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Manual Wheelchair Prescription: Beginning with the Future in Mind

24/10/2013

In Canada, funding agencies for mobility devices vary province by province and each agency has different criteria by which a person may be eligible to receive a manual wheelchair and which type or category of manual wheelchair can be considered for a qualified individual. Therefore, it is difficult to make generalizations about funding programs, but, typically, funding sources consider funding the provision of a manual mobility device if a person is expected to require the device on a long-term basis (e.g., at least six months).  Please note that this is different from a temporary or short-term need, which is often accommodated through rental, which may be covered through a person’s extended health care benefits.  Thus, when looking at prescribing a mobility device for an individual for a long-term basis, therapists need to look at the future needs of the person.  Since funding cycles typically are a minimum of five years, therapists need to look ahead to anticipate a person’s future needs, in addition to immediate needs, to prescribe a mobility device that will work for an individual not only now, but also in the future.

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