FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What mobility aid is right for me?
The best mobility aid for you primarily depends on your level of mobility. As a result, your standing and walking ability is the chief indicator of the type of mobility aid suitable for you. If you have an extreme challenge or inability to stand or walk, you are best suited for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
If you can stand and walk but need a great degree of support, walkers, crutches, or rollators should satisfy your need. On the other hand, you may be like many seniors who use a cane for marginal assistance with their balance while walking.
What are the different types of mobility aids?
There is a wide selection of mobility aids on the market that fit into one of three categories: balance, stability, and transport. For minor balance assistance, walking canes can help you walk more safely and confidently. A single-tip cane can give you sufficient balance support. However, if you need more balance support, quad canes may be your best option.
Stability aids provide substantial balance and stability assistance for you while walking. This category features a wide variety of mobility aids, including rollators, mobility walkers, and rollator-transport chair combinations. Also, transport aids provide mobility for people unable to walk or stand. This type includes all forms of wheelchairs and full-transport chairs.
When do I know it's time for a mobility device?
For many of us, mobility loss is a fact of aging. But mobility aids are not just for seniors. Severe injuries, chronic diseases like MS, strokes, and chronic pain can cause you to seek the assistance of mobility aids. Regardless of the cause, some common signs indicate it's time for you to use a transport or walking mobility aid. The most common sign is when you fall more than usual or have too many "off balance" moments. Also, you may feel weak in your lower body area or quickly get tired. Another significant indication is dizziness from your medications or medical condition. Or you may just have a feeling of instability on your feet. If you are experiencing problems, consult your doctor for recommendations for the best mobility aids for seniors or mobility devices for chronic pain.
Does insurance pay for mobility equipment?
Medicare, Medicaid, and many private health insurance plans pay a portion of the cost of mobility equipment, provided the equipment is medically necessary. These medical insurance plans cover mobility equipment that qualifies as durable medical equipment (DME). This designation means the equipment must be part of a treatment for a medical condition, and it must qualify for daily in-home use.
Unfortunately, government and private insurance companies don't cover certain types of DME, such as lifestyle mobility aids and home improvement DME devices like grab bars and electric mobility scooter carriers. Lifestyle mobility aids are devices you can buy for convenience or personal care purposes. For a qualified DME, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the cost, but you must get a prescription from a Medicare-approved physician. Also, your DME supplier must be enrolled in Medicare. The other forms of medical insurance have similar rules to Medicare.
How do I prepare my home for life with mobility aids?
Initially, you should start preparing your home for mobility aids by purchasing and installing the home improvement equipment and accessories required to complement your mobility devices, such as wheelchair accessories, ramps, rails, lifts, and transfer boards. Also, you can add any modifications or services necessary to make your home safer for a person with limited mobility, such as an alarm alert system, wider doorways, slip-proof floors, walk-in bathtubs, or a safety shower chair. If you or a loved one struggle getting out of a chair or bed, there are products like the Med-Lift Easy Chair and other specialized furniture to make getting up easier. As part of preparing your home for mobility aids, you should arrange your furniture to make common destinations, like the bathroom, more accessible for people using mobility aids.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.