A wheelchair is a fantastic mobility device, but the stock wheelchair you purchased online or from your local Maryland wheelchair showroom is probably far from perfect. And it’s not surprising because every person is different in their unique health and comfort needs. Thankfully, there are many different accessories for wheelchair users to help make your life easier. Here are a few of these accessories that many of our clients enjoy and use on a daily basis.
If you’ve ever had to sit in an uncomfortable chair, you would know what a torture it can be. Now imagine spending an entire day in it! If you are considering purchasing a wheelchair, be sure to also look into seat cushions. With the right cushion, you won’t feel as much discomfort and won’t suffer as much skin breakdown as you would with a poorly fitted chair. From simple inflatable donut cushions to textured foam and gel cushions, there are plenty of options to choose from. Not sure where to get started? Just let us know your main concerns and areas of discomfort and Freedom Mobility specialists will help you narrow down your choices.
Wheelchair Positioning Aids
Positioning aids are more of a must-have accessory than something you get only for comfort. If maintaining a certain position of the spine, neck, knees or feet is crucial to a successful recovery or to staying pain-free, then you should invest in good positioning aids. These aids may include add-ons like wheelchair backs, straps, belts and harnesses, positioning pillows, arm supports, knee separators and many other items. Positioning aids can also be used to help restrain a person to prevent them from falling out of a wheelchair, especially if they don’t have full control of their upper body.
If you spend a lot of time in your wheelchair, you probably want to carry your essentials around with you. However, most wheelchairs don’t come with any storage options. Thankfully, you can purchase them separately and hang them on the side or back of your wheelchair. Most storage pouches have enough space to hold your glasses, cellphone, wallet, keys, a book or a magazine and a bottle of water. Backpack-style pouches are designed mostly for wheelchair users who are pushed by someone, so that your assistant can easily store and access everything you need—they can be convenient for longer trips.
Heating and Cooling Pads
Depending on your condition that caused you to become a wheelchair user, you may have trouble regulating your body temperature. You may be cold most of the time, or you might have hot flashes that leave you sweating. Either way, turning your thermostat up or down all the time can get expensive. A better solution may be to heat or cool you instead of the entire house. There are cooling options available, including cooling seat cushions. As for increasing body temperature, heating vests, cushions and blankets should be used with great care, especially if you have poor skin sensitivity. It’s easy to get a burn if a heating pad or blanket remains in contact with skin for a long time—constant supervision is necessary.
Lap Desk / Serving Trey
If you are in a wheelchair for most of the day, you probably read in it, watch TV, work in it, and maybe even eat and nap in it. Why not make all these activities more convenient with a lap desk or a serving trey that attaches securely to your wheelchair or sits on top of your knees? Some lap desks are designed to clamp to your wheelchair’s bottom framing, so that the height of the desk can be adjusted. Put your laptop on it, write or take notes, draw, craft or do whatever you are up to. Many lap desks also feature a cup holder for your drink, grippy surface and a lip around the edge, so that nothing slides off.
If you have a manual wheelchair that you use a lot, wheelchair gloves are a great accessory to have. They provide extra grip and protect your hands from blisters, especially if you need to travel long distances. Wheelchair gloves are specifically made for operating a manual wheelchair. Regular gloves won’t be very useful in this situation and will fall apart fast from all the friction. Interested in purchasing any of these accessories? Our Hanover, MD showroom has many of them in stock, plus you get an experienced assistant to help you pick the right equipment. We recommend trying some of these things out before you buy, especially wheelchair seat cushions and positioning aids. You want to make sure they feel right before you commit. Call us, contact us online or visit our showroom for a consultation!