Equipment

Equipment

Wheelchairs

Many people living with muscular dystrophy will come to depend on a wheelchair in order to move around independently.

Decisions regarding when a wheelchair is necessary, and what type of wheelchair is suitable, should be made with the assistance of a medical professional such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist and/or your GP.

People with muscular dystrophy are generally prescribed power wheelchairs that are initially for part-time use. Wheel-chair use will become more permanent over time.

Some desirable features of wheelchairs to consider can be found in the following brochure: rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/neurology/DMD_brochure_Wheelchair.pdf

For more information on wheelchairs, consult your medical professional.

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CoughAssist™

Muscular Dystrophy WA provides potentially life changing CoughAssist™ machines to the Western Australian muscular dystrophy community.

Many people with muscular dystrophy are unable to cough, and accumulated secretions, even from a mild cold, make them prone to complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis. This can lead to an increase in emergency visits and being admitted to hospital. The CoughAssist™ machine assists by inducing both a slow inhale and a rapid exhale; this encourages natural coughing, whilst avoiding problems associated with more invasive procedures.

Since CoughAssist™ machines have been in people’s homes, Muscular Dystrophy WA has identified a significant reduction in the incidence of hospital and ICU admissions, Emergency Department presentations, chest infections and visits to doctors.

For more information about the CoughAssist™ machines please see: mdwa.org.au/get-support/cough-assist-program

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Independent Living Centre (ILC) Assistive Equipment Services

What is it?

The ILC offers services to ensure that you get the right equipment and home modifications for your needs, and that you know how to use them effectively. The ILC provides occupational therapists through their enquiry line who can provide free information and advice regarding choice of appropriate equipment, technology and home modifications and how they can be used.

You can also organise to have an assessment by an occupational therapist in your home (for a fee).

To complement this service, the ILC also provides allied health services in the home and community, to support and provide training for the use of assistive equipment and technology that will enable people to better manage tasks in the home, school, work or the wider community. Fees may apply for these services.

The ILC can also provide access to assistive equipment and technology, which can be browsed on their online National Equipment Database.

Where can you find more information?

You can contact the Occupational Therapist Enquiry line by phone on 9381 0608, toll free on 1300 558 886 or by email, at help@ilc.com.au.

The National Equipment Database can be found at: www.ilcaustralia.org.au/search_category_paths

For more information regarding ILC services, visit: www.ilc.com.au/services/aes-and-outreach

Alternatively, you can call 1300 885 886 or visit their Nedlands or Cockburn centre.

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RAC Wheels2Go

What is it?

Wheels2Go provides members with a mobility device, such as a manual or electric wheelchair, access to 24/7 roadside assistance by calling 13 11 11.

RAC can change flat batteries or a flat tyre, provided that you have a spare on hand.

If RAC cannot assist in your breakdown situation, they will arrange a wheelchair-accessible taxi. A Wheels2Go membership entitles you to 5 taxi trips a year valued at up to $55 per trip.

Where can you find more information?

For more information visit: www.rac.com.au/car-motoring/roadside-assistance/wheels2go

Or call 13 07 03.

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Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP)

What is it?

A scheme for providing equipment and home modifications to benefit people with long-term disabilities living at home. All equipment and home modifications funded by CAEP are provided to enhance the function, independence and safety of the equipment user; and to assist unpaid carers in their caring role. If you receive equipment for CAEP, you may use it for as long as you need. You may be asked to contribute towards the cost of equipment/home modification.

Are you eligible?

You are eligible if:

  • You have a permanent disability which is attributable to either an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment, or a combination of these impairments; and
  • You need significant and ongoing help everyday with either self-care, communication, mobility, making decisions or interacting with others; and
  • You live at home or in the community most of the time; and
  • You hold an Australian Pension Concession Card, Health Care Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card, or you are eligible for a Carer Payment, or you can demonstrate financial hardship.

Note that eligibility may change if you have a WA NDIS plan.

How do you apply?

Your GP must fill out a CAEP referral form and send it to your local CAEP service provider.

For more information see: www.disability.wa.gov.au/services-support-and-eligiblity/services-supports-and-eligibility-new/services/services-provided-by-the-commission/equipment-and-technology/community-aids-and-equipment-program-caep-

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Equipment for Living Grant

What is it?

A grant of up to $5000 issued by the Independent Living Centre of WA for people who are eligible for the Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP) who wish to purchase vital equipment not currently available through CAEP or other support programs.

Are you eligible?

You are eligible for the Equipment for Living Grant if you qualify for CAEP.

How do you apply?

Apply or view more information at: www.ilc.com.au/equipment-for-living

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Variety WA

What is it?

Variety WA is a children’s charity that provides financial aid to children, their families and schools to obtain equipment such as wheelchairs, other specialist equipment and medical supplies.

Are you eligible?

You are eligible if you would not otherwise be able to afford this equipment and when there is no government assistance available.

Assistance is available for Western Australian children aged up to 18 and are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.

Assistance is also available to schools, community groups or other organisations that provide aid to children in need.

How do you apply?

You must demonstrate a genuine financial need for assistance and provide evidence and information on how the assistance will help you meet this need.

You will need supporting letters from professionals such as Specialists, Therapists, Teachers and Local Coordinators, as well as quotes for the requested equipment or medical supplies.

Application forms for individual and organisation grants are available on the website, and when applying, you must quote your application number.

If your grant application is approved, Variety WA will either order the requested goods/services and organise delivery to you or will advise you to order these goods/services and have them billed to Variety WA for payment.

Apply or view more information on grants for organisations and individuals at grants@varietywa.org.au or call (08) 9355 3655.

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Disability Equipment Grant

What is it?

A program to assist WA individuals with permanent disabilities to acquire equipment grants and subsidies (this includes a subsidy on the Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment and/or driver training). The program is income assessed and aims to help people who would not otherwise be able to afford the equipment or services.

Are you eligible?

You are eligible if:

  • You are a Western Australian with a permanent disability; and
  • You are a holder of a Centrelink Pension Concession Card; or
  • You are a single income earner who has a gross annual income less than $55,000; or
  • You are a couple with no children with a combined gross annual income less than $80,000; or
  • You are a couple with children with a combined gross annual income less than $90,000.

How do you apply?

Apply or view more information at: www.ilc.com.au/disability-equipment-grants

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Rocky Bay Posture Tech Services

What is it?

Posture Tech offers seating therapists to assist people who use equipment to increase mobility and independence. Seating therapists do assessments to assist with equipment selection, offer training in postural care, perform pressure readings for skin care recommendations, set up equipment and provide training, can recommend off-the-shelf equipment and offer customised postural supports and cushions.

Posture Tech also has a fully equipped workshop in Cockburn for repairing and servicing mobility devices including wheelchairs.

Rocky Bay’s equipment refurbishment programme can supply quality refurbished wheelchairs, hoists or other equipment at significantly reduced costs.

Where can you find more information?

More information can be found at: www.rockybay.org.au/service/posture-tech

Fees do apply for Posture Tech services, although CAEP funding may cover therapy consultations and suitable equipment if applicable. Alternative funding may also be used for some services if applicable.

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