THE AGING POPULATION – MOBILITY EQUIPMENT, RENOVATIONS, AGING AT HOME
There are certain inevitable truths in this world; aging is one of them. Each individual can plan for it in his or her own way. However until you go through it, it is difficult to fully understand the processes that need to be put in place to achieve an independent lifestyle as you age at home. No one plans financially to get sick and no one plans to get hurt but in this world it happens every day. Knowing where to begin is half the battle. The purpose of this article is to identify key resources within the community, including a funding agency called the Assistive Devices Program (ADP), and the role of an Occupational Therapist (OT) put into place to provide you details on ADP vendors.
The Ontario government has the Assistive Devices Program (programs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). This provincial program assists in funding 75% of mobility equipment listed in the provincial catalogue. The criteria to be eligible for the program consists of the following:
1) The individual must be an Ontario resident with a valid OHIP card. 2) The individual must possess a medical condition that requires a need for the mobility device. 3) The equipment being applied for the home must meet the requirements that are outlined in the ADP’s guidelines in order for an OT to prescribe the mobility device.
ADP is not an income based program. Every Ontario resident can apply for this program. In order to receive funding an individual needs to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist, who is authorized to prescribe medical devices. The OT’s signature and prescription are the only documents needed in order to apply for a mobility device. The vendor, who is chosen by the client, can be compared to the pharmacist in the sense that they fill the prescription of the OT.
There are two ways to set up an assessment. 1. You can contact your local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). CCAC provides a variety of resources for the public; community care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy assessments, wound care management etc. 2. Receive an assessment through a private therapist. Paying for a private therapist can be less tedious and often more beneficial for the client long-term, however it can become very expensive.
Occupational therapists will connect you with vendors in your community and outline the funding sources available to you. Whether it is a walker, rollator, wheelchair or much bigger purchase of stair glides, home and bathroom renovations, custom ramps, the occupational therapist and the vendors in the community will work with you to achieve the independent goals that you set for yourself, allowing you to age in the comfort of your own home.
If you would like further information on the services outlined above, either for yourself or a loved one, please contact our office and we would be happy to put you in contact with a trusted provider.
Information Provided by Matt Chalmers of HME Ltd, Rehab & Access Equipment Specialist.