Wheelchairs have come a long way in recent years in terms of design,
comfort and ease of use. And, now there is a wide range of wheelchair accessories to make your daily life easier and more comfortable. Take a look at eight popular wheelchair accessories that are listed below.
A seat cushion is an important accessory for many wheelchair users. Some wheelchairs only come with basic seat padding. However, an aftermarket seat cushion can make your ride more comfortable, support good posture, reduce fatigue, and prevent pressure sores. Seat cushion types include those made from foam, gel, air and thermoplastic polyurethane. If feasible before purchasing, test different types of cushions to see which offers the best feel and comfort.
2. Back cushion
For some wheelchair users, back cushions can make sitting for long periods in a mobility chair more comfortable and less tiring. Back cushions help support the lumbar curve and redistribute pressure while sitting continuously. They can also help with posture and balance, while providing back pain relief.
3. Cup holder
A cup holder is a useful accessory that allows you to carry a drink with you while moving around. Cup holders come in various sizes, shapes, and designs; so make sure you select the right size for your wheelchair. A universal wheelchair cup holder attaches to most wheelchair frames, and can be attached in different locations depending on your needs.
4. Umbrella holder
The sweltering hot sun and unpredictable rain showers can take their toll while outdoors, and carrying an umbrella while using your wheelchair isn’t easy. An umbrella holder can be easily attached to your wheelchair so you can navigate bad weather and keep both your hands free.
Umbrella holders are lightweight, and the height and angle can be easily adjusted to keep your umbrella in the best position. Before buying this popular wheelchair accessory, check that it will fit your umbrella and your chair frame. It also needs to be strong enough to keep your umbrella upright when it's windy.
5. Wheelchair gloves
You may benefit from using wheelchair gloves if you propel yourself in a manual wheelchair, exercise, or play wheelchair sports. Without glove protection, the continual pushing action, especially over long distances, can create blisters, calluses and even numbness on your palms.
A wheelchair bag or organizer is ideal for keeping all your essentials within easy reach, including a laptop or tablet, wallet, phone, and/or glasses. Wheelchair bags can be attached to the inside or outside of your wheelchair armrest for convenient access. There are also bags that attach to your backrest, though they require you to turn to the back to retrieve things.
These organizers come with multiple compartments to safely store all your items. They are easy to attach using velcro hook and loop straps, which come with the bags.
Wheelchair trays are lightweight, and perfect for keeping your books or laptop in the right position while you work or read. They attach to your chair armrest so you can get to work even when there’s no accessible table nearby. Some tray tables can be left attached to your wheelchair and quickly folded out of the way when not in use.
8. Portable wheelchair ramp
Portable wheelchair ramps come in handy to use in places that are not wheelchair accessible. Made of aluminum, fiberglass and/or rubber, these lightweight ramps are foldable, easy to transport and convenient to store. They come in a variety of lengths to help individuals traverse thresholds, curbs, and a few stairs. These ramps are not designed for permanent use or for steep inclines.
There are four types of portable wheelchair ramps for wheelchairs and scooters: threshold ramps, telescoping ramps, suitcase ramps, and roll-up ramps. Researching options will enable you compare features and cost, enabling you to choose the best portable ramp for your needs.
Other Wheelchair Accessories
In addition to the popular wheelchair accessories summarized above, some individuals and their caregivers may have the need for a transfer board and/or standing aid that helps facilitate getting out of the chair and moving to another location. A personal safety alarm is a valuable safety accessory that alerts caregivers when the individual is at risk of falling out of the chair or other harmful circumstances.
Wheelchair support devices may be needed to help with proper positioning in a wheelchair and protect against potential bruising, pressure ulcers and other health concerns. Examples of support devices include trunk supports, foot boxes, and arm supports. Support devices also provide for enhanced comfort while the individual is in the chair.
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