It’s the thought that counts. The most common phrase when finding a gift for someone. It could be for a birthday, a holiday, or retirement or maybe you were just out shopping, saw an item and thought “Hmm, they would love this!”. With so many products available that can greatly benefit wheelchair users, it can be hard to narrow things down. We did some research and put together some ideas that can help you choose the right gift. Provide added style, comfort and/or convenience with these 10 gifts for wheelchair users.
1. Lap Tray
Up first on our list of the best gifts for wheelchair users is a lap tray. Lap trays are a fantastic gift for wheelchair users as they give wheelchair users their own surface area right on their wheelchairs. These trays can be used for many activities such as reading, writing, painting, sewing/crocheting/knitting, doing puzzles, playing games, using a laptop, and eating. They come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles and are available in half and full sizes. Trays usually have a cup holder slot, a lip to prevent anything from rolling off and a slot to hold pens or pencils, usually located at the top of the tray.
On some models, trays offer a soft cushion on which to rest your wrist. Smaller half-lap trays can be mounted according to the user’s preference and sometimes are on a swivel that can be easily moved out of the way without having to be removed. Larger full-size trays cover the full space between the armrests and can be strapped to the armrests or mounted using clamps to the frame of the wheelchair itself. If you’re buying a lap tray for a wheelchair user, please take note of the space available between armrests and the size of the tray you are looking to purchase to make sure the sizes are compatible.
2. Adjustable Desk
Some users want the option of sitting at an easily accessible desk for their activities and dealing with bills and paperwork. For these instances, an adjustable desk would be a great option. Like lap trays, adjustable desks also come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles that offer wheelchair-accessible surface area. Desks and trays are usually available with surfaces made of wood, vinyl or metal. The desk is mounted on legs or other structures made of metal or wood. Some desks available are on casters/wheels and can be easily maneuvered and can simply be wheeled to the wheelchair user.
The legs on these desks usually fit alongside or under the wheelchair. Depending on the model, some desks are height adjustable, can be tilted, and offer a curve in the sitting area for the user’s comfort. Also available are a variety of models that offer storage such as slots, shelving, and drawers. Although usually used in homes and offices, adjustable desks are also available in convenient lightweight collapsible and foldable models for total portability.
3. Unbreakable Cup Holder
Up next on our list of the best gifts for wheelchair users is a cup holder. Unbreakable cup holders are a great addition to any wheelchair. They are usually fully collapsible. They are often made of lightweight nylon, polyester, and sometimes leather. Some models are insulated and absorb condensation to prevent dripping. This means they will keep your drink warm or cold, while reducing spills. Most models available attach to wheelchairs using adjustable Velcro straps with some models using D-ring straps for more secure placement. Unbreakable cup holders easily attach to wheelchair armrests. Or, in some instances right onto the frame. They can hold a variety of sizes. Some companies offer models that hold anywhere from the basic 16.9 oz bottle of water up to a 32 oz bottle of sports drink.
4. Mobile Device Mount
Mounts for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even laptops are available for just about every size of mobile device. These mounts usually attach to the armrest or frame of the wheelchair. They are available in different styles and sizes that depend on the mount. Devices are mounted and held in place by clips/clamps. Sometimes they also have small straps, and in some cases, devices are held in place by an adhesive pad. Some models mount your device in a static position that does not move and simply holds the device in place. Other mounts use flexible arm bars and swivels to mount devices with more range of motion capabilities allowing the user to move the device around as they wish while keeping it mounted. Some mounts are also available as a combo of the cup and smartphone holder.
While it is not usually recommended to drive around in your mobility aid at night, various headlights that can be strapped or mounted are available. Portable headlights are available in chargeable and battery-operated models and usually use LED lights. Some headlights can mount or strap onto the frame or armrests of the wheelchair. Depending on the wheelchair and headlight brands, some headlights can be plugged right into the charging port of the joystick. Other options include headlights that can be worn on the user’s head using a helmet or strap. In most cases, headlights that are compatible with bicycles can also be used on wheelchairs.
6. Armrest Covers
Armrest covers are a great way to add comfort and style to any wheelchair. They come in a variety of styles and materials with some covers having pouches and pockets built right onto them. Keeping them clean can be as easy as putting them in the washer as most covers are machine washable. Certain materials however may need to be wiped clean or hand-washed. Armrest covers can sometimes be made of a comfortable gel covered by fabric while others are made of simple fleece, leather, cotton, elastic fabrics, rubber, and foam cushions. They can be strapped or simply draped over the armrest.
7. Accessory Bag and Carrying Pouches
Carrying pouches can be a great gift for a user with a lot to carry around. Pouches come in a variety of sizes, styles, and capabilities. Some pouches are small enough to carry a license, credit cards, smartphones, and other small items while some larger pouches can hold books, tablets, and various drink containers. Some are even the size of lunch coolers and allow enough space for all your items and a packed lunch. Pouches can be mounted or hung using straps or loops from the armrests, the back of the wheelchair, or under the wheelchair if there is enough space. And, in some cases, it can hang from the seat. They can be closed using snap, straps, Velcro, and zippers.
8. Dog Leash Attachment
Dog leash attachments are a great gift for any wheelchair user who loves spending time outdoors with their furry loved ones. Some models attach to the frame or the armrest using Velcro straps or hooks. Leash attachments made for bicycles can sometimes be compatible with wheelchairs. They also offer models that accommodate adjustable leashes.
9. Reach Extender/Grabber Tool
Having limited mobility can also cause limited reach therefore a reach extender/grabber tool can be a handy gift. Grabber tools are usually available in lightweight aluminum, steel, and strong plastic materials with some rubber components throughout. Plus, they even have the option to be further extendable. Some models can also fold for easy storage. If you squeeze the handle, the grabber tool clamps onto whatever you need securely using rubber grips. The standard size available is about 32 inches long. But, some models are up to 40 inches long.
10. Horns and Bells
Last, but certainly not least on our list of the best gifts for wheelchair users is horns and bells. Horns and bells are a great gift for any wheelchair user that is active and constantly on the go. While most horns and bells available for bicycles are compatible with wheelchairs, some newer models can be mounted to the armrest using straps or clamps. These new models are available in battery-operated and rechargeable models and some models feature different sounds. Some models come as a combo set with alert sounds built into a headlight.
This concludes our list of the best gifts for wheelchair users. Most, if not all, of these gifts, will bring joy to any wheelchair user. The majority of these gifts mentioned above are reasonable in price and available in most local and online retailers. We hope this list helps you find the right gift and give joy to that special wheelchair user in your life. Please feel free to call us with any questions and thank you for choosing EasyGo.