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Wheelchair Accessories... No More Retired Cowboys  

by RC Rougeux

There have been so many advancements in wheelchairs lately...they're no longer those large, wooden contraptions that retired cowboys would be pushed around in.

Today, wheelchairs are highly advanced marvels of technology. Users can enjoy great comfort and mobility AND independence when they find a wheelchair that fits their lifestyle and needs. And what's more, there are many wheelchair accessories that you can choose from to make your chair customized the way you want it:

For example, even though you are able to get around with the best of them now, you are still sitting down and that can hard on your back, legs, hips, and thighs. Medical cushions give you great comfort and support while reducing the risk of what can be called "bedsores" (which are sores caused by constant pressure). Your wheelchair may be comfortable now but it will be even more comfortable with a cushion to support you. These cushions are also helpful if you need just a couple extra inches of height (for example, if you find that you are banging your elbows when you want to roll your wheelchair).

Why should you consider this accessory over a cushion you find in the house? These cushions are cut especially for the wheelchair and they are often made of medically-certified foam while many household cushions are filled with feathers, down, or other material. The cushion from home will get lumpy and there could be a reduction in how sanitary it is, while custom wheelchair cushions remain firm and supportive and much more sanitary.

Another accessory to consider is a ramp. While ramps are sometimes overlooked at accessories to wheelchairs (because you can't attach them to your chair and they are often permanently attached to buildings), you can still by non-permanent heavy duty ramps that allow you to wheel your chair up a curb or into the back of a truck or van. There are small ramps to get over small heights like door thresholds and there are larger ramps to get up stairs or into vans. Many ramps are built to be kept near the place you'll use them most but there are some portable ramps (for example, briefcase sized ramps that extend) allowing you to carry a ramp with you wherever you go.

A third accessory to consider is a wheelchair lift that you hook your wheelchair to in order to move it into a vehicle. This is a helpful device if you find your wheelchair to be too heavy to lift or move around. The lift can be attached right inside your vehicle and simply picks your wheelchair off the ground and hauls it inside. (Of course, the lift is designed to move the wheelchair only...not the user as well).

There are so many other accessories, including cup holders, fishing rod holders, trays, and different types of foot rests, leg rests, and bracing. You can really make your wheelchair your own...which will help you find great enjoyment in getting around.


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