homepageTips and tricks from people with spinal cord injuries (SCI).
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Looking after ones health: all 147 tips and ideas

147 tips and ideas 
Hydration system hanging at the edge of the bed'Camelbak' hydration system
With the 'camelbak' water is always accessible when lying in bed - suitable for persons with compromised arm/hand function
Accessible saunaAccessible sauna
Sauna increases well-being of person with quadriplegia
Accessible sauna with hinged bench Accessible sauna
Large sauna planned for electric wheelchair access
Sauna with glass doorAccessible sauna
Accessible sauna - suitable for persons who drive a wheelchair and who easily freeze
Sauna – part of the upper and lower benches removedAccessible sauna
Simple adaptation in sauna – suitable for wheelchair users
User in saunaAccessible sauna
- with maneuvering space and custom ventilation hatch - suitable for wheelchair users
Wall-mounted arm cycle with extended wall bracketAdaptation of arm cycle
Wall-mounted exercise bike, adapted with extended wall bracket
Emergency equipment cartAdapted baggage cart
Emergency equipment cart for ventilator user
Adapted calf strap, from behindAdapted calf strap
A broad padded calf strap makes sitting in Panthera wheelchair more comfortable
Adapted dosetteAdapted dosette
The dosette is useful for persons with impaired hand function
User lying on side in bed with wedge cushionAdapted wedge cushion for comfortable position on side in bed
- suitable for people with disabilities
Wheelchair cushion with reinforced side edgeAdapted wheelchair cushion
Simple modification of cushion for easy transfers
User with punching bagAdjustable height punching bag
- can be used both by people in wheelchairs and people who stand
User does shoulder exercises with wrist weightsAdjustable wrist weights
- suitable for individual exercise programs
Air-to-air heat pump, indoor unitAir-to-air heat pump maintains even temperature
Since persons with high spinal cord injuries frequently do not tolerate excessively high or low temperatures it is important to maintain a constant temperature indoors
User at his arm cycleArm cycle on exercise stand
An exercise stand allows the user to operate the arm cycle either stationary or outdoors - a training tool for people with disabilities
Arm cycle with customized handlebarsArm cycle with customized handlebars
Arm cycle with customized handlebars suitable as home exercise machine for wheelchair users who have impaired hand function.
User with her armbike. Photo: Jonas ArnesonArmbike
- addition to manual wheelchair that allows quick and comfortable mobility outdoors
Bag valve maskBag valve mask (Ambu bag)
Convenient bag valve mask - an important assistive device for ventilator users
User picks ball up from groundBall techniques
Technique for getting a ball up from the floor onto the player’s lap - suitable for players of wheelchair rugby with poor hand function
Latte frother in a glassBattery-operated frother
Frother suitable for persons with impaired hand function; useful for functions such as mixing medications
Bite guardBite guard helpful for a good night’s sleep
Bite guard can help people who have difficulty turning in bed avoid sleep apnea
The user with blanket attached using a mitten holderBlanket modified with mitten holder
A blanket sitting on the user’s lap is held in place by a mitten holder
ShawlCamel hair shawl to keep shoulders and upper arms warm
Holds heat - appropriate for persons who easily freeze
User with capCap with built-in cooling or heating elements
Custom-designed cap for persons with problems regulating body temperature
Combined ceiling fan and lightCeiling fan
The ceiling fan helps when it gets too hot in the summer; appropriate for persons who have problems with temperature regulation.
Ceiling fanCeiling fan
Ceiling fan helps persons who have problems regulating body heat to sleep on hot summer nights.
Ceiling lift track with ceiling liftCeiling lift between bed and bathtub
By opening up the wall above the bathroom door Anders can transfer from the bed directly to the bathtub using a ceiling lift
Chaps lying on floorChaps-style trousers for wheelchair users
Chaps are easy to put on and take off while sitting in a wheelchair.
Chaps, lying on the floorChaps-style trousers for wheelchair users
Chaps-style trousers that can be put on without having to move from the wheelchair
User with cooling vestCooling and heating vest
Vest with built-in hot or cold pads, suitable for persons with problems regulating body temperature
Table fanCooling fan
Cooling fan for persons who have problems with temperature control.
Spray bottle, photo: Clas OhlsonCooling off when it gets too hot
Simple tips for cooling off - suitable for persons who are sensitive to heat
User with assistive device for coughing.Coughing aid
Assistive device provides support for coughing; suitable for persons who are unable to cough by themselves
Cranberry juiceCranberry juice
Cranberry juice is used to prevent urinary tract infections.
