Wheelchair accessories are invaluable in helping seniors remain mobile and enjoy a satisfactory quality of life. They allow seniors (or anyone) who use wheelchairs to expand their versality and make daily activities easier. These simple tools and attachments make activities much easier, the same as gardening tools for those with physical challenges.
There are approximately 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States alone. Those chairs provide them with an independent lifestyle. For these people, there are many wheelchair accessories on the market that can allow for even greater freedom. These accessories are meant to increase the mobility and comfort of anyone dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.
The best and most practical type of accessories depends on your type of wheelchair used and the user’s daily routine. For example, if someone is athletic and practices a sport, the accessory should not get in the way – or at least be easily removable.
The Wright Stuff
The products we have featured below are all available on Amazon, and comprise what we found to be some of the most commonly-used products. However, if you are truly looking for all available products and options, the best selection of different wheelchair accessories can be found at The Wright Stuff. They have an entire section devoted to different types of accessories. Check it here:
The convenient thing about these accessories is that they can be used all the time or only when needed. This article will cover the most widespread accessories, but disabled people should be aware of all the possibilities when it comes to these options. They each have their use and can make your day a bit easier and more pleasant.
- Safety belt
- Back cushions
- Bags for holding items and purchases
- Chargers and batteries
- Cup holders and trays
- Oxygen attachments
- Cane and crutch holders
- Crutch holder
- Power chair lifts
- Accessories for arms, feet, and leg comfort.
Frog Legs Casters Slipstick CB680
Wheelchairs can be hard on floors. However, you don’t have to risk ruining yours. These rounds casters are made from rubber and will protect all hardwood floor surfaces and eliminate annoying noise at the same time. The floors should be cleaned and free of debris. Using the frog legs caster on a sandy or pebbly surface may damage them.
The Slipstick CB680 casters come in a set of five and can accommodate over 300 pounds.
- Each caster features a standard size 7/16 inch (11mm) diameter x 3/4 inch (20 mm) length stem and easy-rolling 2” (50 mm) twin caster rubber wheels (does not fit Ikea chairs or chairs requiring 10mm stem casters)
- Eliminates the need for big plastic floor mats over your beautiful floors, these hard rubber castor wheels protect hardwood, laminate, tile, slate, and all other hard floor surfaces
- The rollers are quiet and ensure a smooth ride across wooden floors.
- They are easy to install.
- No more scratches on the floor
- These casters require a smooth surface in order to work.
Wheelchair Safety Belts
Wheelchair safety belts are intended to secure the body and protect it from accidents such as falls. The proper size belt is important, as they are not one-size-fits-all. A good safety belt is one worn across the lap. Like a car seat belt, wheelchair safety belts can also stretch over the shoulders. Power wheelchairs usually come with their built-in belt, but manual wheelchairs require a separate purchase.
When purchasing a wheelchair seat belt, consider the following:
- You need to be able to adjust the length of the belt.
- Many belts have cushions for added comfort.
- Ease of using the clasp: The safety harness should have a clasp to lock after strapping on. The metal clasp should be extremely easy to lock and unlock, but at the same time, it should firmly lock the clasp.
Material of belt: Since the belt will probably be work for a considerable length of time, you should ensure that the belt material should not be rough so that it causes abrasion. Good quality seat belts are often made of medical grade material
Width of the belt: The wider the belt (obviously within a limit), the more comfortable you will be wearing it and the weight will be distributed across a larger surface. In the unlikely event of a mishap, a wider safety harness is far more effective than a basic narrow one.
Weight of the Belt: While the belt has to be durable, you will get maximum safety and comfort out of it at the same time if it is lightweight.
DMI Wheelchair Safety Belt
The DMI Wheelchair Belt reaches 48 inches across the lap, which can accommodate a large person. It attaches easily and securely to the back of the chair. It is fastened to the backrest and is installed with a set of screws.
