How assistive equipment can make your life easier.
Many people are not aware of the equipment and mobility solutions on the market. You may only need one or two pieces of equipment to make all the difference between managing and feeling unsafe. Find out as much as you can. Ask your friends and family, go online, get brochures and visit a mobility shop. The disability equipment sector is very innovative so you may find there’s something suitable for you and your situation that you’d never thought of.
If you meet eligibility criteria some equipment or home modifications may be subsidised. An assessment is involved. It’s worthwhile going through the process as it helps you understand the sort of equipment that might be useful for you too. The assessor may also be able to tell you about other things that might interest you too e.g., fun exercise programmes to help you build your physical fitness.
We suggest visiting a mobility and equipment shop first; just to get a broad idea of what might be available. You will find some mobility and equipment providers on this website.
Unless you are requiring equipment from ACC as a result of an injury, then the Ministry of Health (MOH) Equipment and Modification Services are likely to be the services you are referred to or who you can contact. To qualify for subsidised equipment from these services, a specialised assessment by a suitably qualified health professional is required to access loan equipment and home modification services. Contact equipment provider Enable, freephone 0800 171 981 or your older person’s service/NASC for advice.
To be eligible for MOH loan equipment you must:
have a disability that will last longer than six months,
need specific equipment to help you manage,
meet residency requirements, and,
not have access to other funding, such as ACC.
Items that costs less than $50 are generally not part of the loan scheme and if you want them you will have to buy them.
While modifications to the home, such as changes to a bathroom, putting in a ramp or domestic lift are often useful, you will probably have to pay for these yourself. The qualifying criteria for home modification services is tight and if approved the ‘wait time’ can be significant.
If you can afford it, buying your own equipment or arranging your own home modifications is often a faster option that gives you more choice. Get expert advice. A good retailer will assess your ability to use equipment correctly and safely. Not all equipment suits all people.
Palliative care provisions
You may have access to specialised equipment if you are receiving palliative care.
Organisations such as the Lottery Grants Board may fund scooters or other aids.