Crane between ceiling lift belt and lifting equipmentCrane or hanging scale that can be used as a personal scale
A crane scale with a ceiling lift may be used as a personal scale - appropriate for people who transfer using a ceiling lift
User in bed with foam cushion between kneesCushion between knees
A cushion that separates the legs can reduce neurogenic pain that people with spinal cord injury may have
User lying on his back with lumbar cushionCushion in lumbar region reduces neurogenic pain
A cushion that could help prevent neurogenic pain and spasticity in people with spinal cord injuries
BathtubCustom-built bathtub in larch wood
Larch wood bathtub with broad edge to help with transfers and stops for the feet; suitable for people with disabilities
H-shaped wooden stand on a bathroom scaleCustom-designed scale
Scale for person who sits in wheelchair
Rattan chair with pressure-relieving cushionCustom-made foam rubber chair cushions
- reduces risk of ulcers for people who lack sensation
Dodger on sailboatDodger on adapted sailboat
Custom easy-to-use dodger keeps user warm and dry on boat; extremely suitable for persons with physical disabilities.
Medication dosetteDosette for medications
Dosettes make it easier for persons with impaired hand function to take medicine
User bends forwardEasing strain on buttocks
Technique for persons with poor balance and impaired arm/hand function to ease strain on buttocks
Electric heating padElectric heating pad
Electric heating pad, practical for persons who have problems regulating body temperature
Electric space heaterElectric space heater
Provides extra heat for persons who freeze easily.
User with feet on footrestEngblom comfort footrest
Padded footrest on wheelchair prevents pressure ulcers when barefoot
The user training in the gym using exercise aids. Photo: www.activehands.co.ukExercise aids
Exercise Aids allowing indenpendent gymtraining för persone with impaired handfunction
User engages in strength training with the rubber band installed at shoulder heightExercise equipment in living room
Rubber band in living room – simple exercise equipment that is always accessible
Using hand cycle with the help of an exercise gloveExercise gloves
Exercise gloves make it possible to keep a steady grip on exercise equipment for persons with compromised or no dexterity
User with feet warmerFeet warmer
- easy to put on and take off while sitting - suitable for wheelchair users
FireplaceFireplace
Fireplace provides extra heat for persons who have a hard time staying warm.
User with feet on foot restFoot rest on wheelchair
The foot rest helps position feet properly and prevents pressure ulcers when the user does not wear shoes
User with soft footrestFootrest
A soft footrest on the wheelchair makes shoes unnecessary indoors
User with fur on legsFur
Fur keeps legs warm - suitable for wheelchair users who easily freeze
User opens sliding door to enclosed patioGlassed-in patio with infrared heating
A glassed-in patio allows people who freeze easily to be outdoors on chilly days and evenings – suitable for wheelchair users
Guitar control for video gameGuitar Hero – video game controlled with guitar
Video game provides good hand training
User ‘takes' hand rubHand rub dispenser with sensor
– aids people with impaired hand function
User riding bike with her children.Handbike
Power-assisted handbike that can be clipped on a manual wheelchair - allows bicycling on equal terms
User cyclingHandcycle
- enables people with disabilities to ride a bike on equal terms
User with heated gloves and battery pack onHeated gloves
Thermostat-controlled heated gloves
User wearing heated sock (close-up)Heated socks
Battery-heated socks for outdoor activities – appropriate for people who freeze easily
Heating fanHeating fan
Used for extra heat in work room, appropriate for persons who get cold easily.
Heating fan at work tableHeating fan
Heating fan suitable for persons who find it difficult to regulate body temperature.
User sitting by heating fanHeating fan
Freestanding heating fan is a good source of supplemental heating for persons who easily become cold
Heating fanHeating fan with built-in thermostat
A heating fan by the workplace helps persons with impaired hand and/or arm function to avoid tension in their shoulders.
User with heating pad on lapHeating pad for microwave oven
Heating pad – a good assistive device for people who freeze easily
Heating pad lying on bedHeating pad with timer
Heating pad with timer warms the bed
Aquatec Laguna hygienic chair with ROHO hygiene cushionHygienic chair
Shower and hygienic chair with customized armrest, suitable for persons with extensive disabilities
Wall-mounted infrared heater from Infrasved. Photo from www.infrasved.seInfrared heating
- a good way to quickly increase heat, for example, in the bathroom or the workplace - suitable for people who easily freeze
User with lap cushionLap and hand cushions
Cushions in colors that match clothing on which to place arms and hands when sitting in the wheelchair - a possibility for persons with extensive disabilities
User relieves pressure on seat by leaning forward on trayLap tray that stays on lap
Tray with many applications for people who drive a wheelchair
User with leg in raised positionLegs in raised position in active wheelchair
Holding legs in raised position accelerates wound healing
Liniment LinexLiniment Linex
A liniment that helps against muscle pain
Massage device - handle with moving rollersMassage device
For massages, to increase circulation and warm the body
Massage rollerMassage roller with flexible joints
Massager that reduces muscle tension in the body
MassagerMassage rollers in various designs
Massage rollers help relieve muscle tension
Different models of massagersMassager
Used to treat tight muscles and as sex aid – suitable for persons with spinal cord injury
Mattress for pressure ulcer preventionMattress for pressure ulcer prevention, with compressor
Hanging the compressor on a string can reduce vibrations.
