have to decide on a cover option! Let's look a bit closer at the different cover options out there.

When choosing a wheelchair cushion or back cover, look for a cover that can meet your overall needs for moisture control, comfort, air circulation management, and ease of cleaning.

Other things to consider include:

  • The material should assist in providing comfort, stability, and skin and tissue protection. Please note that a waterproof cover does not allow for air to circulate. A stretchy, breathable cover allows for air circulation, but does not protect for incontinence or moisture management. 
  • An incontinent or waterproof cover will protect the cushion or back support from any spills, incontinence, or excess moisture. This type of cover will ‘pool’ any liquid, and therefore, will need to be cleaned shortly after exposure. But it will also protect the material of your cushion or back support and lessen the need to clean the inside as often.
  • Reflective piping on covers allows for you to be seen in darker environments and when out at night.
  • Handles on your covers help to carry and move the cushion or back support to and from the wheelchair.
  • Pockets on the side or front of the cushion cover allow you to carry small items.

There is also a unique, embedded upgrade to Permobil’s two cover options (Stretch-Air and Comfort-Tek) for Comfort cushions. GlideWear™ technology further reduces your risk of pressure injuries and enhances end user comfort. By reducing the amount of friction, it helps reduce the daily stresses on soft tissue and the probability of skin breakdown from the effects of shear. It is lightweight, breathable, and reduces moisture buildup for micro-climate control to protect your skin. Remember that the choice is yours and whatever you select needs to meet your individual needs!

Check out The Wheelchair Handbook



Permobil Clinical Education Team

This information comes from the Permobil Clinical Education team which consists of a group of Occupational and Physical Therapists. Click here to learn more about Permobil clinical education team.

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Categories: Complex Rehab, End Users, Backs, Cushion

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