Varilite Evolution Wheelchair Cushion

For wheelchair users with a high degree of tissue breakdown and symmetric positioning needs

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The Evolution cushion is designed and constructed for users at high risk of tissue breakdown and who have moderate positioning needs.  Individuals with motor and neurological dysfunction due to spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury are the most frequent, though not the only, users of the Evolution cushion. Caregivers in sub-acute and long-term care facilities like the simplicity and tissue integrity management the Evolution cushion offers, particularly for individuals with wound care issues.

It is an air-foam floatation cushion made by bonding open-cell foam to airtight, puncture resistant stretch knit fabric. The airtight seal allows the self-inflating/deflating mechanism to function by the simple turn of the valve. By releasing air, the user becomes immersed in the foam, which increases the surface area supported. The foam provides the user with support and stability, while the air provides excellent pressure distribution.

The Evolution cushion can support up to 340 kg, making it an ideal cushion for the bariatric wheelchair user. Two common accessories used with the Evolution are the modifiable closed-cell foam wedge and the contoured positioning wedge. This can be effective in reducing the seat-to-back angle, and in doing so increase the weight bearing load on the back of the thighs and decrease the load on the buttocks, as well as providing additional positioning. It comes standard with an incontinent cover. The underside of the cover is a rugged non-slip material with Velcro for added security.

Cushion Composition Air and foam
Cover Composition Breathable four-way stretch
Contoured Yes
Can accommodate a pelvic obliquity Yes
Can correct a pelvic obliquity No
Can accommodate leg length discrepancy No
Customisable Yes (contouring only)
Cushion Height 80 mm
Able to accommodate a drop seat base No
Able to be adjusted by user Yes
User Weight Limit Up to 340 kg
Total Cushion Weight Under 1 kg
Size Range 14" x 16", 16" x 16", 16" x 18", 16" x 20", 17" x 17", 18" x 16", 18" x 18", 18" x 20", 20" x 18", 22" x 18", 20" x 20", 22" x 20", 24" x 18", 24" x 20"
Custom Sizes Available No
Warranty 2 years
Spare Covers Available Yes
Incontinent Cover Available Standard
Accessories Available Rigidiser, Wave base, Wedge
Maintenance Required We recommend that the cushion is reinflated on a weekly basis to maintain the integrity of the foam.

How will I know which wheelchair cushion or backrest is right for me and my needs?

Get an expert to help you! Your wheelchair therapist (or Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist) will help you decide what you need from these products and source these items for you to try. There are numerous different products and brands in the New Zealand market so the choice is vast - but each style has different advantages and disadvantages. Your therapist will be able to talk you through these and help short-list some appropriate products for you.

If you are looking for a wheelchair cushion and/or backrest for a family member, you need to think about what their needs are.  Some of the factors that need to be considered are the following:

  • Does the user have a history of pressure areas or sores?
  • How long will the user be sitting in the wheelchair for each day?
  • Are there any incontinence issues?
  • Does the user have any significant postural challenges e.g. slumps to one side?

Cushions offer several of the following features – comfort, pressure relief and positioning. There is also a range of different materials that these are made from and some require more ongoing maintenance than others.  Our Customer Care team can talk you through the various options to find the ones within our range that will work the best for the user.

Can I trial different backrests and wheelchair cushions?

Yes - we are more than happy to send these items out on trial, as long as a therapist has requested it. It is really important that you have the opportunity to try these products as we all have different comfort levels and needs. Generally the trial time frames are for two weeks and the therapist - and sometimes one of our product specialists - will set the product up to meet your needs and show you how to adjust it if necessary.

How do I wash my cushion cover?

Different manufacturers have different washing instructions. Each cushion should come complete with washing instructions within the product manual, so we recommend you read this.

  • For Ottobock and Dreamline cushions, turn the cushion inside out and machine wash on a regular cycle. Air dry flat.
  • For Varilite cushions, zip the cover closed and place good side out in a washing machine. Air dry flat.
  • We do not recommend that any covers go into the tumble dryer.

Can I sit on the wheelchair cushion without its cover on it, while the cover is being washed?

We don't really recommend this. The cover is an important part of the cushion and the two parts are designed to work as a team.

How long will a cushion or backrest last?

We would expect most wheelchair cushions and backrests to last for at least five years. However, this does depend on how the item is cared for.

How do I adjust a Varilite cushion to contour to me?

Begin with the cushion fully inflated and valve closed. Transfer onto the cushion and open the valve by turning counter clockwise. Listen for a change in pitch and close the valve.

Are wheelchair backs easily removable so that I can fold up my wheelchair and take it in the car?

Yes. Different styles and brands of wheelchair backrests have different types of mounting brackets. Most of these simply unclip and allow the backrest to be pulled off. When you are ready to put it back on, it simply slots back into place and then is secured using the clips already on the wheelchair back canes.

Need more advice or help?

Our team of Key Account Specialists are available to work with therapists to help set up equipment, help with selection of the correct product and trouble shoot. Our Customer Care Team are on the phones from 8am to 5.30pm every weekday on 0800 31 61 81 or you can email them (click here).

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