Gift ideas to keep wheelchair users organized — Holiday Gift Guide 2004
For eight years, Quest has tried to take the ho ho ho hum out of your holidays with our annual collection of unique gift ideas.
We look high and low, leaving no Web site, catalog or durable medical equipment manufacturer unturned.
Our goal is to present a wide variety of items of interest to people whose needs are uniquely shaped by a neuromuscular disease.
This year, our theme is wheelchair accessories: cushions and pads, weather-related items, holders, wheelchair bags, recreational items, trays, accessories for wheels and rims, and miscellaneous things to make your wheelchair more efficient or enjoyable. Also included are some add-ons for scooters, walkers, and crutches.
For some quirkier decorator items, see “As the Wheel Turns: Designer Wheels.”
Wheelchair accessories form a small industry that sees lots of innovation, and offers many great products that were born out of necessity. Included here are accessories ranging from those made by major medical supply companies to those sold by small businesses struggling to get a great idea out to consumers.
As always, please remember that prices quoted here don’t account for differences among local distributors or retailers or reflect holiday sale prices, discounts and other variations.
Another important note: For some items we’ve provided the manufacturer’s contact information, but you can also purchase them through a local dealer. For example, accessories made by Diestco can be found at dealers and retailers nationwide, so you can shop near your home, on the Web or by calling the company. Prices listed for Diestco and others are the manufacturer's suggested retail price — the MSRP.
|Above (from top to bottom): Akemi cooling cushion, ErgoDynamic's Ergo Air, BBD cushions by Rand-Scot, Air Pulse PK cushion by Aquila and sheepskin wheelchair pad.
Below: The Weather Bee wheelchair cover and The Weather Breaker wheelchair canopy
Bottom line: We can help you make your list, but it’s up to you to check it twice. Shop around for your best deal.
Quest hopes these ideas can add a little simplicity and convenience to the holidays for you or your favorite wheelchair user.
So happy shopping, and of course, happy holidays!
Wheelchair cooling cushion (Akemi)
This cushion is designed to cool you when it’s attached to the back of your wheelchair. It stays cool for days at a time, and the chair stays dry. Cooling bandannas, vests, headbands and warming products also are available. $35. www.bodycooler.com or (800) 209-2665.
ErgoDynamic seating system
This features a two-bladder, alternating support surface that increases blood flow to the pelvic region. www.ergoair.com or (800) 559-9856.
Inflatable, natural rubber cushions provide pressure equalization during use and also provide exceptional ventilation and shock absorbency. $219-$259. www.randscot.com or (800) 467-7967.
The Custom Air is a two-zone, manually inflated air cushion that lets you apply minimal interface pressure where it’s most needed. $649. The Air Pulse PK is an automatic, battery-powered alternating pressure relief cushion. Starts at $1,995. www.aquilacorp.com or (507) 373-2590.
The alternating pressure-relief pad helps to maintain blood flow with gentle changes of pressure. $295-$345. www.pressure-care.net or (631) 738-1821.
Aqua Aire comfort system
An ergonomically designed cushion with an insert uses a combination of water and air to provide comfort and relieve pressure when you’re seated. $49.95. www.aqua-aire.com, www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
Stimulite classic cushion (Supracor)
These honeycomb cushions are designed to provide pressure relief, reduced shearing, and ventilation to control heat and moisture. Start at $448. www.rolli-moden.com, (800) 707-2395 or www.supracor.com.
Arm rest wraps
Soft, thick sheepskinlike fleece wraps around the wheelchair armrests offer cushioning protection; especially important for sensitive skin. $16.50. www.adaptabledesigns.com or (360) 387-1909.
Cushion-It medical sheepskin wheelchair pad
Use it as a seatrest or backrest (order two to cover entire seat) or for bedsore prevention. The pad is held securely in place by straps with Velcro adjustments. $100. Sheepskin armrests and footplate covers also are available. www.medicalsheepskins.com or (800) 463–1985.
The Weather Bee
This cover will protect your scooter or wheelchair from moisture and dust when being stored or transported. Models for power and folding wheelchairs are offered. $56.20. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
The Weather Breaker
The canopy attaches to a wheelchair or scooter to protect the occupant from the sun and rain. Mounting kits fit most wheelchair makes and models. $136.62. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
|Top to bottom: Drink Aide and Chairmate's cup/ashtray holder|
This insulated water bottle features a vibration-resistant flexible drinking tube and a universal clamp that can fasten to a wheelchair, bed or other location. It was designed, tested and produced by people with physical disabilities at Inglis House in Philadelphia. $42. www.drink-aide.com or (800) 336-7022.
The Mobility Caddy cupholder (Caddy Products)
It’s portable or permanent, and can be mounted in a variety of locations. $8. www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
Chairmate cup/ashtray holder
This versatile double-well cup holder has a removable compartment and a deeper well with a pop-out bottom that accepts most sizes of glasses or cups. It attaches at any angle to a tubular frame. $10.50. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.
Made of high-impact polypropylene, it holds containers up to 32 ounces. The Adjustable Drink Holder folds flat to 1½ inches for going through doorways, and fits 8-ounce to 32-ounce containers. $15.95 each. www.rolli-moden.com or (800) 707-2395.
|Top to bottom: Just Right Organizer, a front bag, an arm rest bag, cargo shelf, Down-in-Front bag and Jazz backpack|
On the side
Just Right organizer
This bag features a main compartment with two interior pockets, two outside bellowed pockets and a fold-over zippered flap pocket. It can be attached inside a wheelchair armrest, on scooter handles or on front of a walker. $29.95. www.adaptabledesigns.com or (360) 387-1909.
