As anyone who has impaired mobility will know, the need to retain independence and freedom is paramount. Whether you have had reduced mobility for some time or if you are just getting used to life with reduced mobility, it is worth exploring some of the assistance options that may be open to you to help keep mobile. This blog explores just three of the options available.
Mobility Allowance / Motability
Depending on the severity of your mobility restriction, you may be entitled to either the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance. The mobility component has two rates, lower and higher, which are awarded depending on meeting certain eligibility criteria. The lower rate will enable people with smaller impairments to meet additional costs such as taxi fares. The higher rate of mobility allowance can be used to lease a car on the Motability scheme. Part or all of the allowance can be exchanged for a car that you will keep for 3 years. At the end of the 3 year period the car is replaced with a new one. Most car dealerships are participants in the Motability scheme and some are able to provide adaptations to vehicles such as additional steering wheel controls.
Help For Non Drivers
If you have never driven, or your impairment means that you can no longer drive you may still be able to get a vehicle on the Motability scheme. Your partner or a nominated person can drive a Motability scheme car for you. Companies such as Gleneagles Conversions specialise in wheelchair accessible vehicles. These cars have been adapted to include ramps or lifts to get you into the car without having to leave your wheelchair. If you do not qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA, companies such as Gleneagles also deal with second hand vehicles that may be perfectly suited to your needs.
Another option available under the Motability scheme is a mobility scooter. Electric mobility scooters can be used by anyone, without need for a driving license. In most cases you will not need to surrender your entire mobility allowance to get a mobility scooter.
In Home Adaptations
Making the home accessible is just as important as outdoor mobility. Installation of a stair lift can give mobility impaired people the freedom to enjoy their entire home. Dependent on your circumstances you may be able to get help with the cost of installation of stair lifts and other home adaptations in the form of a disabled facilities grant from the government.