Recently I put a call out on our Facebook page asking our community to share a piece of equipment which they felt had transformed or improved their life. I didn’t mind whether it was a small utensil or a large piece of equipment, I was just keen to share ideas. We’ve seen in the past that sharing disability equipment solutions can solve a problem for others which is always wonderful. So, I’ve taken all the information from Facebook and I’m putting it into a post which is searchable and here to help anytime (Facebook posts disappear over time)
Here are the disability equipment solutions our community felt you need to know about.
Gareth shared, “The pieces of equipment I’ve found most useful since my injury are the Active Hands gripping aids. As a C6 quad, the biggest day to day issue I have is with gripping and lifting things, and also wanting to improve my overall fitness. So I bought an Active Hands gym pack from their website and they improved the quality of my life almost instantly! The comfortable yet durable aids now allow me to use a variety of gym weights and apparatus in order to keep fit, and the General Purpose gripping aids come in especially handy when needing to use garden tools, DIY equipment and even sporting items. I would recommend these to anyone with a disability that affects grip. I purchased mine from the Active Hands website: www.activehands.com”
Christina shared, “This is a 2 in 1 picture lol. We have clip on lights meant for cyclists for when it’s dark out and we’re on the move, and third, a seat pack for students chairs at schools, it slips right over my sons backrest on his chair and often times we can avoid carrying a large bag that’s always in the way!”
UNDER WHEELCHAIR BAG
Codee shared, “The one thing that literally goes everywhere with me is this really simple but very useful underseat pouch. When I’m sitting in the chair, the pouch is behind my legs. Easily accessible for me, but not so much for others. That’s why it’s perfect for storing valuables like keys, wallet and phone. It attaches under the cushion at the front of the seating area with a piece of velcro. So it’s easy to remove and bring it with you if you transfer to another seat. Say, in a restarant… and put your chair to the side. I got mine when I purchased the chair from RGK. A lot of wheelchair shops like Quickie, sell them as accessories. You can even buy one on Ebay.”
Christina shared, “I have two children who have mobility issues. This will work while they are still little, but our youngest is about 8 and 50 lbs and getting much too big for it. But it worked wonderfully for the longest time! It’s a buggy board meant for a stroller that my husband rigged to work with our wheel chair!”
5 EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS
Jess shared 5 of her top disability equipment solutions including, “For me there are a couple of things. There’s my wheelchair cozy (ordered off EBay) it’s basically a fleece lined sleeping bag of sorts that zips up around your legs to keep you cozy. My Wymo hoist has given me my independence allowing me to travel to my own appointments most of the time and get out and about. My Assistance Dog in Training “Riley” has already given me so much joy and support and now I don’t know what I’d do without him. A pretty washable Med grade facemask to help me protect my immunodeficient body especially in crowded places like planes, the pattern helps me feel more confident and less like someone riddled with a plaque. And lastly I started using a quokka bag, it can come in various shapes and sizes (although still quite small especially when needing to carry medical papers, meds, phone, wallet etc). It really helped my shoulders as I wasn’t hyperextending back every time I needed to grab my phone or wallet. It’s very handy for those with joint pain, hypermobility or other condition that could make reaching things behind or under your chair more difficult.
PORTABLE SHOWER & COMMODE CHAIR
Toni shared, “Firstly my daughter can not sit in a chair with a 90* hip angle, it has to be 85 or less. She has incredible extensor tone so most of the travel shower chairs can not accommodate that tone and have angles set at 90.
It had to be able to fold up but be easily assembled – this chair has bolts with those ‘mickey mouse’ ear things and pull pins, it assembles or disassembles in under 5 minutes. It’s weight in a hard case was less than 25 kg which was important as we travelled for 5 months and had a lot of luggage. It has knee supports because my daughter’s knees go out rather than scissoring like most people, and thoracic supports because chest harnesses and showering are not a combo. This was custom made for my daughter by Luke Oldfield at Advanced Mobility on the Gold Coast in Queensland.”
ASSISTANCE GETTING IN & OUT OF THE CAR
Cheryl shared a purchase she made at a mobility shop, “I can stand on one leg and pivot. It is a handle a window breaker and a seat belt cuter. Best 50 dollars ever. Helps me get in and out of the car . Especially on uneven ground and wet areas.”
Elsabe shared, “For us, for travel, going for walks…. Gloves and Freewheel! Lifting the caster wheels helps to move over any terrain!”
Bianca shared, “Reflo cup. Has a flow restrictor in it, so flow is slower and constant. It’s been great.”
Tracey shared, “Our silicone no spill cup covers with straws!”
Brian shared, “Our favorite piece of equipment of late. It gives Chris a bit more independence. The straw comes in 3 lengths and the straw will stay in position. With the straw removed, it’s spill proof. It comes with a cleaning brush for the straw, so it cleans easily. And they sell replacement straws.
www.fleximug.com ” .
Tim shared, “I made this canopy for my son’s wheelchair. He is on meds that effect him being in the sun light. The frame is just standard electrical conduit and The top is a canvas type material. This past Friday we were at a rally for our Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team and he stayed about 10 degrees cooler under his canopy then me being in the direct sun light.”
Bianca shared “Weehoo bike trailer. Has done my son from 5yrs to 10yrs. About to outgrow it. We modified it to add swing away lateral support for him and added a waist belt. He LOVES it.
Hannah shared, “For me, it would have to be my Smart Drive. Small and light enough for me to still wheel myself around even when it’s off. Manual chair one minute, power chair the next.
It’s the only reason I can get around my inaccessible Uni campus at the moment. I don’t ruin my wrists/shoulders during Fibro flares, but can still leave the house unattended.”
Sylvie seconded Hannah’s choice and added, “I also have one of those absolutely awesome. It has given me more options of where I can work. Distance is not an issue anymore. I can also keep up with my family.”
Emily shared, “The “FreeLoader”- a backpack-type seat that supports kids up to 80lbs.
We ordered ours through their website.”
Cassandra, Bianca and Jodie all gave the Hippocampe a thumbs up and judging by the photos they sent to accompany their vote, it’s flexible with the places it can go.
Cassandra said, “The Hippocampe is one of my favorites. Beach wheelchair that floats in the water. We also made a sleigh adaption to use in the snow. Packs down into a bag. Large but still ok on the airplane.”
STABILISER FOR FOOD CONTAINER
Michelle shared the photo above and explained, “Nath only has use of one arm and this mobile phone sticky pad is great to put on the table to stop the container from moving around OR me standing there holding it!”
From our family, “Off-road tyres have been a fabulous inclusion in our equipment pool allowing us greater freedom to get over rough terrain, hard packed sand and bush tracks.”
You can see a previous post we compiled with disability equipment solutions here.
A big thank you to our Facebook community for sharing so many great disability equipment solutions. If you’ve got something you’d like to add, feel free to email me (Julie) at [email protected], post in messages below or message me over on Facebook.
I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned above. All these products have been suggested by our community.
It’s fabulous to be able to share this information across the globe. Thanks everyone, I love our community.