A wheelchair that is reclining or tilting is an important seating feature for people who spend long periods of time in their chairs. Users who are bedridden or wheelchair bound experience extreme pressure on their buttocks and tailbone, which can lead to painful and dangerous pressure sores (decubitus ulcers). Using a wheelchair with reclining features is a great way to relieve this pressure by varying the position of the body and transferring weight from one area to another.
What are the benefits of tilt and recline?
A tilt and reclining wheelchairs, such as the Invacare Spree, allows for a full reclining angle that redistributes the user’s weight by shifting it from the buttocks to the back and tailbone. This reduces shearing, which can lead to skin damage and pain, and it decreases the amount of work for caregivers who would otherwise have to frequently shift the user’s position.
Compared to a reclining wheelchair, a tilt-in-space wheelchair keeps the user’s posture the same and only tilts their seat forward to varying degrees. This position can also help reduce the risk of bedsores by transferring the weight from the hips to the back and eliminating shearing by moving the pressure from the buttocks to the seat cushion.
Both reclining and tilt-in-space wheelchairs can help minimize pressure sores, but the best option for each situation is different. Talk to your rehab team or a qualified seating and mobility specialist for assistance in finding the wheelchair that is right for you.