The right equipment can make an enormous difference to the quality of life of a disabled person, making everyday tasks that little bit (or, a lot) more convenient.
A trip to the shop might be made possible by the right mobility scooter; getting in and out of the bath might be made safer with the help of a convenient handrail. An adapted vehicle, similarly, can remove much of the hassle of getting around.
Unfortunately, developing and manufacturing equipment of this sort tends to be costly and difficult – and there’s only a limited market for them. As such, many disabled people find themselves unable to afford the aids that they really need. Going without risks accidents and injury, which can often lead to greater harm in the long-run.
Fortunately, there are ways of limiting the expense. Let’s consider a few of them.
Many mobility aids are available on the second-hand market, often for knock-down prices. You just need to know where to look. You’ll need to factor in the cost of shipping, and make sure that everything’s working when the equipment arrives. Dealers are generally safer than buying straight from the previous owner, though they’ll take a cut, which will drive up the asking price.
Look into Funding Schemes
Across the UK you’ll find a whole slew of organisations who offer financial support to those looking to finance a purchase of this kind.
You can think of this as a special kind of loan, repayable over a longer period with very low rates of interest. Much as you might pay for a mobile phone over months and years, you might pay for the walker that helps you get from one place to the next.
Look into Charitable Support
There are a number of charities across the UK that might help you if you’re in this situation. Many of these organisations are dedicated to supporting children, but adults might find funding, too. Your task is to find the charity that happens to match your particular circumstances. The MS Society, for example, aims to support people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Look into Government Support
Where your disability is affecting your ability to find paid work, you can look to government schemes like Access to Work. This programme provides a range of measures, including mental health support, and it helps employers to adapt workplaces to the needs of disabled employees. Crucially, it can also cover the cost of special equipment.
There are a few criteria you’ll need to fulfil to be considered. You need to be in paid work, or about to start it. Moreover, if you’re already receiving financial support, then you might not be eligible for another grant. However, once you’ve been approved, you don’t have to pay the money back, and your other benefits will be unaffected.