homepageTips and tricks from people with spinal cord injuries (SCI).
Bytt sprεk, (svensk text)
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Tomas

Tomas lives in an apartment together with his partner. He works part time as a photographer. He was injured in 1983 and has a low tetraplegia. He has home help one hour a day.


85 tips and ideas 
User receives help going uphill"Push stick" for wheelchair
A simple assistive device for people who cannot manage independently with a manual wheelchair in certain situations
Adjustable height section with sinks and stoveAccessible kitchen
Well functioning kitchen for a person who uses a wheelchair
Adapted calf strap, from behindAdapted calf strap
A broad padded calf strap makes sitting in Panthera wheelchair more comfortable
Aluminum suitcasesAluminum suitcases
Aluminum suitcases for storage of fragile items such as music and computer accessories - can also be used as support or tray on lap for wheelchair users
MP3 player and headphones hanging on bed handleAudiobooks with headphones
Audiobooks makes it easier to ‘read in bed’ – suitable for persons with impaired arm/hand function
User picks basil from balcony boxBalcony with seating, cooking facilities and plants
A spacious accessible balcony – an extra room in summer for wheelchair users.
User removes lid with can openerBattery-operated can opener
Automatic can opener – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
The user gets pepper by pressing the button on the millBattery-operated salt/pepper mill
Salt and pepper mill – easy to use for persons with impaired hand function
User picks herbs on balcony with colander on lapColander
Practical convenient colander – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Computer workstation picture 1Computer workstation
Ergonomic computer workstation – suitable for persons with tetraplegia
Shower and toilet chair above toiletConvenient shower and toilet chair with soft seat
Soft seat on shower chair facilitates transfers for wheelchair users.
User sits up in bedCustom-designed transfer handle for bed
Transfer handle on bed facilitates turning over and sitting up in bed – good for people who lack stomach muscles and trunk balance
User with butter knifeCustom-made butter knife
Butter knife with custom-made handle sits well in the hand – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
User files pinky fingernail.Custom-made hand and nail file
File surface placed on a bottle provides a good handle – suitable for people with impaired hand function
User drives wheelchair while wearing custom-made wheelchair gloveCustom-made wheelchair gloves
Custom sewn wheelchair gloves with friction surface on the thumb that facilitates wheelchair driving for people with impaired hand function
User cuts on a wooden cutting boardCutting
Sharp knives and a steady grasp around the knife facilitate cooking for persons with impaired hand function
User holds cutting board by inserting index finger through holeCutting board with hole
Easy to handle for persons with impaired hand function
Umbrella stand with cathetersDiscreet container for catheters
Umbrella stand in bathroom – a discreet hiding place for catheters
Dishwasher detergent dispenser in sinkDishwasher detergent dispenser- Quickdisk
Practical dishwasher detergent dispenser – useful for persons with impaired hand function and for the environment
User at dishwasher, flatware compartment pulled outDishwasher Miele
Slide-out flatware compartment makes it easy to see and sort flatware – suitable for wheelchair users or persons who have difficulties to bend
Door mat in hallDoor mat with good absorption
Easy-care door mat with good absorption - suitable for wheelchair users
User with stick mixerElectric stick mixer
Stick mixer – an extremely useful household appliance for persons with impaired hand function
User with feet on footrestEngblom comfort footrest
Padded footrest on wheelchair prevents pressure ulcers when barefoot
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
Toilet with reinforcement behind water reservoirExtra support for toilet chair
Reinforced water reservoir extends life span of toilet chair used by persons who drive a wheelchair and have poor balance
User places extra Velcro straps on back of wheelchairExtra Velcro straps for fine-tuning of wheelchair back
- makes sitting in Panthera wheelchair more comfortable
User cuts up lettuce on cutting boardFlexible cutting board
Cutting board that also makes it easy to move and pour ingredients into a bowl or pot
User surfs using a wireless mouse and keyboard that sit on the coffee tableFurniture on casters
Furniture on casters is easy to move – suitable for wheelchair users
Can opener is used to operate pepper millGrip device for pepper mill
A can opener that is also useful for a pepper mill – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Stricker attached to a manual wheelchair (Photo from www.woodstar.se)Handbike Stricker
- convert wheelchair into a hand/arm bike
User plays the harmonica with the harmonica holderHarmonica holder
An opportunity to play music without using hands – suitable for persons with impaired arm/hand function
User with heating pad on lapHeating pad for microwave oven
Heating pad – a good assistive device for people who freeze easily
Clutching tongs in holderHolder for clutching tongs
Clutching tongs stored in a holder are readily accessible - suitable for wheelchair users
Japanese sawJapanese saw
Makes it easier to saw - suitable for persons with impaired strength and balance
User sharpens a knifeKnife sharpener
- an easy way to sharpen knives
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
Long-reach staplerLong-reach stapler
Long-reach stapler makes sewing easier for people with impaired hand function
Different models of massagersMassager
Used to treat tight muscles and as sex aid – suitable for persons with spinal cord injury
User opens microwave ovenMicrowave oven
Large handle on microwave oven – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Mirror hanging on bed handleMirror to check ulcers
It is important for people with impaired sensation to check their skin regularly
User with guitar on lapModified electric guitar
Playing a guitar with only four strings – opportunity for persons with impaired dexterity
User rolls out pizza doughOne-handed rolling pin
Practical easy to use rolling pin – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Tools hanging on wallOrganized tool storage
Tools mounted at right height – organized and easily accessible for wheelchair users.
