Assistive Devices Program
Physiotherapists specialize in issues affecting mobility, balance and movement. There are many reasons as to why a person may need a mobility aid. i.e. a wheelchair, a cane, crutches, a walker or a rollator (a wheeled walker).
The Ontario Ministry of Health provides an excellent program to assist with funding for mobility aids, through their Assistive Devices Program (ADP). If someone requires a device on a regular basis to move about independently wherever they live or to access a vehicle at their curbside, they qualify for financial assistance up to 75% of the retail cost. This is "needs" not "means" tested.
There is no exact formula indicating the most appropriate mobility aid for any individual so the ministry dictates an individual must be assessed by an authorized health professional registered with the ADP program to complete the assessment and the application process; the equipment must be purchased from an authorized vendor. All physiotherapists associated with Access At Home Physiotherapy are ADP authorizers.
The authorizer will evaluate:
- body size
- muscle tone
Each ADP assessment will also consist of:
- completion of the claim form
- where to purchase the walker
- follow up visit after you have purchased your walker to ensure appropriate use
If you have extended Health Benefits, the cost of the physiotherapy assessment and the client portion of the walker fee may be partially of fully covered. A doctor's prescription is not necessary to participate in the ADP program or the physiotherapy assessment but may be required for your health claim; be sure to check with your benefit provider prior to having the assessment and purchasing the walker.
Many seniors feel using a walker will make them "dependent" and they will become weaker. However, it absolutely has the opposite effect! If you are starting to touch walls and furniture when you walk, have even a slight fear of falling, or you are starting to go out less, you should consider acquiring a walker. Once you start using the walker you will walk further and more frequently. You will become stronger, fitter and much more confident. You will minimize your fall risk.
Think of it as an exercise machine to improve you fitness!!