This is designed to avoid interfering with rear wheelchair wheel (11x5x3 inches). $18.28.
The basketball-sized bag extends from the front of your armrest. Top zippered flap and side pockets provide plenty of storage room. $48.95.
Standard saddle bag
At 10x8x3 inches, it provides convenient storage. $18.95. All from Diestco, www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
SideKick wheelchair pouch
The main zippered pocket holds wallet, brush/comb, etc.; fleece-lined pocket is ideal for eyeglasses, sunglasses or small items. $14.95. www.adaptabledesigns.com or (360) 387-1909.
Attach it to the frame under your wheelchair seat; has a front zippered pocket. $27.95.
Attach this one to wheelchair frame; top flap keeps items inside secure. $17.95. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
Wheelchair underneath carry-on
This mesh canopy attaches underneath the wheelchair to hold books, packages, etc. Velcro attachment features front and back stop flaps to keep items secure. $27.45. From EZ Accessories, www.homecareproducts.com or (800) 451-1903.
Deluxe seatback bag
Six storage areas keep things separate for better access. $47.95. The Standard Seatback Bag has a zippered top to keep your belongings secure. $27.95. The Monster Bag, at 13x17x12 inches, is great for shopping; side pockets keep items organized. $50.62. All from Diestco, www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
The multipocket pack has a foam-lined back and semirigid top that helps hold its shape and makes the zippers easier to use. $49.95. www.adaptabledesigns.com or (360) 387-1909.
|Above: A tray from Diestco and the Adapt-a-Lap
Below: WeatherMuff cover and scooter basket organizer
Trays in mega and mini sizes are made of polycarbonate material. Minitrays also are available in birchwood. $159-$175; doesn't include mounting hardware. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
Adapt-a-Lap tray/book holder
A hands-free portable desk offers an easy way to read. $54.95. www.adaptalap.com or (800) 419-2354.
This is ideal for eating, reading and other small tasks. Washable padding is detachable and doubles as neck pillow. $25. www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
StorNstuff creativity kit
Here’s a lap tray filled with art supplies like crayons and markers. Removable trays clip onto chair sides for easy access. $25. www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
Rimmed wheelchair tray
With a smooth flat top and a raised spill edge all around, this tray adapts to many activities. $79.50. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.
The two-piece cover shields scooter seat and tiller to protect them from moisture. $69.95. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
The deluxe model (9x12x3 inches) includes five pockets, some zippered. $33.28. Standard bag fits on front or back of tiller to provide convenient storage (10x6x3 inches). $17.28. www.diestco.com or (800) 795-2392.
Scooter basket liner organizer (EZ Accessories)
This accessory offers privacy while keeping personal items handy, and prevents small items from slipping through your scooter basket. $17.95. Walker basket liners also are available. $13.95. www.homecareproducts.com or (800) 451-1903.
|Top to bottom: Natural-fit ergonomic handrim, Tuff wheels from Skyway and an Awesome Grip removable ring cover|
Natural-fit ergonomic rim
The manual wheelchair ergonomic handrim is designed to comfortably fit the contours of your hand and maximize the power you get with every push. $295/pair for standard grip, $340/pair for super grip. www.3rivers.com or (480) 833-1829.
Sizes range from 12 1/2 inches to 24 inches; made of lightweight composite materials. A variety of hubs is available. www.skywaywheels.com or (800) 332-3357.
Rite Over wheelchair tire covers
Made from durable, washable material that’s comfortable to the touch, these covers are good for wet days and for keeping carpets clean. $39.90. www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
Removable/changeable wheelchair grip ring covers provides a softer, larger surface area, making the ring easier to grip. Soft yet firm, it won’t slip on the ring or in your hands. Designs for kids are also available. $60 a pair. www.awesomegrip.com or (866) 447-4685.
|Top to bottom: Comfort walker hand pads and a side mount walker carry-on|
Attaching these to walkers, crutches or wheelchairs offers the convenience of a backpack or fanny pack. They come in a variety of fabrics and colors; security flaps are available for any style. (916) 782-7009.
Comfort walker and crutch hand pads
Two layers of terrycloth give a soft, comfortable grip, and minimize hand discomfort and sweaty palms. $9.45 a pair. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.
Side and front mount walker carry-ons
This lightweight nylon bag features three deep pockets and detachable beverage holders. $27.95 each. www.homecareproducts.com or (800) 451-1903.
Cane holder for walkers and wheelchairs
Double-clip cane holder allows users to keep a cane handy wherever they may need it. $16.50. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.
Ice pick for canes and crutches
Plated steel cane attachment has five cleats instead of one large point, making it well suited for ice-covered sidewalks. $6.99. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.
Tow Mo (Colours)
This collapsible wagon attaches to your wheelchair’s crossbar on the backrest. It’s great for carrying groceries and packages, and folds flat for storage. $249. www.sportaid.com or (800) 743-7203.
Wheelchair impact guards
They help keep your chair looking like new. $29 per pair. www.sportaid.com or (800) 743-7203.
BarTenders are the ergonomic solution for comfort, control and strength when you’re moving a wheelchair. BarTenders feature quick releases for easy mounting and positioning when folding wheelchairs. $29.95. www.skywaywheels.com or (800) 332-3357.
|Ableware's fishing pole holder|
Wheelchair covers for hunting
Blend into your surroundings with these custom-order covers with elastic band and nylon ropes. They’re available in camouflage or forest patterns. $63. www.grovergear.com or (866) 666-9680.
Fishing pole holder for wheelchairs
The clamp on fishing pole holder keeps a good grip on the pole while it makes the reel available for one-handed operation. $29.70. www.maddak.com or (973) 628-7600.