10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for People Living With Paralysis

Are you still shopping for holiday gifts? Don’t worry — there’s still time. If you’re buying for someone who lives with paralysis, here are some last-minute gift ideas they’ll probably love.

Adaptive Clothing 

We all know that regular clothes don’t always fit right when you live with a disability. Fortunately, several manufacturers have recognized this and created adaptive clothing lines. They include Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, Silvert’s adaptive clothing, JCPenny, befree, and Billy Footwear.

Adaptive Back-to-School Accessories

Along the same lines, several companies make adaptive accessories for students as they head back to school. For example, Jansport has a line of adaptive backpacks and crossbody bags. Pottery Barn has back-to-school items that include a new collection of accessible products for those with physical limitations. These were designed with input from children and teens who use mobility devices, the company says.

Smart Speakers

Voice-controlled devices can be a blessing for people living with paralysis, promoting independence and improving quality of life. These gadgets will do any number of things like turning on the lights, playing music, providing a weather report, and locking the front door if you have a compatible smart lock. There are several smart speakers on the market at various price points, such as the Amazon Echo Dot ($29), Google Nest Mini ($49), Apple Homepod Mini ($95), Amazon Echo Show ($169), and Amazon Echo Studio ($159).’

Smart Light Bulbs

With their tiny switches, lamps can be hard or impossible for someone with quadriplegia to turn on and off. Fortunately, there are smart light bulbs that you can operate with your voice and a smart home system like Alexa or Google Home, or sometimes a mobile app. I like the Wyze Bulb Color ($26 for two). They can be used in your existing light fixtures and can display more than 16 million colors.

Smart Thermostat

While we’re on the subject of smart devices, a smart thermostat is great for someone living with paralysis because it can automatically learn your routines (such as when you’re home and when you’re away) and your preferred temperatures for different times of day. Once it does, you won’t have to adjust it manually. And even if you do, many of them can be adjusted with just your voice. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat ($169) and Google Nest Learning Thermostat ($179) are two of the best.

Massage Gun

People living with paralysis use their upper bodies a lot, which often means sore muscles. Nothing beats a good massage from a talented masseuse, but if that’s not an option, a portable massager can be a good alternative. There are lots on the market, including the TOLOCO Deep Tissue Massage Gun ($49). You can use this yourself if you have enough mobility, or someone can help you. Either way, a massage gun will relieve tension and get rid of knots in your muscles whenever you need it.

Adaptive Gaming Controllers

Gaming is great fun, but it can be nearly impossible for someone with quadriplegia. Microsoft and Sony realize this and have introduced adaptive controllers for the Xbox ($100) and PS5 ($90). Give the gamer on your list one of these, and they’ll enjoy hours upon hours of entertainment that was inaccessible to them before.

Seat Cushions

These are vital for preventing pressure sores if you sit in a wheelchair all day. Without a proper cushion, blood can’t adequately flow to your buttocks area, leaving you prone to developing ulcers that can turn into a serious medical problem. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to seat cushions, so here’s a comparison of five of the best available right now.

Compression Socks

People with paralysis often have trouble with blood flow to their lower extremities when they sit for long periods of time. When I flew with my family to Mexico this summer, my lower legs swelled up so much by the end of the flight that I could barely get them back into my braces. So I bought myself some compression socks ($19) for my next flight, and they really helped.

Crutch Tips and Grips

For someone who walks with crutches, tips and grips are always wearing out. For safety and stability, as well as to protect hands and shoulders, it’s important to get ones with proper padding and shock absorption. In my opinion, Thomas Fetterman makes the best grips and tips on the market. They’re more expensive than ones you’ll find at a drugstore, but they work much better and last much longer. I prefer the Performance Shock Absorbing Grips ($78) and Performance GT Gel Tips ($53).

Do you have some favorite gifts ideas for people living with paralysis? Please share them in the comments.

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