20 Awesome Ways People Personalized Their Mobility Devices
Wheelchairs, canes, walkers and even service dogs may be considered “medical devices,” but that doesn’t mean they have to look like they belong in a doctor’s office! They allow you to get where you need to go and do what you want to do, so they deserve to be “dressed up” a bit and reflective of your unique personality. You also might find that by making a few modifications, like adding pockets, shelves or special grips, you can make your device better tailored to your specific needs. Plus, it’s just more fun to use a rainbow, polka-dotted, super-special device, right?
To show the awesome ways people have modified their wheelchairs, walkers, canes and service dogs, and to help get your creative juices flowing for your own devices, we asked our Mighty community to share a photo of their mobility device and explain how they personalized it. One thing is certain: there are some creative design ideas out there! See below to find out how people infused their devices with their own personalities and made them even more useful.
Here’s what our Mighty community shared with us:
1. “My service dog and a friend’s. Both dyed their tails rainbow for pride month! I love decorating her, same as any mobility device!” — Sydney G.
2. “When we got married me and my wife arranged flowers on the backs of our powerchairs! We got so many compliments on them and have even kept them on now. It brings a smile to my face every time I see them. It’s so easy to modify mobility equipment in so many ways to reflect your personality.” — Leigh B.
3. “We wrapped my wheelchair with athletic/vet wrap tape. It jazzed it up and also prevented me from burning myself on the hot metal during the summer. I also got a cup holder from the bike section. It helped when I didn’t have strength in my legs to hold drinks in between.” — Justine R.
4. “I have a sticker on my wheelchair that says ‘Totally rocking this dysautonomia thing.’ I might get some more by the time I use my wheelie. Meet my best friend Chargie!” — Aili S.
5. “This is my rollator, I put bows, stickers and wrapped it in duct tape, to improve my confidence while using it.” — Sadie M.
6. “My beautiful wheelchair that I modified all on my own. Love it! I took this completely apart, sanded, painted, put back together and covered my seats! I love how it turned out!” — Breezy N.
7. “We built a vest combined with a car harness for my service dog so that he can be safe in the car, easily identified and ready to go to work. He also carries items for me in its pouches. It’s made public access and travel so much easier!” — Sally F.
8. “I was a witch for Halloween and my husband broke a prop broom and zip tied it to my chair. I was a witch recovering from a broom accident!” — Kari R.
9. “My cane’s not super modified, just a special stability end cap that I bought for it, and the fact that I wanted something pretty, so it’s bright colors and polka dots. A girl’s got to accessorize…” — Hillary S.
10. “I sew and made a seat cover for my chair. I added a pocket to the front so I can reach my wallet, meds and such easier and don’t have to take a backpack every time I go out.” — Jamie H.
11. “I wrapped my cane in galaxy themed duct tape. I figured if I was only 29 and walking with a cane, I might as well make it fun to look at!” — Christina G.
12. “I wrapped my new-to-me walker in fancy-shmansey duct tape, zebra stripe, to give it some flair. I also attached a Lyme disease sign to it, saying things like ‘Talk to me about Lyme disease’ and ‘This is what Lyme disease looks like.’ It’s been a great way to meet people and share awareness. I have to order a power wheelchair next week, but you can bet I will zip it up a bit, and keep showing my signs!” — Terri T.
13. “This is my right Smart Crutch. I put cute decorative tape on it (cat faces and paw prints). I thought about doing the left one too but now I can more readily distinguish between the two without looking for ‘right’ and ‘left’ on them.” — Jessica T.
14. “I made a little shelf for my service dog to sit in. I can also put my things in there when she’s walking.” — Alexis M.
15. “I’m severely sight impaired because of my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. When I first started needing walking support it was really tricky not having my white stick with me. So I customized my crutches to have the same reflective white tape that white canes have, and I even added some vision impairment logos down the side. It’s not quite the same as having my white cane on me, but it keeps me a lot safer than I would be otherwise.” — Leah R.
16. “If you travel with a wheelchair, you basically are a luggage cart, so bags that hang off your chair are a great solution. Baby bags, the kind designed to go on strollers, work well on a variety of wheelchairs. I’ve also gotten custom straps made that hook on to a regular piece of luggage where the crossbody strap usually goes. Just remember to keep the weight down low, or divide it between the front and the back if you’re in a lightweight manual chair so you don’t tip over. This chair is a power chair with the (fairly heavy) motor down at the bottom. If I had a manual chair I would counterbalance the bag on the back with a second bag on the footplate.” — Jo H.
17. “I spray painted my walker my two favorite colors! I’m only 18 so it makes me feel better about needing to use a walker now that it looks bright and cheery rather than the dark green it was before.” — Molly M.
18. “I got a new leg brace that was supposed to be black. Anyway I put this cute alien sticker on and I now have a #TeamBeard sticker on it too. Looking to make it fit my personality.” — Kirstie W.
19. “I got this thing for my crutches which we’ve nicknamed ‘the pod.’ It means I can carry things when I don’t have two hands: keys, my phone. Makes a great drink holder, too!” — Natasha L.
20. “I used to play roller derby before I became disabled! At a finals bout I pimped up my zimmer in the team colors, spray painted, smothered in glitter and with sequined wings on the side as we were called the ‘South West Angels of Terror!’ I strutted around all day on that zimmer with pride.” — Sophy S.