Bariatric Support Products - Making Life Easier For the Obese

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Published: 13th December 2010
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Bariatrics is the field of specialized healthcare for people suffering from extreme obesity. This field includes various weight loss strategies such as exercise, dietary and lifestyle adjustment, as well as surgery and pharmacotherapy methods.

Patients who opt to undergo bariatric weight loss surgery normally require special post-op outpatient care. There are currently available in the market an array of bariatric support products that these patients may use to aid them in their outpatient care. Bariatric support products are big sturdy devices designed to accommodate the additional weight of the obese patient, such as bariatric beds, chairs, commodes and wheelchairs.


Bariatric beds are normally wide enough to accommodate the overweight or obese patient's girth, and sturdy enough to hold up their body weight. These beds are designed to provide adequate support to the patient without putting extra strain on their neck and back, especially during arm and leg exercises. These beds normally vary in terms of weight capacity, and should be suited to the individual user's weight. An electric bariatric bed is powered by electricity, which enables it to move when the patient needs to adjust their position - whether to sit after lying down or to lie down after sitting. These beds come with a heavy duty frame and a sturdy steel construction, which ensures the safety of the patient while on the bed. Some beds come with a sleeping surface area of a split pan design with removable bed ends which make it easy to set up, while some are able to expand.


Bariatric chairs are extra wide task-specific chairs designed to support overweight or obese patients. There are various types of bariatric chairs including:

o Shower chairs are used by the patient in the shower and are made of easy to clean water-resistant materials. The bariatric shower chair has an extra strong anodized aluminum frame, wheel and wheel locks and can also fit over the toilet seat. It also comes with a padded vinyl seat, a commode pail and waterfall plastic armrests, and is highly portable to allow the patient to move about.

o Lift chairs assist in hoisting the patient out of and onto the bed. A lift chair is normally fitted with hoist slings and an elastic cushion, which prevents the slings from digging into the patient's skin during lifting.

o Bath chairs are used in the bath and are similar to shower chairs.

o Office chairs provide adequate support to post-op bariatric patients once they go back to work.


A commode is a chair which the obese patient may use when going to the bathroom. The seat of the bariatric commode is normally wider than normal and rests on a strong durable steel frame with an adjustable seat-to-floor height of 18 - 22 inches. Commodes may be used either as toilet safety frames or by the bedside of the patient, and are normally sturdy enough to prevent it from collapsing beneath the patient's weight. The viscous cushion of the commode molds itself into the shape of the person sitting in it for added comfort. Some commodes have adjustable arms to allow for more space for comfort of the user, or a removable back enabling it to fold flat for storage and transportation.


The bariatric wheelchair is a transport chair which is used to aid in the mobility of post-op obese patients, thereby allowing them to ease the pressure on their already strained joints. Like all other bariatric support products, these wheelchairs may have a weight limit which the patient may not exceed. The frame of the bariatric wheelchair is normally made from heavy duty durable steel and it may have removable desk-length arms or swing away footrests. The padded upholstered cushion is strong enough to ensure maximum comfort for the patient. Bariatric products are normally adjustable and come with sturdy wheels, while some are electrically-powered.

All bariatric wheelchairs must take into account the weight, length, width and height requirements of the patient. To select the correct height of the wheelchair seat, the patient should place their feet flat on the floor. Then with their shins perpendicular to the floor, the measurement will be taken from the back of the heel to the underside of the knee. Patients should also select a wheelchair whose seat allows at least 2 inches of free space from both sides of their body, which will accommodate heavier clothing such as winter jackets, as well as easily allow for movement.

You can check out a fine range of bariatric products here at James

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