Frequently Asked Questions
Could you review the advantages and disadvantages of cushion types?
There was a lot of information in a short time on this during the training. There are some posted resources on cushion materials and design here on Education in Motion.
Bariatric clients and fluid cushions - opinions? Fluid - kneading issue?
Manufacturers provide a recommended user weight limit to guide provision. These are usually available on their website, or in other informational materials.
Bariatric clients often may actually be at slightly less risk of bottoming out on fluid cushions due to the presence of soft tissue over the seating area, whilst very slim clients may actually have more acute boney prominences. Best practice is to check at time of assessment, handover and encourage the client to do the same daily fluid maintenance.
What is the difference between fluid and gel?
Gel is a polymer, often silicone-based, that has a consistency much like a firm gelatin and compresses slightly rather than displacing. Fluid flows from one place to another within its containing sac, so is better for immersion than gel. For a more thorough discussion and printable resource, check out "Material Selection in Cushions" here on Education in Motion.
I have requests for gel cushions. Can you comment on the heat and moisture factors using gel cushions in our hot and humid climate? Do fluid cushions get hot as well?
Even in rarely truly hot Britain, the heat and moisture levels at the skin surface are a recognized factor in skin integrity. These effects are all the more important to consider in an even warmer climate.
Would suggest you have a look at the two-part blog on microclimate here on the Education in Motion website. There are also some useful resources on Education in Motion with downloadable, printable resources that go into properties in more detail here.
Gel polymers feel cool initially but warm up to body temperature quickly and can be a little sweaty due to the plastic top layer, although toweling or thick air exchange-type covers (like 3D spacer) can help.
Fluid-type cushions (for example JAY 2, JAY Fusion, Ottobock Floam, Invacare Solution) are generally a little cooler but tend to warm up similarly. There is one significant exception to this in that one new fluid cushion has special technology to manage microclimate. Further details are in the links above.
Cushions with air-exchange covers, base material with channels for airflow can help allow moisture to evaporate, which can help with skin cooling.
Where can I get that hamstring and spinal model?