If you’re looking for comfort and a way to prevent or help heal pressure sores, then an air wheelchair cushion may be just for you. Air cushions feature unique properties which can lead to improved health and comfort for wheelchair users at risk of skin shearing, pressure sores, and other issues.
Air cushions are typically constructed of many air-filled cells. In most cases, the cells interconnect, meaning that as you sit on the cushion, some of the air is displaced from the cells directly beneath you to the cells around your side. This unique design means that air cushions won’t bottom out in the way that gel cushions can as the gel gets pushed out to the side. When an air cushion is properly adjusted, there will always be air beneath you.
Because air cushions allow you to sit down in the cushion, they greatly help to distribute your weight evenly. As the air shifts, it helps to avoid the creation of pressure points. If you already have a pressure sore, avoiding pressure points is essential to helping the sore to heal, while providing you with comfort at the same time.
Air cushions can be adjusted to best suit your needs. Your cushion will come with directions for determining the proper inflation level. It’s important to regularly check the inflation of your air cushion, since air does gradually leak out with use and your cushion will require more maintenance than foam or gel cushions do.
It's important to note that while air cushions are excellent for aiding in proper weight distribution, they typically provide little postural support.