There are a ton of “life hacks” out there that help make every day life easier. Being a wheelchair user, or being with a wheelchair user brings a whole new set of daily challenges and a whole new world of tips and tricks to help tackle those challenges. Here is a list of wheel love life hacks that we find save time, effort and make our day to day lives a little less stressful.
- Hand Sanitizer – We tend to forget more times than not that our mens hands are like us walking around barefoot. What is on the ground or what they wheels through ends up on their hands. On that note, as a disclaimer : dog poop, gum and spit are wheelchairs worst nightmares… and the partners they hold hands with! Be considerate of what goes on the ground!
- That being said, another great hack for wheelchair users are GLOVES! They protect your hands from blisters, filth and dog poop! It’s a win-win.
- Cup Holders – A lot of our friends, including our men, attach cup holders down by their castors. Some use double cup holders for the more crazier nights, haha! These are obviously a more convenient way to hold your drink and wheel at the same time without spilling it all over your lap. Plus it means we aren’t carrying two drinks everywhere.
- Pouches- Most wheelchair users will have a pouch under their chair. This allows them to carry their cell phone, wallet, keys, medical equipment and whatever else they may need without having to balance it all on their lap, or weigh down our purses. Don’t tell anyone, but it is also a great place to hide booze or it’s a great place for our lip-gloss as well.
- Baby Wipes – this is pretty self explanatory but we go through these holy white sheets of goodness like candy. You can never have enough baby wipes for any situation. If you’re a new wheelchair user, you will find out very quickly these things are life savers. Not only are they great for the person in the wheelchair, but they come in handy for us able bodies as well! Trick: Did you stand too close to your love and end up with a tire track on your pants? Or pass them a tire and accidentally hit your chest and end up with a smudge mark on your jacket? Baby wipe it! They are great for emergency tire track removal.
- Tire pump/patch kit – We always thought this was a little over kill to take with you all the time, that is until our friend Stu got a flat tire in Disney World and was saved by a hand pump! Or until Shawn got a flat in Vegas but conveniently had small CO2 canisters in his pouch. These things have actually saved us on a number of occasions, especially while travelling. What are the chances, for quads sake!?
- Light Switch Near the Bed – Having a light switch very close to our bed has saved us many nights and mornings having to get out of bed to either turn the light on or off. Seems like quite a small thing right? But in the long run this is one little trick that we are very grateful for. They even make light switches now that you can turn on and off with your phone. They are super easy to install if you aren’t able to put a switch by your bed.
- Bars on the Bed Frame – Ok all you dirty minds out there, this is not what you think… although sometimes it helps haha! James and Chelsea have a bed frame that just so happens to have bars on it (see picture below), not medical bars. This bed frame has been extremely useful for James getting dressed and getting in and out of bed. Again, seems like a small thing but for a wheelchair user these things are huge.
- Spray Bottles – Depending on a person’s injury level or disability some people get over heated quite easily during those hot summer days. We have found it’s always great to carry a spray bottle around to prevent people from getting too hot before it’s too late.
- Magic Erasers – Mr Clean to the rescue! Seriously, these things are a God send. They get rid of chair scuff marks on anything, walls, baseboards, cupboards… and even dirty fingerprints from our wheel love’s using walls to turn corners!
- Paristeen – Everyone has different routines when it comes to bowels, but if you are one of those people that has struggled with finding something that works for you or you’re tired of spending hours in the bathroom, then the Paristeen will change your entire life. Shawn’s bowels were a constant struggle and now it is effortless, takes a quarter of the amount of time and we don’t have to worry about any accidents.
- Chair Leash/Rope – This saves a lot of chair chasing. Attach one end if it underneath the seat in your vehicle and when you go to transfer, you can clip it to your chair and avoid the all too often runaway wheelchair.
- Sense of Humour – This has got to be the most important life hack. A sense of humour is necessary for absolutely everything because let’s be honest, if you can’t laugh at the ridiculous, hard, annoying and even gross aspects of life in a wheelchair, then life is going to be miserable, and nobody wants that.
Of course this list could go on forever. The more time we spend with our wheel loves the more tricks we find that improve our every day life. What hacks have you found that work for you? Share them in the comments below and help our your peers!
Sam & Chelsea