How do you find wheelchair gloves designed especially for wheelchair users?
This is a question we get asked a lot. Many companies sell winter gloves or climbing/biking gloves and just call them wheelchair gloves. Even a thick winter glove is not the same thing as a glove specifically designed for wheelchair users. So what does a wheelchair glove have that most other gloves don't? The most important difference is that wheelchair gloves have reinforced palms. The palm of your hand comes into direct contact with the wheel of your chair because of this, the palm of the glove will suffer the most wear and tear. The padding helps keep your hands safe and comfortable. The reinforced palm also helps the entire glove last longer. So, how do you find wheelchair gloves for wheelchair users? Online medical supply companies that sell gloves that are specifically labeled as "wheelchair gloves" are a great place to start. Even when it is warm outside you will need gloves that protect your palms from shear. What is shear? Shear is when your skin comes into contact with a point of friction and damage occurs because of it. As an example, sometimes when you remove medical tape you can remove the thin topmost layer of skin, this is an example of shear. When you are pushing your wheelchair and your palms rub against the wheels, this can definitely cause shear. Shear is painful and difficult to treat because in order to heal you will need to cease the activity causing the problem. Pushing yourself in your wheelchair is not an activity most wheelchair users can just stop doing. By using actual wheelchair gloves you can avoid shear and inflict less damage to your hands.
How to Make Sure Wheelchair Gloves Fit
No two hands are exactly alike, this is intended to be a guide to help you find the right size. Also, what people find comfortable varies, keep in mind your own personal preference when choosing a glove size. Another thing to keep in mind is that finger length relative to palm size is not constant from person to person. By taking careful measurements and trying on your gloves for mobility and fit you can help make sure you have wheelchair gloves that are comfortable and offer your hands protection.
How to Size Wheelchair Gloves
- Use a tape measure for the most accurate measurements
- Measure both hands to check and choose the size that is closest to both hands
- Measure your hand with you four fingers straight up and your thumb sticking out to the side. You want to measure just under the knuckles with the tape measure going completely around the hand.
- The tape measure should not overlap itself, you only want to go around the hand one time
- Use the provided chart to match your measurement to the closest available size
- Keep in mind, if you pull the measuring tape tight, the size will be smaller and if you have the measuring tape loose, it will be bigger. The measuring tape should be comfortable without sagging or pinching