- ENSURE SAFETY AND SECURITY by preventing falling and slipping out of wheelchairs for elderly, epileptic or those with loss of muscle function
- WHEELCHAIR SAFETY HARNESS EASILY ATTACHES to the back of a wheelchair or transport chair
- This belt is made of durable material
- It is compatible with most manual and electric wheelchairs
- The belt has no cushion for added comfort
- It may not prevent sliding
Wheelchair cushions make sitting in a wheelchair for long periods a much more pleasant experience. Without proper support, sitters can easily develop pressure injuries to the skin. When choosing a wheelchair cushion, consider the proper material to help maintain skin integrity.
You want the proper posture support for the sitter’s height and weight. Don’t have the cushion so high and thick that the feet are not reaching the footrest.
There are any number of wheelchair cushion materials available, such as foams or gels. Both offer comfort, but the gel cushions may be more practical for sitters with skin problems. There are also air cell cushions, which adjust to the individual’s contours, and Bariatric cushions, which are specifically made for large people and offer extra support.
Vive Wheelchair Cushion
The Vive Wheelchair cushion offers the ultimate support for back, sciatica nerve problems, and tailbone with four layers of thick foam support. The cover is waterproof and machine-washable. The gel center distributes weight evenly for additional comfort.
Vive Wheelchair cushion is the perfect size – large enough for optimal coverage but small enough to offer portability and convenience.
- 4 LAYERS OF SUPPORTIVE COMFORT: (1) Water-resistant cover is soft and luxurious to the touch and features a nonslip base for added stability. Machine washable, the cover is easy to remove for regular cleaning. (2) Waterproof seal ensures fluids will not intrude on the foam, making the cushion 100% waterproof. (3)Resilient foam will not flatten out, providing comfort and support throughout the day. (4) Liquid gel interior for exceptional comfort and even distribution of pressure.
- LIQUID GEL CORE: Dynamic fluid allows the cushion to continually distribute pressure evenly across the contact surface. Regular foam cushions simply can not match the pressure relief quality of gel cushions especially for pressure sores and discomfort.
- Offers total body support
- The cushion is 100 percent leakproof
Adding a bag to your wheelchair may seem like a minor act – until you need to carry things from one place to another. Then that bag becomes all-important. It’s not only for carrying your wallet and other necessities, it makes shopping a lot less stressful when you have a place to tuck your purchases into. However, you want to be sure that the bag is properly situated, not blocking the wheel, and easy for you to get to.
When looking for your wheelchair bag, consider your personal taste. This is a personal accessory and should be something you enjoy having. As an example, a backpack with a top opening provides you with easy access to what you need.
Since bags come in a variety of styles, you can choose the color and design that suits you best. The size is one of the important considerations. If it is too large, your keys and wallet will get lost at the bottom. If it is too small, you won’t have room for any extras, such as medical files to be carried to the doctor’s office.
One possibility is to get a smaller bag for keys and wallet and place it inside a larger bag. However, you don’t want to weigh the bag down to the extent that it will cause the wheelchair to lose its balance.
You have your choice of various material. Nylon is popular because it is long-lasting and easy to clean.
ODOMY Wheelchair Accessories Bag
The ODOMY Wheelchair Bag has three pouches which combine the benefits of both a large and a small bag. The separate pouches keep items organized – wallet and keys neatly in one pouch – purchases and other items in the next pouch.
The pouch can be hung over the armrest for easy reach or placed on the back of the chair. It keeps all necessities in one place.
- 【Daily Necessities Storage】: Use this basic wheelchair armrest side bag to store mobile phones, wallets, snacks, medicines, spectacle cases, umbrellas, remote controls, and other necessities in easy-to-reach places, as well as the medical records of going to the hospital.
- 【Strong and Sturdy】：Made of durable and waterproof black Oxford fabric, strong but light, easy to clean.
- The pouches keep belongings organized and easy to find.
- Attaches best to a manual wheelchair, not an electric wheelchair.
Wheelchair Table Tray
Wheelchair trays can be invaluable to a wheelchair user. They can be used for reading, writing, and enjoying a meal without worries about spillage. There are a number of trays from which to choose.