Mirror hanging on bed handleMirror to check ulcers
It is important for people with impaired sensation to check their skin regularly
The user uses the mobile coughing assistive deviceMobile assistive device for coughing
An assistive device that provides support for coughing even when traveling – suitable for persons who cannot cough on their own
Mobile shower and toilet chair, Aquatec OceanMobile shower/toilet chair on casters
Combined shower and toilet chair on castors
User in barrel sauna Photo: www.rullarnas.seModified barrel sauna
- accessible for wheelchair users
User with arm cycleModified exercise bike
A quiet exercise bike modified into an arm cycle – suitable for wheelchair users
User gives himself an insulin injectionModified insulin syringe
Simple modification of insulin syringe enables a person with extensive disabilities to give himself his shot
Nasal irrigatorNasal irrigator
The nasal irrigator can prevent colds
Move with lift and neck roll (person in the picture is not the user)Neck roll cushion
The neck roll supports and helps to relax the neck during moves - suitable for persons with extensive disabilities who use a personal lift
Outdoor pool with liftOutdoor pool with lift
– suitable for people with disabilities
Oven gloveOven glove
Oven glove protects hands when handling hot baking sheets – suitable for persons with impaired sensation
User and her husband at pool liftPool lift for outdoor pool
Stationary custom-designed pool lift makes it possible for people with disabilities to get in and out of a pool
User lying on side in bed with kinesthetic rollPositioning cushion that can support the entire body
– provides firm support and reduces shoulder pain
User lies on back with legs on psoas cushionPositioning cushions in bed
Positioning cushions to lie comfortably, improve circulation and prevent decubitus ulcers - suitable for persons with extensive disabilities
Pressure relieving mattress picture 1Pressure relieving mattress
Mattress for pressure ulcer prevention with quiet motor – suitable for persons with ulcer problems
ROHO-MINI-MAX cushion on shower chairPressure relieving shower cushion
Used successfully in many contexts, such as the shower, airplane trips, the car, etc.
Cushion with air cellsPressure-relieving cushion for plane trips
– suitable for people with impaired sensation
Pressure-relieving mattress lying on bedPressure-relieving mattress
Solution for persons with spinal cord injuries
User with rain capeRain cape
Rain cape appropriate for wheelchair users
Rain cover on ventilatorRain cover for ventilator
Rain cover for ventilator - an important aid for persons who have their ventilator on the wheelchair
User with rain poncho from the frontRain poncho for bicyclists
A rain poncho for bicyclists works as rain gear for wheelchair users.
User in his Permobil with Recaro seat.Recaro seat on electric wheelchair (Permobil)
- provides comfortable seating for people who use electric wheelchair
User riding recumbent bicycle. The wheelchair is attached to the tow hook.Recumbent bicycle with electric wheel and tow hook for wheelchair
Facilitates bike riding for individuals with impaired strength or disability
Picture by Richard Levi, Spinalis Handbook, 1999Reduce muscle pain in arms using techniques such as voice control of computer
A variety of techniques help the user to keep pain manageable
Programmable unitReminder to take medicine at the right time
Assistive device reminds user to take his medicine on time
Roho cushion on driver’s seatRoho cushion in motorboat
Cushions with many applications – suitable for persons with impaired sensation
User on couch with roll cushion to relieve heelsRoll pillow on couch to relieve heels
- suitable for people who lack sensation
picture missingRosemary oil for swollen feet
Susanne uses rosemary oil and avoids wearing support hose for swollen legs.
