Ray has always been an independent man, however since two recent surgeries involving the amputation of firstly his left leg, and then more recently his right, he found that he relied on his wife, Nancy increasingly more. He was provided with the basic and essential equipment through his local health service such as a manual wheelchair; however Nancy was called upon to provide all transport for shopping, appointments and social outings.
Ray is unable to push himself in his wheelchair for long distances and was therefore unable to leave the house independently to access the community. Through their local health service (Ray was already being seen by the Occupational Therapist) they were able to be assessed for a scooter. The Occupational Therapist helped to complete an Equipment for Living grant application form and sent this through to the Independent Living Centre for consideration. The requested scooter was funded through this grant and Ray is now able to independently leave his home to travel to the shops and visit friends. Nancy has also benefited from the scooter: “Now he can go off and do what he wants without asking me or waiting for me to take him…now I can ask him to go and get things for me for a change!”.
Did you know the Independent Living Centre can give you advice about funding options, and perhaps support you with your equipment needs? There are many people living with disability who may benefit from assistive equipment, for example an electric adjustable bed to help with transfers, a folding wheelchair to enable visits into the community, or an emergency call system to keep them safe.
For some people, like Ray, the process of finding out what may be available to them is a relatively easy one, as they are often well supported by health professionals or an agency/support service. For others, this process can be confusing, especially if the person has not received any health or therapy services for some time. Many people may only need one specific item to enable them to participate more independently in life and therefore are not “linked in” with the right service.
The Independent Living Centre manages two grant programs – the Equipment for Living Grant (EFL), and the Disability Equipment Grant (DEG). There are different eligibility for each of these grants, and the types of equipment/assistive technology they fund differs as well.
The Equipment for Living grant is available to people who are eligible for the Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP). It can help to fund equipment that is not currently available through CAEP, for example a folding wheelchair to enable a person who is not able to walk long distances attend outings in the community, small home modifications or environmental controls such as an automatic door opener.
The ILC might even be able to assist with the assessment of the required equipment, if the person is not currently receiving any recent services through their health service, or agency. This can help to streamline the service and avoid potentially long wait times to be seen.
The Disability Equipment grant is income assessed and aims to assist eligible people to obtain assistive equipment not available through other funding avenues. Items considered are vehicle modifications, specialized assistive technology for people with sensory, communication or physical impairments, air conditioners and other essential independence equipment.
There is also funding available for eligible people who require a Occupational Driver Assessment, and/or driver training.
More information can be found about both the EFL and the DEG grants here.
If you think there is something that could help yourself, or someone you know, please contact our Grants Team to find out more.