Having a wheelchair to get from point A to point B is one thing, but it’s easy to overlook the little conveniences that make the ride all the more comfortable.
That’s why wheelchair accessories play a vital role in how you roll, with a multitude of different gadgets to choose from.
In this article, we compiled a list of the most popular accessories to give you a starting point for finding your ultimate setup.
We all know how rough public transportation and airports tend to be with our luggage. There’s always that fear of the damages our prized (expensive) possessions can sustain.
Suppose you’re an avid traveler and have a lightweight manual wheelchair. In that case, a carrying case is an absolute asset to packing away your mobility device, protecting it from bumps and dings, while making it easier to transport.
Many models come with convenient extras, such as rolling wheels, extra padding, and ergonomic handles. Fit it around your wheelchair, and you’re good to go!
For power wheelchair accessories, a breathable waterproof cover does the trick if you need to store it safely while traveling or if you’re on bed rest after a medical procedure.
Many covers come with an elasticized edge, which enables a snug fit around the entire wheelchair. The materials and components of your chair are well-protected from dust, water, and sunlight.
2. Wheelchair Tray
It’s not always easy to position a wheelchair at a table or desk, making it difficult to complete daily activities comfortably.
With a sturdy work tray, you can tackle any hobby, assignment, or snacking anytime, anywhere. These versatile trays attach to manual or electric wheelchairs, made of durable material for long-lasting use.
Older trays are bulky and can be tricky to attach, but newer models are more lightweight, with straps that make it easier to attach the tray to the wheelchair armrests.
This is also one of the best pediatric wheelchair accessories to aid children in doing homework or playing with toys.
3. Wheelchair Cushions
Wheelchairs are built with the user’s comfort in mind, but let’s be real- sometimes, the existing cushioning is just not enough.
Whether you have a medical condition or injury that calls for extra support in the seat, wheelchair cushions are the answer to improving positioning and overall health.
Sitting in one position for a prolonged period can stir up aches you might’ve never experienced before, such as back pain or tension in the shoulders and neck.
If not careful, users can develop painful pressure sores as a result of poor positioning.
This is where extra wheelchair cushions become a trusted ally to cradle your spine and muscles while also keeping you fromslipping out of your seat when bending or reaching.
A few details you’ll want to pay attention to when shopping for cushions is the weight capacity and dimensions to ensure it fits your chair’s seat snugly.
Also, pay attention to the different types of materials:
Finally, check with your doctor and provider to see what type of cushion they recommend for your unique needs.
This power or manual wheelchair accessory is handy for those who must carry an oxygen tank with them at all times.
The thing is, oxygen tanks aren’t the most portable pieces of equipment. It can also be dangerous for you or your caregiver to manually carry it around.
Look for a tank holder that is made from water-resistant fabric, with straps that make it easy to attach to the back of the chair.
Some even come with extra pockets and reflective tape to make you more visible in the dark.
Imagine being in the middle of a busy airport and needing to take your medicine but having no place to hold your cup of water.
Cup holders are simple, yet incredibly useful for any type of rideable device.
The main factor with this accessory is stability, so ensure the cup holder features a secure mount that most likely needs to be installed with screws.
Some cupholders are even foldable, so you can flip it up and out of the way for extra space when maneuvering through tight areas.
When propelling yourself forward with your bare hands on the wheels of your chair, the palms of the hands can becomeirritated and strained, often leading to a high level of discomfort that hinders your performance.
One of the best manual wheelchair accessories is a thick pair of padded gloves. This is especially ideal for individuals who bruise or blister easily.
Soft leather protects the palms and keeps them soft instead of calloused. There are full-finger gloves or fingerless gloves, which give your hands increased dexterity without any of the pain.
There are four different types of harnesses for wheelchairs that offer extra support for enhanced comfort and safety.
A shoulder harness offers adequate support without sacrificing arm and torso mobility when your upper body is lagging.
This type of harness also bolsters posture to ensure no slouching or slumping occurs.
The chest harness also comes in a few different styles, allowing the wheelchair user to move fluidly while keeping a firm hold on the chest to prevent injury.
The body harness comes in an array of designs and materials according to the part of the body that needs more support.
This type of harness helps the user maintain a proper upright position, taking pressure off of sensitive muscles and releasing tension.
Look for versatile models with strapsthat can be installed on the front or back pull of the chair and are adjustable to allow the user more flexibility.
Another great way to boost posture is with a pelvic belt, which straightens the spine while stabilizing the pelvic region.
This frees your upper body to move as desired, without the feel of extra straps or pads hugging the muscles.
For wheelchair footplate accessories, leg huggers are a popular product. This sturdy pad attaches to the leg bars, creating a gentle barrier that prevents feet from slipping through and becoming entangled.
This is especially ideal for individuals who have lost control of their lower extremities and need support to keep their limbs securely in place.
One of the most convenient electric wheelchair accessories and supplies is an automatic door opener.
Think about it: you don’t have a caregiver, and you’re home alone. You might even live in a large house with multiple rooms and doors to deal with.
Struggling to open doors in your house gets old, which is why you can optimize the process of opening and closing doors without much effort.
It utilizes motion sensors that correspond with specified doors. The most common models feature a remote controller with a button that activates the door when pressed.
This is probably your most basic accessory, attaching to the side or back of the chair to hold your essentials, including keys, cellphone, wallet, flashlight, toolkit, emergency contact card, and more.
Organizers or wheelchair bags come in all sorts of sizes, materials, and designs.
Portable wheelchair ramps exist, and they’re making it easier for users to go through curbs and past stairs with finesse (and safety).
Look for ramps manufactured from aluminum alloy. This makes the ramp incredibly lightweight to carry around yet strong enough to hold your body weight and your wheelchair when needed.
With a ramp, you no longer have to go the longer route to get into a building. Many ramps come equipped with an ergonomic carrying handle to make them easy to transport.
No wheelchair is complete without a set of custom accessories that speaks to the user’s expression while making life just a little bit easier.
The top wheelchair accessories include cushions and body harnesses that support distinct parts of the body, trays, organizers, and holders.
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