Think that mobility aids must be lackluster? Think again there are many tips and tricks to beautify, distinguish, and enhance the utility of the mobility aids that you use, including wheelchairs. In fact, July is National Wheelchair Beautification Month, so it is the perfect time to give your mobility aids a makeover! Consider some easy and clever ways to improve your wheelchair’s aesthetics, too.
Honor and observe National Wheelchair Beautification Month by doing something to enhance the appearance or aesthetics of mobility aids that you or someone you love use. Have some fun and amp-up the utility of your wheelchair, scooter, or other aid with some of the following suggestions. July is a great time to beautify your equipment and to honor this month-long observance.
First, it can help to know a little history about National Wheelchair Beautification Month. An author initiated this annual observance in 2015, and his name was Horace Knowles. He believed that adorning a wheelchair or other mobility aid of the time can change how those using them feel. The founder was also confined to a wheelchair and started adorning his chair with beautiful fresh flowers, asserting that it would help brighten the day for all those he encountered.
Here are a few tips and tricks to beautify your own mobility aid or device:
You don’t need to spend a ton of money or stress yourself out attempting to beautify your wheelchair or scooter or other aid. Stick to something simple like printed tapes, stickers, ribbon, fabric remnants, and even paper to give your mobility aid a festive touch.
Will these modifications expand utility? Probably not but they may bring to smile to the face of someone you see which makes it worthwhile, for sure.
Wheelchair quilts are beautiful and personal no two are typically alike. Upgrade your lap throw or favorite blanket with a new and distinctive quilt. If you sew, consider buying online patterns and stitching yourself up a quilt for your lap when using your chair, scooter, or lift. Plus, they help to keep the chill off!
The push-rims of a wheelchair are the perfect feature to enhance with rim covers. These are available in a broad range of colors and plushness, and they truly make it more comfortable and easier to navigate your chair. Those hard metal rims can be tough to grip. Rim covers serve a practical purpose by making it easier. These are widely found for around $60 online and are simple to install independently.
Whatever your lifestyle, consider amenities for wheelchairs and scooters that facilitate these avocations. For instance, do you enjoy fishing? Install a fishing pole holder that is adjustable and versatile, so it fits a range of wheelchairs. Don’t like to fish? Use the simple attachment as a vase for fresh flowers what could be more beautiful than that?
Cups and Holders
Does your wheelchair, scooter, or walker have a cup-holder? This is a great accessory that makes the mobility aid a lot more convenient and useful, too. Make sure that you choose one with a cup that fits securely with great suction or stability. Some variations are hands-free, making it easier for many to drink on the go.
Pouches and Bags
Beautifying your wheelchair during July may be something as simple and fundamental as using a pouch or bag designed to fit your mobility device. Storage bags, lap tray bags, and even wheel cover pouches make it a lot easier to transport what you need safely and discreetly.
Consider bottle holders and soft, neoprene pouches that clip and attach to the chair or chair bar for small, accessible storage compartments. Wheel pouches serve a dual role as a decorative wheel cover as well as a functional storage space. Make sure the ones you buy are easy to wash.
Don’t get caught in the rain without an umbrella. Invest in a wheelchair umbrella attachment to keep you dry plus it provides nice shade on sunny excursions. These are typically adjustable and can be customized to fit your device. Expect to pay around $20-$25 for a quality umbrella attachment- you bring the umbrella.
There is something about sherpa. First, it is super snuggly and comfortable, but it is also durable. Spruce up a cushion or footrest of a wheelchair with sherpa covers, found widely online at variable price points. Sherpa is weather resilient and it can camouflage imperfections that could take away from the aesthetic appeal of your seat.
The first way to honor and observe National Wheelchair Beautification Month in July is to keep your chair or other aids clean. Make sure that accessories are machine washable and wipe the chair down periodically yourself. If you need further tips or tricks for cleaning, check out the information available online or talk to the team at Pacific Mobility to learn more.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)