Products to Help People with Paraplegia
Depending on the cause of the paraplegia, the individuals' need for assistive devices will either escalate over time as their needs increase, or they will have an immediate need for assistive devices with the onset of their condition.
1. Canes can offer some balance support for those who are unsteady on their feet.
2. Crutches are available in forearm and underarm models for those who need more than a cane but not necessarily need a walker.
3. Walkers (also known as rollators) can be a benefit to sufferers who have the need for a walking aid but find a cane will not provide enough support.
4. Leg Braces may be what is required for those who need extra support to enable them to walk.
5. Manual Wheelchairs are the most common mobility device used by paraplegics. They usually opt for lightweight rigid chairs that are easy to push and very responsive, while being able to stand up to heavy daily use.
6. Power Wheelchairs are usually not used by paraplegics unless there is some condition that prevents the use of manual wheelchairs such as obesity, arm or shoulder damage or advancement of age. That said, many manual wheelchair users will progress to power wheelchairs at some point in their lives.
7. Wheelchair Seating Systems will usually be fairly simple for paraplegics as they normally have pretty good control of their torso. Usually a good pressure relief cushion and basic back support will be sufficient.
8. Mobility Scooters can be helpful to paraplegics for outdoor use where long distances and/or rough terrain may be an issue.
9. Tilting Wheelchair seat frames allow the independent positioning by a power wheelchair user. This type of device is not often used by paraplegics unless have some additional condition that prevents them from changing their position independently.
10. Bathroom Aides are important safety items for anyone. Depending on the needs of the paraplegic, there are various bath safety items that can be helpful when bathing and toileting.
11. Grab Bars are essential for anyone with balance or strength issues and a good idea for everyone else. They are most often seen in bathrooms but can be installed anywhere it might be important to have a solid handhold available. Paraplegics can use grab bars to aid in safe transfers.
12. Inclined Platform Lifts are lifts that will carry a wheelchair and its user up a set of stairs. They consist of a flat platform that moves up and down a staircase on a track or rail of some type.
13. Porch Lifts are vertical platform lifts most often used outdoors to allow a wheelchair and its user to access an elevated porch or deck. They have keyed controls to prevent unauthorized use.
14. Home Elevators will be required by a paraplegic, if they live in a home with multiple levels and they require access to more than one level.
15. Patient Lifts are required for individuals who aren't able to do independent transfers to or from a bed or wheelchair.
16. Ceiling Lifts are patient lifts that are mounted to the ceiling on a tracking system. They don't require space for storage when not in use and can be used in tight areas where floors lifts won't have the room to manoeuvre.
17. Shower Commodes can be helpful for individuals who are not able to stand. They are basically commodes with wheels that can be rolled into a shower stall to support the user while showering. For those who aren't able to sit upright unaided, shower chairs are available with a tilt feature.
THIS MATERIAL DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR SPECIFIC TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS.