Wheelchair cushions are accessories that make sitting in a manual or electric wheelchair more comfortable in both short and long periods of time. Wheelchair cushions provide better support, relieve pressure sores, and provide better support while sitting in a wheelchair.
So the question gets asked how long do wheelchair cushions last? Wheelchair cushions will last around 2 to 4 years with the average lasting around 3 years. Depending on the amount of use and type of marterials the cushion is made from will affect how long the wheelchair cushion will last. A good rule to follow is replacing your wheelchair cushions every 3 years.
How often should you replace wheelchair cushions?
Look to change your wheelchair cushion at least every 3 years. However, if your cushions are already in bad shape you are a little late in changing it out. You should stay ahead of your current cushion not perfomring well because can lead to pain and pressure sores. The benifit of having a new cushion at the 3-year mark is that you can also use your old one as a backup with it still beeing in decen condiion if you need to use it.
Why should you replace your wheelchair cushion?
Ther are a few main reasons why you should replace your current wheelchair cushion. If you have any conditions medicaly that might be affecting your skin like wieght loss, weight gain, or your current cusshion is showing signs of not provide the protection it once was because of age or wear and tear it probably is time to upgrade to a new wheelchair cushion.
Are Gel wheelchair cushions covered by Medicare?
Yes in a large part Medicare Part B will help pay for 80% of the cost of a wheelchair cushion. The other 20 percent will be covered by the person out of pocket. But there are requirements that hav to be meet and understood when dealing with Medicare.
For exmaple, you need to have a phsuician who is approved by Medicare. Then the order needs to specify what type of cushion will be required. This can fall under air, foam, gel, etc. The phsycial also has to coument that you are required and meet the criteria for a specific type of cushion.
Gel cushions become important for skin protection and because of this Mediare will only cover the cost of a gel seat cushion. If you have pressure sores or ulcers or have had them in the past because of a wheelchair seat Medcicare should provide help as long as you and the phsucial qualify.
Sensation issues becaus of the following:
- MS Multiple Sclerosis
- ALS Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Cerbral palsy
- Spinal bifida
- Paraplegia or uadriplegia
- Alzheimer’s disease
Does private insurance cover gel wheelchair cushions?
This will depend and vary by the insurance compnay. Our advice is to check with your insuranc company to see if they will cover the cost. It is knwn that if they do cover the cost most insurance companies replace your wheelchair cushions every 3 years.
What is the most common type of wheelchair cushions?
In terms of materials and internals that make up a wheelchair cushion you can find a few different types of cushions you can purchase. Some cushions are better at certain aspects of protection than others and your current conditions will determine what type of cushion you should purchase. The most popular wheelchair cushions are foam, air, gel, and honeycomb sytle cushions.
Final thoughts on how long wheelchair cushions will last
Your wheelchair cushions are a very important aspect of keeping you comfortable and healthier while using a wheelchair. Because of this we highly recommend you keep your cushions in the best possible shape. We also suggest replacing your wheelchair cushion before they stop providing the proper support. Replace your cushions at least every 3 years or when you see them starting to not provide the support you need.