Assistive Tech & Products

Disability hacks and gadgets to make your life easier

Disability blogger Ross, who uses a power wheelchair, shares his post on simple life hacks and gadgets, from exercise equipment to easy-to-pour kettles, that can make your life easier from his blog A Life on Wheels.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good recommendation. Whether that’s a new gadget to try, TV show to watch or song to listen to, I love hearing people’s different opinions.

As a young adult with a physical disability, there are some really simple products out there that can make life that little bit easier.

In today’s post, I thought I would share some of my favourite finds that I have collected over the years. Even if you’re a non-disabled-muggle, don’t worry, you may also find benefit from some of these items.

Electric hot water bottle

Those who know me know that I am cold 99% of the time. It’s not very often you will see me without a hot water bottle on my lap these days. As we all know, hot water bottles can be a dangerous piece of kit – putting you at high risk of burning yourself – especially if you have muscle weakness, like me.

I recently found this electric hot water bottle online and I was SO impressed. I no longer have to worry about spilling the kettle or asking for help to refill. All you need to do is plug it into the mains for 10 to 15 minutes and BOOM, you’re nice and snug!

I also like the fact it is lightweight and has a glove compartment where you can slide your hand into for extra warmth. I often take mine to work with me now, as the colours are also not too bold, so I can easily hide it on my lap.

The heat lasts for a good few hours and I could not recommend it enough! I also found the price very reasonable – at only £13.99 on Amazon.

Hot Rox hand warmer

Whilst we’re on the topic of keeping warm, a similar product I recently found is this electric hand warmer: Hot Rox. This item is perfect if you’re out and about and need a quick heat fix! As a driver, I often struggle to warm up and regain the full function of my hands after being out in the cold.

At the push of a button, the little rock heats up on both sides and is the perfect size to grip. I love the fact that it is reusable and, once charged, can last up to six hours. Although there are many cheaper alternatives out there, this is the best one I have come across.

Kettle with safety tilt

Another product that I would highly recommend to those with or without disabilities is this tilting kettle. Since living on my own (with support from carers), I try and be as independent as possible. Although I am not a lover of hot drinks myself, I often play host to my friends and family. 

Having the option to be able to make them a drink without the struggle of lifting the kettle or risk of burning myself is amazing. I also take pride in my homeware and I love the fact this kettle looks kinda “cool” and a bit futuristic!

Exercise resistance bike

Just because you have a disability or use a wheelchair doesn’t mean you cannot ‘work out’. As my readers will know, I go to a gym twice a week. I feel it helps to maintain my limited muscles, as well as improve my mindset.

Last year, I decided to purchase this exercise pedal bike so that I can continue my progress at home in between sessions. I like this product because it can be used on either your arms or legs. It is also fairly compact and doesn’t take up much room at all.

I often sit in the evening, watching TV whilst pedalling away. Before you know it, 20 minutes have passed and I don’t feel as guilty for eating that extra biscuit!

These are just a few of the items in and around my house that I wanted to recommend. As a wheelchair user, simple gadgets and little life changes can be really effective in maintaining your independence. 

If you enjoyed this post or can think of any other products/disability life hacks – then please let me know!

A pedal exerciser is now available on the Disability Horizons Shop

If you’d like any more info on these items, I have linked them all above – or feel free to message me directly on Facebook or Twitter for more photos!

This post contains some affiliate links. At no extra cost to yourselves, I may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase any of the products via the links. Many thanks.

By Ross

Visit Ross’s blog, A Life on Wheels, to read about more of his experiences as a wheelchair user.

More on Disability Horizons…

One Comment

  1. I’m not sure how useful this would be, but one device I’ve found to be extremely handy if you’re a manual wheelchair user is this device called the SmartDrive MX2+, a power assist device for people who have difficulty pushing a manual wheelchair, but don’t want to switch to an electric wheelchair. The device works by using a motorized wheel with its own self contained electric motor and lithium iron phosphate battery pack to either push the wheelchair from behind when activated, or intermittently activating in short bursts to add some extra power to the user’s pushes, useful if you struggle with carpeted surfaces and/or slopes or you easily get exhausted trying to push yourself on flat ground. Has a default top speed of 4 mph, 5.5 mph maximum, with a range of roughly 12 miles on one charge. I got one after propelling myself uphill and carpeted surfaces became a bit of a challenge, and propelling myself on flat ground was a little slower than normal due to a deficiency of arm strength because of being naturally a bit skinny due to low birth weight due to being born prematurely, and it’s really helped a lot. I use a manual wheelchair because my cerebral palsy from birth affecting both my legs makes it excruciatingly painful to walk for long distances or periods of time, yet I have no problem transferring and walking for short distances or periods of time if I need to with a bit of help from a baclofen pump implanted inside me.

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