Most people won’t encounter the problem of bedsores or pressure sores. However, wheelchair users, people who are bedridden, or those with physical disabilities, because they spend long periods of time in the same position, experience extreme pressure on the same body parts. This constant pressure can cause the skin to become red, inflamed, and deprives the skin cells of oxygen.
Opt for a positioning wheelchair that is specially designed to prevent skin damage to the user. Using the recline or Tilt-in-Space functions changes the user’s posture and center of gravity to relieve the constant pressure felt on certain parts of the body.
1. Reclining Wheelchair
The reclining wheelchair will transform the user from a sitting position to a close to lying down position. The change of position reduces pressure on the buttocks and allows the user to take a break from sitting in the same position.
Unfortunately, “sliding” is a common problem with reclining wheelchairs. Whenever the wheelchair reclines or returns to an upright position, the user’s back will naturally slide against the back of the wheelchair, creating uncomfortable frictions and may lead to skin breakdown.
One of the best selling reclining wheelchairs is Karma MVP 502. Its innovative anti-sliding design slopes downwards 20 degrees, which helps reduce the forward sliding and pressure sores. This significantly reduces shearing on the user’s back and reduces the need for the attendant to reposition the user.
2. Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair
The biggest difference between a tilting and reclining wheelchair is that the reclining wheelchair will change the posture of the body. If the user can NOT sit up straight independently, they might slide out of the chair or lean to one side when lying down.
The Tilt-in-Space wheelchair doesn’t change the angle of the user’s body. Only the seat is tilted backward. By shifting the pressure away from the hips onto a larger surface area, the caregiver does not need to constantly readjust the user into the seated position. This also helps the user to reduce the risk of developing bedsores and avoid back pain.
One of the most popular Tilt-in-Space wheelchairs on the market is Karma VIP 515. VIP 515 is one of the only foldable Tilt-in-Space wheelchairs on the market. This means that elderly wheelchair user’s who need this function when they are out and about can enjoy comfort and stability. The increased frequency of being able to change position will decrease the chance of pressure building on in one area and causing pressure sores.
Using these positioning functions will help shield the user from the threat of pressure ulcers and bedsores. Using a manual or power wheelchair to change the user’s position to provide relief, can also improve the user’s comfort, ability to relax, and improve their overall health.
A combination of both of these features; reclining and tilting, give the user the option of more positions to change to. A combination of these features also makes life for carers easier as they can spend less time and effort adjusting the user’s sitting position.