User in his rugby wheelchair.Rugby chair
Wheelchair for wheelchair rugby
Suspended scaleScale
A suspended scale with a ceiling lift is appropriate for persons who transfer with ceiling lift
Gel cushion on seat in boat
Seat cushion in boat
Pressure-relieving seat cushion
Self-inflating seat pad on shower chairSelf-inflating shower cushion
A self-inflating seat pad works well as shower cushion – suitable for wheelchair users who have impaired sensation
User with Back on Track shirtShirt that stays warm and dressing technique
Appropriate clothing for people with disabilities
Shower chair TrippShower chair with holder for ventilator tube
Small tilting shower chair - suitable for persons with compromised balance
Roho-Adaptor cushion on Swift shower stoolShower stool with pressure-relieving cushion
- suitable for people who lack sensation
User transfers to bed using sliding mat.Sliding mat for transfers
The sliding mat prevents chafing and requires less strength during transfers to the bed or shower chair
Sitting area in living roomSpacious living room
Spacious living room with glass walls on two sides – suitable for wheelchair users
Spray bottle and userSpray bottle with pump
A water spray bottle works well for cooling off on hot days.
Stand for ventilator tubeStand for ventilator tube by the bed
Stand with ventilator tube holder - assistive device for persons who use a ventilator
User washes a chandelier while standing in the standing wheelchairStanding wheelchair
Standing wheelchair facilitates housework – suitable for wheelchair users
User standing in standing wheelchairStanding wheelchair
People who use a wheelchair can increase their independence at home by using a standing wheelchair and they can also stretch their leg joints.
User in standing wheelchair at deskStanding wheelchair in workplace
A standing wheelchair makes it possible for the user to be independent in his workplace
User with strapStrap instead of wheelchair belt
Custom-made strap helps the user to keep his balance during strength training and moving outdoors – suitable for wheelchair users who have impaired balance
Suction deviceSuction device and suction bottle
Suction device, an important assistive device for ventilator users with tracheotomy
User with her laptop. Forearms resting on support cushionSupport cushion
A practical cushion that makes it easier to achieve a better, more relaxed body position - suitable for people with reduced trunk balance
User takes medicine with damp thumbTaking medicine
A person without dexterity can dampen a thumb to remove medicine from a dish
Leather glove taped with sports tape (palm)Taped glove for rugby
Rugby gloves modified with sports tape
The thermal insole battery pack sits on the outside of the shoeThermal insoles
Thermal insoles keep feet warm – suitable for people who easily freeze
User with her thermal mugThermal mug with large handle
Thermal mug with large handle suitable for people with impaired grip and reduced sensation
Inner glove (Photo from www.värmekläder.se)Thermostat-controlled inner gloves
Thin heated inner gloves prevent hands from becoming cold – easy to put on even for people with somewhat impaired hand function
User on stool next to the bathtubTransfer to whirlpool bath
- an option for wheelchair users with strong arms
User with tube heaterTube heater
The tube heater reduces condensation in the ventilator tube when the user is out in the cold
USB memory on keychainUSB memory with medical information
Accessible medical information suitable for people with specific diagnoses and medical care needs
User on his arm cycleUse of arm cycle outdoors
Arm cycle that allows cycling for training purposes for people with disabilities
Peppermint oilVarious types of tea
Refreshing tea instead of coffee
Ventilator in metal box on wheelchairVentilator
Ventilator and its placement on the wheelchair
Vibrating foot bathVibrating foot bath
Vibrating foot bath can accelerate healing of wounds and improve circulation
User with blanket over her legs. Photo: Katharina RatzkaWarm blanket for cool evenings
Blanket that’s just the right size - suitable for wheelchair users
Lined fabric bootWarm overshoes
Lined fabric boots - suitable for wheelchair users
User in bathtubWatch TV from bathtub
Being able to watch TV while lying in the bathtub is relaxing and distracts from pain
User shows a bottle with crocheted coverWater bottle with crocheted cover
....makes the bottle easy to grip and easy to bring along - suitable for people with impaired hand function
User places wood in wood stoveWelding glove for building fire in the stove
Welding glove protects against burns – suitable for persons with impaired sensation
Wheat cushion on user’s headWheat cushion provides extra heat
Wheat cushion appropriate for persons who freeze easily.
Sauna entrance with on/off button on the wallWheelchair accessible sauna
An accessible sauna that can be used while sitting on a shower chair on casters
User sitting on the StimuLITE cushionWheelchair cushion StimuLITE
A wheelchair cushion that prevents decubitus ulcers - suitable for persons who lack sensation
User with rugby gloveWheelchair gloves for wheelchair rugby
Modified glove for wheelchair rugby
User throws the ballWheelchair Rugby
- team sport for people with tetraplegia
Whirlpool tub with ceiling liftWhirlpool tub
A hot bath can help persons who find it difficult to stay warm and have problems with spasticity
User with work glovesWork gloves
Assembly gloves protect hands during work on a farm – suitable for persons with impaired sensation