Top 23 Winter Survival Tips for People Living with Paralysis
We asked three wheelchair users familiar with cold climate conditions to provide some general safety tips for people living with paralysis this winter season.
Keeping your hands warm
Stay frostbite free
Skin protection especially when it's cold
Snow tires for your wheelchair?
Dealing with dehydration
What should be in your survival kit?
Make you own boot
She used a boiled wool slipper from Norway. "I had it made from a child's slipper I saw in a store," explains Candace. "I contacted the person that made it and asked them to make some for me." Boiled wool slippers can also be found online.
"The hard, flat, white piece is plastic. The tall cover is made of a water proof material that I again had made to cover the slipper."
To assemble all the pieces together, Candace says, "First the tall outer cover, then the plastic, and then the slipper, and of course my foot goes in the slipper. The idea is if it doesn't exist create it!"
AAHD NewsletterThe American Association on Health and Disability published this Spring 2004 article, "Preventing Pressure Sores," in their Health and Disability Newsletter.
Assistive Technology (AT) Resources: Proper fit of a wheelchairThe National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) has compiled a list of various Assistive Technology (AT) resource agencies around the nation, including resources on driver education, independent living, state agencies, mobility equipment and more.
Aquila Wheelchair CushionsThe Aquila Corporation offers a line of alternating pressure wheelchair cushions along with a two-zone static manual inflate cushion. These cushions are designed to meet pressure relief needs thereby helping to prevent pressure sores from developing down the road.
BrunoBruno Independent Living Aids has become known for its: power chairs, scooters, high quality stair lifts and Turning Automotive Seating.
Craig Hospital: Aching ShouldersWith funding from the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, has developed educational materials to help people with spinal cord injuries live in the community maintain their health. Topics include skin care, exercise, heart disease, weight control, alcohol abuse and conditions related to the aging body.
Craig Hospital: Upper-Extremity PainWith funding from the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, has developed educational materials to help people with spinal cord injuries live in the community maintain their health. Topics include skin care, exercise, heart disease, weight control, alcohol abuse and conditions related to the aging body.
ColoursFor people who like to think outside the box, check out the chairs put out by Colours In Motion.
decubitus.orgNational Decubitus Foundation
emedicine.comeMedicine: Decubitus Ulcers
e.motionA standard manual wheelchair can get extra help with special rims containing small yet powerful motors.
findarticles.comGale Encyclopedia of Medicine: Bedsores
familydoctor.orgFamily Doctor.org's Pressure Sores
Frog LegsFrog Legs Inc. makes a product that makes mobility a much smoother experience. A flexible hinge allows the castor wheels on wheelchairs to move more easily over bumps and obstacles thereby reducing the impact normally felt by the person seated. Think of them as shock absorbers for your wheelchair.
MedlinePlusStart here with 750 topics on conditions, diseases and wellness. MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. Preformulated MEDLINE searches are included in MedlinePlus and give easy access to medical journal articles. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news.
merck.comMerck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy: Pressure Sores
KCIKinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) offers a "Wound Management Reference Guide."
The Jay CushionSunrise Medical produces a cushion for wheelchairs called The Jay which is filled with a slow-flowing gel. The Jay addresses posture, skin and functional needs.
National Library of Medicine (NLM)Offers deep resources on numerous medical conditions.
npuap.orgNPUAP stands for National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Visit their website to learn about some of the panel's latest research and recommendations.
Preservation of Upper Limb Function: What You Should KnowClinical Practice Guidelines developed by the Consortium for Spinal Cord Injury, of which the Reeve Foundation is a steering committee member. The primary guidelines are targeted to health care professionals. A consumer guide, “Preservation of Upper Limb Function: What You Should Know” was recently released. The publications are available at no cost from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
PermobilPermobil produces chairs ideal for those requiring the flexibility to constantly change positions. Technology and comfort combine to allow for active sitting.
Pride MobilityFor tight and precise control, Pride Mobility Products Corporation makes the very popular Jazzy Power Chairs.
