People who use wheelchairs can sometimes find it difficult to carry their belongings and shopping when they are trying to get around. Having belongings on your knee can be uncomfortable and can also get in the way of self-propelling; plus there is a limit to how much anybody can carry in that way.
A few months ago, a news story went viral when a wheelchair user was seen with bags piled on top of them, and this is clearly not an acceptable way to transport shopping. Hanging shopping bags off the wheelchair’s handles is something that is seen frequently but can also cause problems with stability; it is far from ideal.
What’s more, when wheelchair users hang bags over their push handles, this can cause problems to the chair. Over time, the weight of the bags can cause the backrest canvas to sag so that ultimately it needs to be replaced. A sagging back rest affects the support that is offered too, so consider getting a purpose-made bag for your chair to preserve the integrity of your back rest, as well as to carry your shopping comfortably.
For an effective way to carry shopping, it is possible to purchase wheelchair shopping bags and other accessories that are designed specifically for wheelchair users. These can be fitted to a wheelchair in a range of different ways (e.g. at the side of the armrests or at the back of the wheelchair) and they allow a disabled person to carry their shopping or personal effects in a safe and comfortable way.
Attractive wheelchair accessories
There is a growing trend to make disability accessories more attractive and fashionable, and this is reflected in the wheelchair shopping bags that are available. While some people prefer plain bags, for those who want something patterned or brightly coloured, there are options available.
For people with disabled parking badges, pretty cases can also be bought to store and display them when they are in use. There are many designs available, made from different fabrics to suit your style or your mood.
Other wheelchair accessories
There is more to wheelchair accessories than bags alone. Extras and add-ons can be bought that can enhance a user’s life and make trips out easier. Did you know, for instance, that it is possible to buy a specialised urine collection bag that is stored underneath the wheelchair’s seat, but that is well disguised so nobody needs to know what it is?
Cup holders are often in high demand, too. If you like to have a drink with you as you go out and about, getting a cup holder that fits tightly to your chair will hold it safely out of your way and avoid spillages.
Wheelchair trays are another popular accessory that many wheelchair users find indispensable. Whether you use it to balance your shopping basket on in the supermarket, or to put your plate on when you’re out to lunch, there are many different styles and designs to suit your individual taste. Some have an in-built cup holder, and they are made from different materials and in sizes to suit all kinds of disabled people’s wheelchairs.
Finally, it is worth thinking about accessories like specialist gloves to help you to keep your hands dry, clean and safe when you self-propel your manual wheelchair. Normal gloves won’t do the trick; you need something sturdy and long-lasting that is designed for the kind of wear and tear that a wheelchair user’s hands will undergo. A great pair of gloves for wheelchair users is a wise investment, so choose carefully and get the best ones you can afford.
Always check that any accessories you invest in are suitable for your particular wheelchair. Use the measurements and sizes the manufacturer provided when you bought the chair, in order to match the accessories to it, or go into a mobility store to try before you buy.
The right accessories can make a significant difference to your day-to-day life, so think before you buy, and get the items you love.