We recently asked TA iQ Powerchair user Andy Grant to come up with a list of suggestions to improve comfort in a wheelchair so we could share his experience with other wheelchair users. Here’s what he had in mind:
1. The Cushion
This is the hardest one to get right but number one in terms of priority. I use a Roho Quadtro High Profile Cushion
2. Power Leg Rest
This is the most important thing to me, and the thing I use the most each day to improve my level of comfort, I would use it between 50-100 times a day easily.
3. Power Back Rest
Same as the Power Leg Rest, it’s a function I constantly use each day. I use it to adjust my position and relieve areas of pressure.
4.Forward and Rear Tilt
This is the same as the two above features. I constantly use this throughout my day.
5. Arm Rest Covers
Any surface area of the chair that comes into contact with my body needs to be padded, I have callouses on my elbows and forearms from contact with the arm rests, it’s often uncomfortable.
Some people buy medical grade sheepskin covers to fit over hard surfaces. These are suitable accessories but I would prefer to use a chair that has those design features built in.
6. Leg Strap
I use a strap to tie my legs together- this an accessory that provides comfort and is also functional in that it creates a platform across my lap to balance things on.
A bag that attaches to the chair that keeps the essentials close by, I have designed my own and it works well for me, an essential accessory though.
I think warmth would be great especially in winter, and it’s a priority for anyone unable to self ambulate. If cars aeroplanes and massage chairs can have heating- wheelchairs should too.
I need something to hold my coffee or water. I have seen other wheelchair users experience burns, and this has happened myself from trying to balance coffee in your lap. It might sound funny but it has really serious consequences.
10. Head Rest
A more easily adjustable headrest. Adjusting anything on a chair can be beyond carers and support workers capability, and throughout the day where I need my headrest to be changed an easily adjustable head rest would mean the function could be completed quickly, often and easily.
11. Phone Holder
The one I have holds my phone and can also provide me with a tray.