Wheelchair Maintenance: Don’t Overlook The Cushion

wheelchair maintenance, Phoenix, ArizonaIf you’ve used a wheelchair for a while, you know that regular maintenance is essential. You may troubleshoot your chair yourself between service inspections, or you may rely entirely on your service technician. However you ensure that your wheelchair is in top shape, the cushion is sometimes a part that gets overlooked.

This is an oversight that you shouldn’t make, as the cushion can become damaged and even develop an odor that you yourself don’t notice.

First, keep your cushion cover clean. Wash the cover at least once a week. Many covers can be machine washed on gentle and line dried. It’s best to have two covers and alternate them. The cushion itself should also be cleaned regularly. Check with the manufacturer of your cushion for care instructions.

In addition, inspect your cushion routinely for signs of wear and tear. When you remove a cover to wash it, check for rips and tears. Make sure the zipper functions properly. If it has a foam lining, check for flaking. Cushion issues vary, depending on the kind that you have.

Foam cushion: Check for cracks and flaking, which are signs of aging. Replace a cushion that’s contoured or compressed, as it can no longer properly distribute and support your weight.

Solid gel cushion: This type of cushion has a protective cover designed to keep the gel from oozing out. If you see any cracks in the cover or oozing gel, replace the cushion right away.

Fluid and air cushions: A cushion filled with a viscoelastic substance has both fluid and solid properties. This type of cushion should be kneaded daily to distribute the substance and ensure that it bears your weight properly. An air cushion is prone to slow leakage. Check the inflation at least once a week.    

Power Mobility and Lifts can help you keep your equipment in optimal shape. We supply and maintain mobility equipment for clients throughout Arizona. Contact us for answers to any questions. We’re happy to help.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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