10 Great Holiday Gifts for People with Spinal Cord Injury

It’s not always that easy deciding what to buy for everyone on your list. The three-year-old who loves Barbies may be a no-brainer, but buying for someone with a spinal cord injury takes a little bit more finesse. There are, however, some great things you can buy for us.

Like everyone, we always need a few things we’ve been meaning to get but haven’t gotten around to it. And that is where you come in. From the fun and quirky to the absolutely essential, here are 10 fabulous gift ideas for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Non-Burning Electric Blanket

People with spinal cord injuries get cold easily, and it drives most of us crazy. It can take several hours just to warm up. One of the best things to remedy this is a low-voltage electric blanket.

Typically, nurses tell us not to use electric blankets because they can get too hot, and we won’t be able to feel it and get inadvertently burned, but this exclusive low-voltage electric blanket is the only safe electric blanket for people with SCI available. Check it out – Perfect Fit Safe Low Voltage Heated Electric Throw Blanket for $79.95

Wheelchair Detailing

Our wheelchairs can get really gross really quickly, and a casual wipe job can only do so much. While wheelchair detailers are scarce (I know of a guy in Arizona who started a wheelchair detailing company last year), you can always go to a regular car detailer and inquire if they would be open to detailing a wheelchair.

Most places are and will give you a lower price than a full car. If you really want to put a smile on the face of someone with a spinal cord injury this year, this would be it.

Massage

Whether you’re buying for a paraplegic or quadriplegic, some kind of massage package is always warmly welcomed, it not badly needed. Since so many of us have to overuse certain muscles because our other muscles are paralyzed, regular massage on these hardworking muscles is almost necessary to keep up their endurance long-term.

A monthly massage can do wonders in keeping our muscles in place and moving like they should. If you don’t know of a good massage therapist, check out massage chains or local chiropractic offices to find reputable massage therapists who provide gift certificates.

Facial

A facial is along the same lines as a massage, but it’s much more pampering — an hour-long face massage (perfect for high-quads), cleaning, pore cleaning and exfoliation. I’ve only had one so far in my life, and it was one of the most pleasurable sensations I’ve had since breaking my neck.

Many of us use our faces for so much, and it is the first thing most people look at. You just can’t go wrong with a facial — guy or girl. Check out Groupon for some great deals on beauty-related services like this.

Membership to a Co-op

Eating healthy food can make a huge difference in the daily life and secondary conditions of someone with a spinal cord injury, but very often it can just be too expensive or too hard to prepare. A membership to a local co-op can be just the kick in the butt needed to start eating better, and many co-ops have pre-prepared foods and delis for those people on your list who can’t cook. A gift certificate to the local farmers market can also be a great idea.

Juicer

Juicing is one of the best ways to get nutrients into the body, and people with spinal cord injuries need all the help they can get in this department. While a blender can prepare a blended juice just fine, an “official” juicer is so much better and easier to use. The Breville Compact Juice Fountain for $99 is one of the best juicers out there. Check it out on Amazon.

Gift Card to an Adapted Clothing Store

Some people with spinal cord injuries may be very particular with their clothes, and others not so much. There are some really great adaptive clothing companies out there offering exclusive adapted garments, such as a trench coat made for someone who uses a wheelchair, and all the must-have basics: slacks for men, button-up shirts, even socks tailored a seated body. Check out the big three: ABL Denim, IZ Adaptive and AG Apparel.

Sharp Knives

Never underestimate the power of a sharp knife. If you’re buying for someone with spinal cord injury who enjoys cooking, this may sound silly but consider buying them a new knife set or at the very least a knife sharpener or a gift certificate to a kitchen store that sharpens knives.

For someone like myself who can cook but has a weaker upper-body, a sharp knife can make cooking so much easier. Check out these easy-to-handle sharp knives: Kai Pure Komachi 2 6-Piece Knife Set for $36.99

Steam Games

If you’re buying for someone who is a homebody or maybe is stuck at home or in bed, you can never go wrong with a PC game. One of the best places to buy PC games is through the Steam online gaming network, which offers free subscriptions and hundreds of downloadable PC games. A Steam gift certificate can be just the shot of fun they needed. Check it out: Steam

Concert Tickets

If you really know who you’re buying for, tickets to an concert can be one of the greatest gifts ever. Many people spinal cord injuries develop a new-found love for concerts since it’s one of the things we can still do — and we usually get better seats. If you really want to make them squee this Christmas, find out their favorite bands and see if any are touring near them in the next six months.

These are just a few awesome gift ideas. If you have deeper pockets and really want to splurge, you can never go wrong with the latest iPad (very quad-friendly) or a Go-Pro Camera, a waterproof/no-shock digital camera perfect for the adapted athlete or traveler.  If whoever you’re buying for is single, you can even give them a subscription to eHarmony. At $59/month, you would be one heck of a Santa.

Have a spinal cord injury? What do you want for Christmas this year?

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. Lori C says:

    Amazing! Right on, Tiffiny.

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