If you have difficulties wheeling yourself while holding your drink at the same time, fret not! Kristen, a paraplegic, has discovered through trial and error 7 different methods to hold a bottle AND simultaneously push a manual wheelchair.
Method 1 (0:30):
Place the bottle behind your back. This is a method that Kristen has often used. Take a standard plastic water/soda bottle and put it behind your back. As these bottles are not extremely hard, it should not cause too much stress on your back if used for short periods. The back of Kristen’s wheelchair is also not too rigid, which also helps to alleviate the pressure placed on her back.
Method 2 (1:17):
Place the bottle in the bar at the back of your wheelchair. Slide a standard water/soda bottle into the bar at the back of your wheelchair, and it should fit nicely. This method allows you to carry more than one bottle at a time, which is extremely handy if you drink a lot throughout the day!
Method 3 (1:49):
Put the bottle between your legs. Kristen advises that this method is best suited for people with some hip or leg control, as they can then apply pressure to keep the bottle still. Although Kristen has no leg control, her wheelchair has a slightly lifted edge by the sides of her seat, and this helps to prevent the bottle from easily sliding out from between her legs. This is a good method if you are wheeling short distance as well.
Method 4 (2:46):
Hang the bottle on the brake. This method requires a bottle with a loop or closed handle on the lid. The brake on Kristen’s wheelchair does not come into contact with the wheel, hence, the gap in between is suitable for her bottle to hang when she loops her bottle on the brake.
Method 5 (3:16):
Hook the bottle under your seat. Taking the same kind of bottle as in Method 4, attach a carabiner to the loop on the bottle cap. Then, depending on your wheelchair, you can choose to hook it under either side of the seat, or towards the middle. The middle option, according to Kristen, is a better option. This way, your bottle will simply dangle under your wheelchair while you are wheeling yourself.
Method 6 (4:30):
Put the bottle in a backpack. If you hang a backpack on the back of your wheelchair, you can consider putting your bottle in it. Simply bring both zippers up to the middle, leaving a small gap in between. Make sure your bottle sticks out slightly when you put it in the bag. Kristen’s bottle is as long as the length of her backpack, hence, she does not need to make any modifications. Alternatively, if your bottle is too short, Kristen recommends placing some items in your bag, like a jacket or books, to add some height in the bag for your bottle to stand on.
Method 7 (5:30):
Place the bottle in a cup holder that is mounted on the rear of your chair. This is one of Kristen’s personal favorite methods, and she has made slight modifications to the cup holder to ensure that it is sturdy. Take a cup holder which comes with a long screw and a clip (pictured right). Use a small strip of plastic perforated plumber’s tape, one with approximately 8-10 holes in it, and bend it into a U-shape. Then, take the screw cap off, insert the screw into the last holes of either side of the tape, and screw the cap back on. And there you go! If you want to make extra modifications like Kristen has to make it even sturdier, add a layer of tape around the cup holder’s exterior. This helps to prevent it from breaking easily. You can also consider attaching a metal piece around the bottom of the cup holder to reinforce it.
Kristen hopes that these useful tips and methods can help you hold a bottle and push yourself in your wheelchair simultaneously now!
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