Drive Cares

7 wheelchair accessories to increase comfort & safety

When you or a loved one spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, you are at increased risk for falls and developing pressure injuries (damage to or sores on the skin).

To help avoid these often painful and troublesome situations, it is critical to choose the most appropriate accessories for your wheelchair. When you or your loved one are more comfortable in your wheelchair, good posture, enhanced respiration and digestion, healthy skin integrity and a comfortable, pain-free lifestyle can be enjoyed or restored. You will ultimately feel better, may experience less pain, and be more eager to get out and move around. You may become more engaged in everyday activities, have a reduced risk for complications and enjoy greater quality of life.

Consider accessorizing your wheelchair with these important tools.

Seat cushion
A seat cushion is a simple way to provide more cushioning and reduce the pressure on your backside from sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time. Using a seat cushion can increase comfort, reduce the risk of pressure injuries, decrease fatigue, and enhance seated balance and stability.

Back cushion
When properly fitted with a seat cushion, wheelchairs generally should also have a back cushion. Back cushions provide the same benefits as a seat cushion, but they also provide added support to the lower back and help to improve posture.

Adjustable-height armrests
When seat and back cushions are used, adjustable-height armrests are another accessory that should be considered. Most people believe armrests are merely a place to rest your arms; however, they can be much more than that. For individuals who do not have good upper body control and balance, armrests provide support and stability to make everyday tasks easier to perform.

Anti-tippers
These handy-dandy, little tools attach to the back of a wheelchair to keep it from tipping over while shifting weight in the chair. They provide additional peace of mind by preventing fall and injuries.

Wheel lock extensions
Most wheel lock extensions easily slip onto the existing wheelchair brake lever. Extensions provide increased leverage while locking the brakes, making it easier for those with limited strength. Ensuring the brakes lock securely prevent falls or injuries while sitting down, standing up or shifting your weight in the wheelchair.

Heel loops
Fitting a wheelchair with heel loops is a great way to provide a more supportive and comfortable foot position on the footplate. These loops prevent injury by keeping your feet from slipping, sliding and falling off the footplate.

Positioning belt
A positioning belt or seat belt can prevent falls by keeping you or a loved one from sliding forward in the wheelchair.

Peruse our selection of wheelchair accessories here and ask your medical equipment provider for more information. To locate a medical equipment provider in your geographical area, use our provider locator here.