Wheelchairs come with the bare essentials. We don’t get choices of seat-warmers, back-up cams, or a lot of things cars do. But that doesn’t mean our wheelchairs can’t be made functional. Out of necessity, people add modifications to their wheelchair, scooter, and other mobility devices to give them more features. Some are expensive and unnecessary, like attaching a nerf gun to your chair, but others help with everyday life and independence. Not all modifications need to be complicated to set up. In fact, some of the best ones are easy to install and cost less than $50.
I always try and keep water or a drink with me, but it’s not easy to carry. Having it in my bag is fine sometimes, but I can’t always reach it. There are all kinds of cup holders made with clamps for things like bicycles that work great on wheelchairs, and can be put wherever you want! Pair it with an extra-long straw and you’ll never go thirsty again!
For people with limited strength, it can be challenging to hold up their cell phone for any length of time. Having something that holds it, like a selfie-stick, and keeps their hands free gives them independence. Being able to reach your phone is something that can be difficult for people with limited mobility, and having it easily accessible is essential. Selfie sticks are cheap, retractable, and can be fastened with zip-ties. Being retractable is handy for when the stand isn’t in use.
This was something I didn’t know existed until recently, but I absolutely love it! For those in power wheelchairs, there’s an adapter that plugs in where you charge your chair, and has a USB out. This means you can charge your phone, tablet, or even power something small using your wheelchair’s battery. From experience, it doesn’t drain your chair too terribly much. The big downside, is that when it’s plugged into your chair, the chair treats it like it’s being charged. So that means you’re stationary.
If you go out at night a lot, you probably have some sort of light or reflector on your chair to be seen by traffic. Why not make it fun? There are all kinds of rim lights for bicycles, you can easily put those on your chair. There are options that allow you to control the lights via your phone, which boosts independence even further. They also come in many different colors, so you can customize your chair to fit your style. Safety doesn’t have to be boring, and neither does your wheelchair!
Umbrella with Clamp
Unfortunately, power wheelchairs aren’t waterproof. Getting them wet can cause wires to short-out and quit working. Your life can’t be put on hold when it rains, so you need to be able to still go out. There are many wheelchair-friendly umbrellas that are longer and have a clamp so that you don’t have to hold them. These umbrellas keep your whole chair dry, not just the center.
Wheelchairs and other mobility devices are expensive, but that doesn’t mean we should deal with their shortcomings. There are many simple modifications to make your chair work for you. We’ve mentioned a few inexpensive ways to improve the function of your wheelchair, but there’s many more ways to make your chair more functional. What are some mods you’ve made to your chair? Comment below!