User places baking sheet in the ovenOven in modified kitchen
Oven on counter works for a person who uses a wheelchair
Paper clamp holding bookPaper clamps in various sizes
Paper clamps hold up books
User cuts off edges of potatoPeeling potatoes
Cutting off the edges of the potato first and using a Y-shaped peeler makes the task easier for a person with impaired hand function
User plays the harmonicaPlaying the harmonica
- a good fun way to improve lung capacity
User at sewing machine, pressing on hand control buttonPortable electronic sewing machine
Lightweight sewing machine with hand controls and automatic threading – suitable for wheelchair users who have impaired hand function
User lying on side in bed with kinesthetic rollPositioning cushion that can support the entire body
– provides firm support and reduces shoulder pain
Book lying on wastebasket held open with paper clipReading while on the toilet
Using a wastebasket and a paper clip the user can read while on the toilet without having to hold the book - suitable for persons with poor trunk balance
User pulls out oven rack with aluminum pliersRemove hot baking sheet from oven
Universal pliers make it easy to take a hot baking sheet out of the oven – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Kitchen knife on wall magnet holderSharp Japanese chef's knives
Sharp knives make cooking easier for persons with impaired hand function
Shower nozzle and hoseShower handle
A long and stable shower hose together with a convenient shower nozzle - suitable for people who shower while sitting on a shower chair
User takes photos with single-leg camera standSingle-leg camera stand (monopod)
Aids wheelchair users in photography
User with slide guitar on lapSlide guitar
Slide guitar – opportunity to play guitar for person who uses a wheelchair and has impaired hand function
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
User with steel thermosSmall easy-grip thermos
Thermos with good handle and automatic lid - suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Toilet with soft seatSoft seat for toilet
Soft seat – suitable for persons with loss of sensation
Washbasin, toilet, and shower stallSpacious bathroom
Bathroom with room to move around – suitable for wheelchair users
User wipes the floorSqueegee with telescope handle
Squeegee with adjustable handle facilitates cleaning for wheelchair users
Stainless steel mixing bowlStainless steel mixing bowls
Bowls are easy to clean and lightweight – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
Wheelchair cushion attached with strapStrap that holds wheelchair cushion in place
Wheelchair transfers are easier when the cushion doesn’t slide around or bend
User with sugar shaker in handSugar shaker
The sugar shaker fits well in the hand and is easy to use for persons with impaired hand function
User supports himself on an aluminum suitcase and takes picturesTaking photos
An aluminum suitcase makes it easy to hold the camera steady without a stand - suitable for wheelchair users.
User places pizza in baking panTeflon-coated aluminum baking pan
Lightweight baking pan – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
User removes slice of toast from toasterToaster
Toaster from which it is easy to remove small slices of toast – suitable for persons with impaired hand function
User transfers to bathtub with assistanceTransfer belt EasyBelt
EasyBelt facilitate transfers - suitable for wheelchair users who need help with transfers
Bathtub without front and with crate next to itTransfer to bathtub with assistance
Removal of the front and end plates of the bathtub, a place to sit next to the bathtub and a belt to wear during the transfer make it easier for wheelchair users to transfer to and from the bathtub
Transparent storage box with contentsTransparent storage boxes
- help keep things organized and easy to find for people who can't take boxes down from a shelf - suitable for wheelchair users and/or people with poor hand function
Travel kitchenTravel kitchen
Kitchen travel kit that makes it easy for a person who uses a wheelchair to prepare food, even if the environment is not adapted
User with tray on lap. User bakes pizzaTray with thermal insulation used as work table
A large tray with thermal insulation provides practical workspace in the kitchen for wheelchair users.
Back wedges on wheelchairTrunk support to Panthera
Soft trunk support in wheelchair helps maintain balance
Vinyl-backed terry cloth fabric on lounge chairVinyl-backed terry cloth
Vinyl-backed terry cloth protects the wheelchair or lounge chair from becoming wet after a swim or shower
Cut-out sectionWashbasin cabinet in adapted bathroom
Washbasin cabinet with curtain and shelf with cut-out section make it easier for wheelchair users to come close and maintain balance
Wine bottle opener and foil cutterWine bottle opener with gas cartridge
Easy to use wine bottle opener – suitable for persons with impaired hand function