Mattresses and Cushions for Bedsore Prevention

Bedsores are a serious problem in nursing homes, especially for residents who have limited mobility. Thankfully, there are a variety of special mattresses and cushions available to help prevent and manage pressure ulcers that have formed on an elderly person’s body.

  1. Mattresses. There are a variety of special mattresses designed to help reduce the amount of pressure that exists at pressure points between a person’s body and the bed surface. These mattresses are specifically constructed, using special materials and designs to enhance comfort and to better distribute weight. These mattresses can be made of foam, gel foam, fibers, air columns, air pockets, water columns, or water pockets. Special mattresses are usually available in twin bed sizes but can be found in larger bed sizes if necessary.

  2. Mattress Overlays. Mattress overlays are special mattress-sized cushions that usually consist of a plurality of air-filled or water-filled cells aligned side-by-side that are secured to one another to form the overlay. The overlay is then secured to a mattress and provides additional support for whoever lays on it. The overlay distributes a person’s weight more evenly and is a very useful device when managing pressure ulcers. A good example of a mattress overlay is the Med Aire Mattress Overlay, manufactured by Drive Medical.

  3. Mattress Bed Pads. Bed pads are layers of padding materials that can be laid on top of a standard mattress. The bed pad adds extra support and distributes weight more evenly. Bed pads come in a variety of thicknesses, textures, and materials. The most common types of bed pads are foam pads having an egg-crate pattern. Bed pads can also be found having a lattice-work, or waffle pattern, or a wavy pattern.

  4. Chair Cushions. Chair cushions can be strapped into or onto chairs to provide extra support and comfort. There are many different types of chair pads for managing pressure ulcers, including cushions consisting of arrays of adjustable air cells, air-channeling layers, gel foam-filled cushions,  and molded foam cushions.

  5. Wheelchair Cushions. There are some elderly individuals who require the use of a wheelchair to facilitate their mobility, and wheelchairs can sometimes be very uncomfortable to sit in for extended periods of time. There are chair pads available that are specifically designed for use in wheelchairs. An example of a wheelchair cushion is the Spenco Silicone Wheelchair Pad, which is a soft, pliable cushion made from fluid-resistant fabric.

Common Characteristics of Special Mattresses and Cushions

There are quite a few desirable characteristics that many cushions and special mattresses have in common, for example, being made from materials that are water and or fluid-resistant, vapor impermeable, easily washable, flexible, capable of wicking body perspiration away from the body, and breathable.

Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

If your loved one has developed a pressure ulcer while staying at a nursing home facility, and there is no reason to believe that the wound was unavoidable, do not hesitate to contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney today. Please contact the attorneys at The Rooth Law Firm either online or by phone at (847) 869-9100.

Photo Credit: spDuchamp via Compfight cc