Removeable lap trays fit across the lap. They come in different kinds of styles and materials, giving you options from which to choose. Some hook onto the wheelchair with straps, while other use clamps. They can be made from durable hardwood or vinyl.
Other wheelchair trays have a semi-circle shape which brings the tray closer to the sitter, i.e.., he or she can pull the tray up and won’t need to lean forward. Most will come with a handy cupholder.
Skil-Care Softop Wheelchair Tray, 20″-22″, Vinyl (Blue)
This lap tray is designed for reading, writing, doing other types of projects, and for eating. It has padding which protects elbows, and it can be flipped over for eating or writing, etc. It’s sturdy and practical.
- Vinyl tray fits wheel chairs 20 to 22 inches
- Product number 705022
- Ease to clean.
- Can be used as a table for a computer.
Oxygen Bag Holder
For some people, carrying an oxygen tank is critical. Fortunately, people in a wheelchair can transport a portable oxygen holder wherever they go. Oxygen holders vary greatly in size, so bags come in different shapes. For regular oxygen holders, a wheelchair oxygen bag holder is the perfect answer. It allows wheelchair users the freedom of moving around while breathing freely. This allows them to take part in most normal day-to-day activities.
ZHEEYI Oxygen Cylinder Bag
The ZHEEYI Oxygen Cylinder Bag attaches to the wheelchair with buckles. The bag will accommodate most oxygen cylinders. Built-in zippers allow the user to adapt the bag for both long or short cylinders. One bag takes care of all your oxygen cylinder needs.
This sturdy oxygen bag is long-wearing and easy to clean. The top and bottom of the bag attach securely to the back of the wheelchair. It is carefully positioned so as not to be in the way of your back or head.
- NEED A BAG THAT FITS MULTIPLE OXYGEN BOTTLE SIZES? Unlike all those cheap oxygen cylinder bags, we have two mysterious "zippers" built in. This approach can be adapted not only to long oxygen cylinders, but also to short oxygen cylinders. Therefore, you only need to buy a bag, can adapt to a variety of sizes oxygen cylinder.
- Features: ZHEEYI Oxygen Cylinder Bags for Wheelchairs, it applies to almost all wheelchairs. The product is made of specially thickened, tear resistant, wear-resistant, easy-to-clean nylon fabric. The bag is equipped with a handle for easy installation and handling by caregivers. This wheelchair oxygen cylinder bag is a great tool for those who need to carry an oxygen cylinder outside. Wheelchair users can easily carry oxygen cylinders.
- Best value in oxygen bags for the money.
- Unless you are aware of the handy zipper feature, you might not find it easily.
General Information for Wheelchair Users
Living in a wheelchair, whether permanently or temporarily, takes some mental (and physical) adjustment. However, we are fortunate to be living in a time when having limited mobility does not mean we have to limit our lives.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of wheelchair accessories and how they can help your day-to-day life. For that matter, adaptive clothing can also make things easier.
You can choose accessories for both manual and power wheelchairs and be comfortable in both. Enjoy your cup holder, comfortable cushions, and handy bags that allow you to live an independent life.
You can travel in your wheelchair or rent one at your destination. Having limited mobility should not stop you from going to places or from visiting family and friends. If you are manipulating a manual wheelchair, be sure to either moisturize your hands regularly or wear gloves.
Living with a wheelchair involves a mindset. Be thankful for being alive and able to enjoy life. Image your life without a wheelchair. Your life would be very limited and confined indeed. Instead, the wheelchair opens up an entire world for you.
With a positive mindset, you are more likely to exercise to keep building your strength and muscles. This is important when you transfer in and out of your chair or need to dress yourself. Have your doctor refer you to a physical therapist to help arrange a suitable exercise program for you.
Keeping a positive mindset is always important. Remember how much you are able to do. That includes sports, such as swimming and snorkeling. If you feel the need, do not hesitate to seek out a support group. When you are having a bad day, just repeat the words of Helen Keller to yourself, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”