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago: Wheelchair Seating & PositioningHaving mobility is an important factor in being able to lead a productive and fulfilling life. If an individual is unable to walk, an appropriate mobility base and seating system are imperative to enhance the ability to interact and perform functional skills.
ROHOThe ROHO is a brand of cushion seats designed for protection and comfort. Each cushion is based on a support system of evenly distributed air.
The Spinal Cord Injury Information Network: Wheelchairs & SeatingInformation on seating and positioning.
spinalcord.orgHere is the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's fact sheet on skin care.
spinalinjury.netSpinal Injury.net's Pressure Sores
SCI-Info Pages: Skin CareFrom the SCI-Info-Pages: Spinal Cord Injury: Skin and Pressure Sores Synopsis
Spinlife.comOnline durable medical equipment (including wheelchairs and cushions).
SportaidOnline catalog for durable medical equipment.
travisroyfoundation.orgTravis Roy Foundation: Pressure Sores
TiLiteTitanium wheelchairs; lightweight and strong.
UCP Wheels for HumanityA non-profit organization that refurbishes donated wheelchairs and hand fits them to children and adults with disabilities in developing nations.
Wheelchairjunkie.comA resourceful and opinionated website owned and operated by self-described "power chair gonzo" Mark E. Smith, who also designs power chairs for Pride Mobility Products. Says Smith, "WheelchairJunkie.com is about mobility, not manufacturers, so the voices expressed here represent only users."
VAC TherapyVacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) Therapy: An Advanced System for Wound Healing.
WheelchairNetA federally funded virtual community for people who have an interest in wheelchair technology.
Wheelchair FoundationOver 100 million of the world's citizens today are deprived of mobility because of warfare, disease, disaster or advanced age. The wheelchairs they need simply to get across the street - or across the room - are out of reach. The Wheelchair Foundation believes that these people deserve the independence and dignity that comes with owning a wheelchair, regardless of their nationality. This is a nonprofit organization leading an international effort to deliver a wheelchair to every man, woman and child in the world who needs one. For those individuals, the Wheelchair Foundation offers freedom, self-reliance, mobility and hope.
Whirlwind Wheelchair InternationalWhirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI) is the communications hub of the Whirlwind Wheelchair Network of independent wheelchair-producing workshops in developing countries. Founded in 1989 as the Wheeled Mobility Center (WMC), WWI's primary mission is 1) to teach wheelchair riders in developing countries to design, build, and repair their own wheelchairs; 2) to enable rider/builders to create businesses for the manufacture and distribution of wheelchairs to others; and 3) to foster the ever-widening Whirlwind Network of rider/builders around the world who exchange ideas for the continuous improvement of wheelchair design.
World Wide Wheelchairs & Used Medical EquipmentScott Dier began this company in July 1998. He wanted to sell a hearing aid on the Internet. Then people started asking about wheelchairs and other medical equipment! Mr. Dier then proceeded to look for equipment around North America and found many items available. World Wide Wheelchairs exploded into a company that was needed throughout the world! They have sent medical equipment and wheelchairs to India, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, England, Brazil and all over the U.S. and the U.S. Military.
Wheelchair AccessoriesClick on this link to see how you can accessorize your chair or scooter and improve matters. Backpacks, cupholders, trays, canopies and umbrellas are just a few examples.
Paralysis Resource Center The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.
Reeve Foundation Online Paralysis Community Connecting people living with paralysis, families, friends and caregivers so we can share support, experience, knowledge, and hope.
Quality of Life Grants DatabaseFind resources within the PRC Quality of Life Grants Database. Search by Zip Code, State or an Entire Category.
Library Books and VideosFind resources within the PRC library catalog.
This FREE 442 page book is a comprehensive information tool for individuals living with paralysis and for their caregivers. Request or download your copy now!
Check out programs in your area on our one-of-a kind online searchable Quality of Life program database. You can search by location or topic. GO