Life span has increased whereby individuals are living longer, and as we grow older, our gait becomes unsteady, our pace slows down, and we may become weary because of these natural physical decline, but do we have to resort to the aid of a powered operating vehicle (POV) such as a scooter chair? Is this device helpful to individuals or does it prevents them to strive to live up to his/her optimal level? Second, should powered vehicle be available for every individual, or should there be criteria?
The POV was first intended to assist individuals in the home who had physical limitations, but now there appears to be a growing number of individuals utilizing powered vehicles on busy streets, in the supermarket, and many public venues. Individuals who depend on POV are at risk when crossing busy intersections, and when maneuvering them on busy parking lots.
Medicare covers POV, but scrutinizes the need by requiring primary care physicians to address the following questions. If the physician responds in detail to each question, Medicare, in most instances, will approve coverage.
What is this patent’s mobility limitation and how does it interfere with the performance of activities of daily living?
Why can’t a cane or walker meet this patent’s mobility needs in the home?
Why can’t a manual wheelchair meet this patent’s mobility needs in the home?
Does this patient have the physical and mental abilities to transfer into a POV and to operate it safely in the home?
Why can’t a POV (scooter) meet this patent’s mobility needs in the home?
Does this patient have the physical and mental abilities to operate a power wheelchair safely in the home?
I know individuals who were once mobile became so dependent on these powered operating vehicles, until they lost their will to walk and their physical state declined; moreover, I noticed they gained substantial amount of weight, so much, until they out grew their powered chairs.
Perhaps an alternate means should be explored to assist individuals whether approving powered operating vehicles that may not be appropriate for every individual especially in view of the cost that range from
$500.00- $1700.00. Would a physical therapist or occupation therapist be more appropriate in assisting individuals to maintain their independence? Would other devices such as walker, or cane verses using a crutch such as a POV to the point individuals’ health decline, or until they become bedridden?