Q. I’m 58, with 30 years as a T10 para. About five years ago I started getting pressure sores on my ischial areas due to shoulder problems limiting my weight shifts. In hindsight, I should have switched to a different type of weight shift, like leaning forward. I’d never had skin issues before so I’d gotten out of the habit of daily skin checks. This led to multiple hospital stays, major skin flaps, and having both ischial tuberosities shaved down. Now the skin on my butt is so compromised I can only stay up in my chair for an hour or two. Now I’m scheduled for an eval at a wheelchair-seating clinic. Are there any cushion options for people with skin as fragile as mine?
A. Cindy, your story underlines the importance of doing daily mirror-skin-checks. Even with a perfect cushion, a pressure sore can crop up from a variety of skin insults — a bruise, weight gain or loss, or changes in weight shift frequency. Being evaluated at a wheelchair-seating clinic is vital for anybody with frail or aging skin. Although the clinician should be well versed on the latest and best cushion options for your needs, here are a couple cushion options you might want to ask the clinician about:
Aquila SofTech is an alternating pressure air cushion that automatically does weight shifts for you, as often as every 30 seconds. The key to the SofTech — and all Aquila cushions — is two groups of air bladders