Christmas Gifts for People in Wheelchairs
Holiday gift guides for wheelchair users abound across the internet, but the problem with most is that they group wheelchair users into one category and completely ignore the fact that many people with physical disabilities have a range of things that make them unique, from dexterity to chair height to sensory needs, making gift suggestions such as iPads less practical for some than others.
Only you know your wife, father, grandmother or friend well enough to know what they would like for the holiday gift-giving season. However, if you are feeling particularly stumped, here's our Christmas gift list for wheelchair users of all ages and levels of mobility.
12 Gift Ideas for a Wheelchair User
Wait, shoes? Really? Yes, really. However, not all shoes are created equal. For people with limited dexterity, we've found two brands of shoes we love.
UGG Boots - UGGs have been around for a while and were especially popular with the young female demographic, but in later years, everyone wears them and for good reason: they are cute, comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and most importantly, they keep your feet toasty warm. People in wheelchairs commonly have issues regulating their body temperature, and making sure they are warm when they travel outside is a definite win.
Chuck Taylor Double Zips - What many people don't know is that the famous athletic brand of footwear makes a double-zip version that removes the need to lace the shoe, which can be particularly helpful for someone with arthritis or any condition affecting finger strength or coordination.
Planning experiences for someone in a wheelchair can be challenging and intimidating, but there are resources all over the internet to help you find the perfect excursion for your friend or family member. The great thing about gifting an experience is that you don't have to take care of the many details. Any of the destinations on this list would make a great gift for a paraplegic, gift for a quadriplegic or for someone who uses a mobility aid outside of a wheelchair. Here are just a few we liked the most:
- Bora Bora Bungalow (Three are wheelchair accessible. Get one before they are booked!)
3. Lap tray
Some days you just want to eat dinner in front of the TV. For those days, lap trays are the greatest invention. This versatile tool means the difference between making one trip or many when your hands are used to roll yourself around. Inexpensive and surprisingly stylish, a lap tray would make a great gift for anyone of any age.
Heating pads and wraps were designed to stimulate blood flow, which aids aches and pains in tired muscles. They aren't just an accessibility gift: these tools can be enjoyed by everyone in the family! Just make sure the cord is long enough to reach from an outlet to a wheelchair if necessary.
5. Winter gloves
Winter gloves are great for the same reason UGGs are great (see #1 above). Appendages get cold in the snowy weather, and that's even more true for someone in a wheelchair. When shopping for a manual chair user, consider getting gloves that are water-resistant to keep snow on wheels from soaking through. Also consider gloves with more grip to help getting hold of tires or a power joystick easier.
6. Acupuncture or acupressure therapy
Many people are afraid to try acupuncture or acupressure therapies. What is the difference? Check that out here. These therapies have many of the same benefits as heating pads and are intended to cause an intense feeling of relaxation and calm.
7. Wheelchair cushion
Everyone has a different personal preference for how they want their cushion to feel - sort of like a phone case, only it's physically painful if you pick the wrong one. However, a spare cushion could be a great gift that your friend or family member can use while playing with children on the floor or weeding their flowerbeds. This is a tiding of comfort and joy. We like these Roho cushions for their great design and reviews.
8. Wheel guards
Wheel guards are especially popular with kids in wheelchairs because they come in almost every design and can really broadcast your personality in a fun way.
9. Wireless headphones
We can't stress enough how important wireless headphones are to someone in a wheelchair. When you go cordless, there's no danger of getting caught in anything, and they give a real sense of boundlessness. Wireless devices (either Bluetooth earbuds or wireless headphones) make an excellent gift for people in wheelchairs.
10. Kinetic Sand
11. Amazon Echo and Echo Dot
The benefits of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are too extensive to write about. With hands-free calling, app access and internet search, Echo streamlines what you can accomplish in a day. Double-check your measurements as you cook, add to your shopping list before you leave the house, and leave reminders to take medications or call someone back.
12. Food subscription boxes
A common issue for someone in a wheelchair is navigating the grocery store. The shelves are too high to reach half of the ingredients you need. Sometimes asking for help is embarrassing and navigating a large chair down narrow aisles can be anxiety-inducing with an army of carts in the narrow aisleways. Avoid all the hassle and give the gift of a food subscription box. These boxes are delivered straight to the home with all the ingredients you need to make a healthy and delicious home-cooked meal. There are tons of options out there, but here are just a few:
There you have it, folks! We hope you are no longer wondering what to get people for Christmas and found something on this Christmas gifts for wheelchair users list that looks like the perfect fit for that someone in your life. Eat, drink, and be merry.