5 Tools That Can Increase Independence For Paraplegics

October 10, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

Having to spend your days confined to a wheelchair is a challenge on many different levels. When we talk to paraplegics, a common theme that we hear frequently is just how deeply frustrating it is to be so dependent on others. People with spinal cord injuries, experiencing the loss of their independence are frequently plagued with feelings of depression and even despair. Fortunately, with some degree of support, it is very possible for paraplegics to lead fulfilling lives and increase their independence. Here are some extremely helpful tools you may want to consider.

  1. Support bars

These are a vital item for the homes of paraplegics, and they offer a dramatic improvement in terms of quality of life. Strategically placed support bars make it so much more practical for someone in a wheelchair to navigate their way around the home with independence. They should also be installed near the bed, toilet, bath, and anywhere else where you might be moving in or out of your wheelchair.

  1. Ramps

Maneuvering a wheelchair in and out of the front door, especially if there’s a step or two up to get in and out, is one of those really frustrating activities. It’s almost impossible to do without someone else’s assistance. Installing a ramp in place of steps leading up to the door can really increase your feeling of independence, and make it easier and more enjoyable to go out again.

  1. Anti-tippers

These are really a must for anyone who spends any amount of time in a wheelchair. If there’s one thing that you do not want to have happen, it would be for the wheelchair to tip over. Obviously, the fall can be quite dangerous. And no one wants to think about being on the floor, with a wheelchair on top of you, when you’re paralyzed, with no one there help you get up. Anti-tippers are designed to prevent your wheelchair from tipping over, thus providing you with more independence of mobility. There are a variety of them available to suit one’s individual needs.

  1. Orthoses

This group encompasses a variety of tools. They generally consist of braces or similar device that help correct alignment or provide additional support. These are not quite as popular as they used to be, at least in part because they have the reputation of being too cumbersome or clunky. Some even have a somewhat “bionic” appearance. An orthosis can be as simple as a brace that holds one’s leg in place, or as complex and futuristic as a parastep, a “neuroprosthesis” that allows walking independently by stimulating leg muscles.

  1. Lifting devices

This is actually a broad category of tools that increase independence for paraplegics by allowing them to lift themselves without another person’s help. Patients who have the use of their upper torso and arms can use these devices to lift themselves on their own. Included in this group are our own Pants Up Easy products. These were designed to allow people in a wheelchair to elevate themselves, and makes it so much easier complete the otherwise challenging and time-consuming task of pulling up one’s pants.

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