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My wife's head flops to the left when she's in a wheelchair and when she's in bed on a pillow, making it hard for her to eat in bed or sit straight in a wheelchair. I saw several neck pillows on Amazon, but have no idea which one is best. Does anyone have a recommendation after using a neck pillow? Thank you.

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Dear Alwaysdobetter5,

As others have suggested, consult with experts for long-term solutions, but in short term I highly recommend “Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow & Neck Pillow” (here is link to Amazon $29.95 — https://www.amazon.com/Travelrest-Ultimate-Travel-Pillow-Neck/dp/B002P8YW54?th=1  —I bought mine in my local ‘Bed, Bath & Beyond’ store for same price. The pillow inflates and deflates with just a few easy breaths, and slings over either side of body to stabilize head and neck, and can be attached by its back strap to a chair or wheelchair, or just looped behind one’s own back. 

For years my job required me to fly economy class 6,000 miles each direction at least four times per month, and I tried innumerable travel pillows trying to find one to allow me to sleep sitting straight up without my head lolling to one side. This pillow proved itself best for me, and I genuinely believe it helped me keep my health with such grueling weekly travel. 

This inflatable pillow is kind of like a bandolier, and my personal preference is to sleep while putting one or both hands and arms under the crosswise bandolier to almost “hug” myself cozily while sleeping on freezing international aircraft. I prefer the pillow underinflated, so if you and your wife try this pillow, please experiment until she finds the inflation level most comfortable to keep her head erect.

I will be saying a prayer that you and your wife find a good solution to her discomfort.
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Reply to BeenThroughThis
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I had a cervical neck pillow that I had my mom use after her stroke - I had the small version (so it might be a good fit for wheelchair and bed- it has a little divot spot in the middle where the head rests (look at it on Amazon). It’s called a petite Core pillow.
I also used in her bed and chair at rehab just a beaded airplane travel collar (the ones used to sleep on the airplane - I got it at like cvs.

I would also suggest getting a script from her dr for a custom wheelchair - my moms did have the head mobilizer (in the early days of her stroke) that helped a lot. Best wishes
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Reply to Momheal1
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There are two kinds of neck pillows: filled with beads, or memory foam. The memory foam is firmer on the inside and still soft on the outside (good material). I have both kinds for different reasons. When sleeping, I use the one with beads. When walking or riding on my mobility scooter, I use the memory foam.
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Reply to karenchaya
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Instead of a custom wheelchair, you might consider a neck brace/cervicalcollar that she could use most of the time. There are different options, both soft and hard. The soft ones can be purchased without a prescription; I'm not sure about the hard ones (Aspen or Miami J). I had to wear a Miami J for about 4 months post-cervical-spine surgery, and it was prescribed, but I don't know if it had to be. A soft one would probably be enough and be more comfortable for your wife. A P.T. or a neurologist should be able to advise you more specifically. If it's advised for your wife by a medical professional, then you could include the cost in her itemized medical deductions if you itemize. You need to be very careful about using one during sleep; the doctor may advise against it. I think there is concern about wearing a neck brace during most waking and sleeping yours, and that you may be advised that she needs some time each day without a brace to avoid complete dependence on it.
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Reply to caroli1
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It sounds as if your wife needs a custom wheelchair with a neck support device. See if your doctor can refer you to a place where custom wheelchair are made. Otherwise a rehab center should be able to refer you. With a doctor’s order it should be covered by insurance and/or Medicare.
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Reply to Ricky6
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I use a dog bone shaped pillow when I travel. You can search them on line. If my head rolls over the fat end of the pillow supports it. I have no problem sleeping.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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If she can't hold her head upright then she really needs a custom wheelchair with a headrest and lateral supports, IMO this is probably the one item that you need to go big on as she will be spending a huge part of her life in her wheelchair. (Work with an OT)
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Reply to cwillie
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Alwaysdobetter5 Sep 17, 2021
That's a good suggestion. My wife spends 99% of her time in bed, so I also need a neck pillow that wraps around her neck to support her head while she is in bed. I would like one that is adjustable so that it can be used to keep her neck straight while eating in bed and so she can use it while sleeping. Any suggestions? Thank you cwillie.
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