Pride® Mobility has long offered a diverse variety of mobility solutions, ranging from mobility scooters to electric wheelchairs and power lift recliners.
With a wide range of options, you may be wondering if a mobility solution is right for you. If so, what kind? And would Medicare cover the cost? In order to answer these questions, you must consider a number of factors and begin the process of obtaining a device.
Mobility Scooter vs. Electric Wheelchair
Though you may at first think the terms “wheelchair” and “scooter” are interchangeable in this context, there are distinct differences between these devices. This blog highlights those differences in greater detail, but here are the basics.
A power wheelchair is driven by using a joystick and does not require significant upper-body strength. It will typically contain four to six wheels and will either utilize a front-wheel, mid-wheel, or rear-wheel drive system, depending on where the two largest wheels are located.
A mobility scooter is driven using a tiller that contains handlebars, which requires a certain amount of upper-body strength. It will always contain three or four wheels depending on the model.
Whether you’re more suited for an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter – that will depend on your mobility needs.
Visit with your Treating Practitioner
This is the first step on your journey toward greater mobility. Medicare requires a face-to-face examination with your treating practitioner prior to writing a prescription for a power mobility device.
Your treating practitioner will consider the use of a cane, walker, or manual wheelchair for you before determining if you require a scooter of power wheelchair. A physical therapist or occupational therapist may conduct additional assessments if deemed necessary by the treating practitioner. Your medical records
must substantiate any conclusions made by your treating practitioner so that a prescription can be written.
When an examination is conducted, the treating practitioner will be assessing your physical capabilities. Those who struggle to stay on their feet for long periods of time or suffer from debilitating conditions that reduce mobility in their upper body, arms, and legs are likely to qualify for use of a power wheelchair.
For those experiencing pain or discomfort, who could use extra assistance in getting around, a mobility scooter would be a fitting solution. Although they may not suffer from a debilitating condition, a scooter could improve their daily lives in the mobility assistance it provides.
As mentioned before, if a treating practitioner determines that an individual requires assistance beyond a cane, walker, or manual wheelchair, then that individual is likely qualified for some kind of power mobility device.
Once a treating practitioner sends a written prescription and your medical records to a mobility supplier, the process can begin as to which particular mobility scooter or electric wheelchair would be appropriate for that individual.
Pride Mobility Product Quiz
Recently, we incorporated a Product Quiz into our Pride Mobility website. For those that are curious about various mobility solutions, haven’t gone through the process with their treating practitioner yet, but feel they could qualify for a certain device, they can explore the options that Pride has to offer.
The quiz presents visitors with the option to choose the device of their choice (power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, lift chairs). From there, the visitor is presented with various scenarios to identify their preferences and requirements. At the end of the quiz, one more products will be suggested based on the input.
While not scientific and not a replacement for a health professional examination, the quiz serves as an informative, interactive exercise that can help individuals understand better the differences between our products and set them on the right track to identify a mobility solution that fits their needs.
After the Initial Steps…
If you have additional questions about the remainder of the process, Pride Mobility offers a convenient step-by-step consumer guide to Medicare coverage. This guide goes into greater detail regarding what will take place following the initial visit with your treating practitioner.
You can learn more about Medicare coverage for wheelchairs and scooters here.