Take it offline!
This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
Wheelchair accessories are designed to increase comfort, improve your mobility, develop independence and enhance your overall quality of life. However, when it comes to choosing these accessories, the sheer variety can be daunting to some people.
Wheelchair accessories can be fitted on all different types of wheelchairs, allowing you to purchase accessories catered to your own needs and preferences. Before you even begin searching for accessories, look at your needs and other users accessories to determine the accessories that will best improve function and optimise your use of your wheelchair.
Things to Keep in Mind
Improving mobility is one of the main challenges for people trying to regain their freedom and ability to get to places they want to go. Some of the important functions of wheelchair accessories are the improvement of mobility, autonomy and they provide people with a wide range of options that suit their needs.
Wheelchair accessories are designed to be highly versatile and functional in a range of situations. For people playing sports or other recreational activities, look for accessories that can be removed to not hinder your sport. Whether you’re going to be using your wheelchair, outdoors, indoors or both, you’ll be able to choose from a range of accessories that match your needs.
Choosing the right wheelchair accessories can lead to enormous improvements in your independence, posture and level of mobility. Consequently, you’ll be noticeably more comfortable and mobile throughout your day, regardless of whether you’re heading to work, school, holidaying or seeing friends. When it comes to installing your wheelchair accessories, the majority are lightweight and non-fixed, giving you the freedom to remove accessories when they are not needed.
Range of Wheelchair Accessories
There is an ever-expanding variety of wheelchair accessories. These are some of the most common types of accessories:
Choosing a supportive and comfortable cushion can provide greater stability and relieve discomfort. Picking the right cushion is highly personalised and will depend on your weight, size and wheelchair design. Cushions are designed for a variety of needs including; reducing or preventing skin breakdown, positioning and postural support and stability. JAY wheelchair cushions cater to the clinical requirements and needs of any user.
Moving around in a wheelchair can be difficult if you’re trying to carry around equipment or everyday items. Supports help you transport everything from crutches and canes to glasses and food. Tables are another kind of support and can be immensely useful inside and outside the house. Most support accessories are easy to install and can be used on a large range of wheelchairs. However, for your own peace of mind, it’s important to consult a professional to ensure they will fit your wheelchair.
Stopping your wheelchair can be difficult if the braking handle is too low or in an uncomfortable position. One way to dramatically improve your mobility is to use a brake extension, making it easier for you to reach and activate your wheelchair’s brake.
Spending a lot of time in an uncomfortable wheelchair can cause debilitating backpain and bad posture. Backrests can help you maintain a stable and upright posture, making your wheelchair significantly more ergonomic. As usual, there’s a wide range of backrests to choose from. When it comes to backrests, Sunrise Medical recommends JAY wheelchair backs, a series of affordable, high quality backrests that will help you maintain a healthy, comfortable posture.
While you might not use this wheelchair accessory every day, it can be very useful if you have unavoidable errands on a rainy day.
Transporting groceries or other purchases can be difficult without a bag holder. These wheelchair accessories can be fitted under your seat or on the back canes of your wheelchair to help you carry things around with you.
Off-road front wheel
If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors on difficult terrain, it might be a good idea to fit your wheelchair with an off road front wheel. These are attached to a manual wheelchairs frame and enables greater stability and speed on pavement, sand, grass and even mud.
This wheelchair accessory is very similar to bicycle LED lights. LED lights can be attached to the back or front of your wheelchair and make you visible at night. This wheelchair accessory is especially important if you are regularly using your wheelchair on the road. LED light packs usually include two lights, a white for the front of your wheelchair and red for the rear. The lights can usually be programmed to flash or stay fixed.
These wheelchair accessories increase the mobility of electric wheelchairs, enabling you to tackle those kerbs!
Travelling across streets, pathways or even roads can be dangerous if you don’t have a rear-view mirror. Using and installing this wheelchair accessory is simple and it gives you a great deal more awareness of your surroundings.
Anchors for transport in vehicles
Having a transport anchor for your wheelchair is essential if you plan on travelling on buses, adapted taxis or trains. The anchor is used to secure your wheelchair to the floor, allowing you and other passengers to travel safely on public transport.
Gloves can be extremely useful in protecting you from shear forces. Strategically reinforced gloves have been purposefully designed for assisted mobility use. For instance, some gloves are specifically designed for wheelchair users playing sport or travelling in cold weather.
Were you aware of the potential benefits of wheelchair accessories? While this list is only a brief overview of some of the most useful accessories, we hope that it has given you an idea of some of the advantages and practicality of wheelchair accessories.