Thanks to advancements in technology, people with spinal cord injuries are able to have more fun than ever before. For people with higher level injuries, this is especially true. While low-tech solutions work – mouth sticks to operate games, mouth painting, etc – the technology that’s now out there cannot be beaten. See what we mean below.
For many people, drones are life-changing. Their ability to fly nearly anywhere is a huge lure. People can explore the world from their wheelchair like never before – from going above the ocean and looking down at whales to exploring abandoned castles in woods surrounded by impassable trees. Drones usually have a nice camera on them that gives you a whole new perspective on photography as well. They are reasonably priced, and they are a hobby that can be shared with family and friends.
Technology has made video games one of the top ways people with spinal cord injuries have fun. Microsoft makes an adaptive video game controller that allows anyone to play video games. The Xbox Adaptive Controller has enlarged buttons that make playing possible for people with paralyzed hands. The Quad Stick also allows people with no arm movement whatsoever to play video games using their mouth.
It may be one of the most expensive ideas on our list, but many people with spinal cord injuries say that travel gives a sense of joy like nothing else post-injury, which certainly qualifies it as something fun to do after a spinal cord injury. The sense of adventure you get from travel is something that doesn’t change. From international travel to traveling in your own state, there’s a lot of traveling you can do post-injury and there are thousands of people online showing you how. Search “wheelchair travel” to get inspired.
You’ll often see people with spinal cord injuries going to concerts on a regular basis. This is because it gives a sense of adrenaline that is something that doesn’t change in spite of a spinal cord injury, and that can be a great thing mentally. Look in your area for local concerts and even explore new genres. Not only will it save you money, but you may also discover something new you like in the process. Remember to request accessible seats as well.
There are hundreds of adaptive sports that exist, which means there is no excuse to get out there and find one that you like. From sports that are adapted for paraplegics like wheelchair basketball, mono-skiing, archery, bowling, and sledge hockey, and sports adapted for quadriplegics like quad rugby, bi-skiing, surfing, and 4×4 mountain biking, there are sports for everyone no matter their interest. Don’t forget other popular sports like golf, martial arts, horseback riding, water-skiing, softball, and swimming.
There is so much more out there to explore if this list doesn’t entice you. Consider the arts if that is something you enjoyed pre-injury – painting, acting, singing, even stand-up comedy. Whatever you do decide to do, try to at least incorporate some fun into your life once a day. Your mental health will thank you for it.
** This post was originally published on https://www.spinalcord.com/blog/how-to-still-have-fun-after-a-spinal-cord-injury