A brand new wheelchair does not come with accessories to help you carry everyday items such as a wallet, glasses, medicines, groceries, a coffee mug, a bottle of water, etc. It is common for manual wheelchair users to wonder how they are going to carry these things with their hands engaged in pushing the chair forward. You want your hands to be free for safety reasons as well. So, what’s the solution? You can equip your wheelchair with accessories designed to hold everyday items. This will certainly lift a load off your shoulders.
Problems people face when carrying everyday things in a wheelchair
1. Getting things from one place to another
Carrying everyday items in a wheelchair is hard as is, occupants also find it cumbersome to move items from one place to another. Even carrying a bottle of water from the kitchen to another room can be labor-intensive. Imagine holding a bottle of water in one hand and pushing the wheelchair with another. Wheelchair users often get muscular injuries resulting from an overworked upper body.
2. Having to carry heavy items on their lap
It can be really annoying to carry things on your lap while you push the wheelchair with your hands. A wheelchair-bound person is already operating under restrictions, and he/she has to make sure the item they are carrying on their lap remains on their lap as they move. It is understandable if it’s going to be a short journey— like a few minutes — but no way a wheelchair-bound person should carry heavier items on their lap for more than 10 minutes.
3. Moving grocery bags from the garage to the kitchen
This is a specific problem faced by most wheelchair users who do their grocery shopping by themselves. Being wheelchair-bound does not mean you cannot go outdoors and do your shopping like everyone else. But it becomes an issue when you have to load and unload grocery items from the car. You can always have someone to help you load the items in your car, but what about taking them out? And then bringing them to the kitchen?
4. Using unconventional methods to hold/carry a shopping bag
Wheelchair-bound persons often use unconventional methods to hold items such as shopping bags. Holding a shopping bag handle with teeth can lead to all sorts of injuries. The same goes with hanging a heavy shopping bag or a purse on the neck while pushing the wheelchair forward. I can understand holding a lightweight item such as a pen, piece of paper, etc with teeth. But not a heavy object. Unfortunately, wheelchair users have to risk injuries just to carry out a menial everyday task.
How to carry everyday things in a wheelchair
The best way to carry everyday things in a wheelchair is by placing them in specially designed bags/containers. These accessories can be attached to wheelchairs of all brands and sizes. You can install them yourself without needing any power tools. Remember, the goal is to offer you easy access to day-to-day items. Hence, do not expect them to hold uncommon, strangely shaped, or large items.
Here are the accessories you’ll need:
Cup holders make it possible for wheelchair users to enjoy a drink in peace. Most holders are designed for a Starbucks-style paper cup but you’ll find the ones for a regular ceramic coffee cup as well. You can also use the same holder for a bottle of water or a can of soda. Furthermore, you can install the wheelchair cup holder walker as well. Some folks use a walker when indoors. You can get a cup with a secure lid so the contents don’t spill during transit.
2. Armrest organizer bag
An armrest organizer bag (also known as a side bag) is a great way to store your everyday items on your wheelchair itself. It can be installed on either side of the wheelchair. You can also get two bags if you have more stuff to store. Smaller items such as a phone, bottle of water toothbrush, hair trimmer, etc can fit in easily in a side bag. Just make sure to lock the bag before you head outdoors— you don’t want to invite grab and run thieves. Or at least put the zipper on.
3. Wheelchair bag for the back of the chair
This is a backpack for the wheelchair. You can put it over the backrest. Although this bag is meant for outdoor use, you can always use it within the home. You can carry books, a laptop, or anything that fits in a backpack. You no longer have to carry your groceries (from the garage to the kitchen) on your lap. Simply load the items in your wheelchair backpack. You may have to make a few trips, but it is better than risking an injury trying to carry the shopping bag on your lap or hanging over your neck.
4. Wheelchair lap tray
I know this post is about how to carry everyday things in a wheelchair. But one must also be able to place items such as a food plate, laptop, or a magazine on the wheelchair. A lap tray allows the wheelchair user to perform all those activities they would normally do with a table. They can eat, use their laptop, and read a magazine or a book without having to move an inch. Furthermore, you can also move the wheelchair while the lap tray is in action. You can also move the chair while you are eating.
This post is for folks who wish to learn how to carry everyday things in a wheelchair. Caregivers can learn a thing or two about the unique issues the care recipient faces on a day-to-day basis. Equipping the wheelchair with accessories mentioned in this post will make life safe and simple. Wheelchair users will no longer have to move around looking for the items they need daily. They will have fast, easy access to everyday items like a toothbrush, trimmer, make-up box, or a chocolate bar.