Total Health Physio Occupational Therapists are proudly experienced in prescribing mobility scooters to our Melbourne community.
Our Occupational Therapists visit people’s homes to conduct social, transport and home environment assessments – this includes the prescription of equipment such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
We are also experienced in full home modifications – including garage and ramp accessibility so a person can safely store a scooter at their home.
If you’re interested in acquiring a scooter and working with a compassionate Occupational Therapist, contact Total Health Physio today!
Customising a Mobility Scooter
A mobility scooter can be customised in different ways. This may be:
- Back rest, head rest, arm rests
- Size of the wheels for different terrains
- Foot plates
- Seat belts
- Tray tables
- Ability to store goods, conceal private items and security
- Safety flags, lights, etc
At Total Health Physio, we’ll work with your preferred equipment supplier (or we can recommend some) to customise the scooter to your preferences and clinical needs.
Assessing for a Mobility Scooter
Prescribing the correct scooter for the client is dependent on the client’s needs and their goals.
Under the assumption that our client is a NDIS participant, we would need to justify that the scooter (and the features of it – such as lights) are reasonable and necessary.
Our OT will visit a person’s home to assess their Activities of Daily Living, one of these being mobility.
When we prescribe a mobility scooter, we will firstly consider the level of physical function, such as transferring on/off the scooter. We will also consider cognitive requirements such as safely following instructions, road signals, safety awareness and ability to operate the controls.
We also assess the home environment to consider ramps, inside accessibility, garage accessibility and other assistive technology/modifications that may be helpful.
Types of Mobility Scooters
There are several types of mobility scooters; examples of these are:
- 4 wheel electric mobility scooters – This is the most common type of mobility scooter to promote outdoor activities and social interaction, because their large wheelbase can overcome difficult terrain
- 3 wheel electric mobility scooters – Allows for more footrest space than 4 wheel models. They are typically lighter, however have less weight capacity than the 4 wheel variety
- Folding mobility scooters – These are used when individuals would like to transport their mobility scooter or store them. Their folding action can be button-powered. At Total Health Physio, we rarely prescribe these due to increase weight and manual handling considerations
Interestingly, the turning circle between the 3 wheel and 4 wheel models is similar because of evolutions in technology, with modern 4 wheel scooters having 2 motors – one turning the rear wheels one way, and the other turning the front wheels the opposite way.
Difference Between a Wheelchair and Scooter Prescription
The difference between using an electric wheelchair and a scooter is dependent on the user’s needs.
The primary advantage of scooters is that they are designed for long distance, outdoor use. On average, they can travel over 25km in distance.
Scooters typically have a longer wheelbase, meaning they are more stable at higher speeds. The tradeoff however, is that they have a greater turning circle compared with an electric wheelchair that can rotate in place.
A scooter will have handlebars, requiring a level of function in the upper limbs to turn and operate. Whereas an electric wheelchair will have a joystick.
Where appropriate, a person can be prescribed both mobility types, depending on their requirements and preferences.
Ready to Enquire About a Mobility Scooter Assessment?
We would love to receive your enquiry, please note that:
- Our office is staffed by caring, Australian team members
- Our OTs are university trained, insured and registered with AHPRA
- Save time, we will visit your Melbourne home
- We will perform a holistic assessment including any other concerns you may have
For healthcare with Trust, Compassion and Care, please contact Total Health Physio using our contact page.
How do we choose the correct brand?
At Total Health Physio, we provide our clients choice and control in regards to their decisions and preference of scooter.
Importantly, we are about prescribing the correct item that will meet their clinical needs so that they have an excellent experience with us.
In many cases, a client does not know what they want. So we’ll work with them to match their needs and possibly trial several models before purchasing the scooter.
Where do we get the mobility scooter from?
Preferably (depending on the participants plan type) we will use a supplier that is NDIS registered. Under this assumption, there are many equipment suppliers across Melbourne from we can choose.
Total Health Physio has existing suppliers we may recommend due to a high level of service, however the choice is ultimately up to the client.
We are NDIS registered and a homecare approved provider, so we can support clients with any funding requests or questions.
We have good relationships with some suppliers and like to use them, as we feel that they provide us and our clients with the best service.
How long will it take the NDIS to approve a mobility scooter?
This timeframe can vary.
At Total Health Physio, the assessment and request takes between 2-4 weeks, however the NDIS can take much longer, often anywhere between 1 month to 1 year.
Total Health Physio will help priortise urgent cases and also recommend and assist with other options, such as hiring, where appropriate.