Location: CT - USA
I am seeing an ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) and I am wondering if anyone out there has experience meeting one. Are there questions you had that at first were not obvious but that came along two days later?
For the time being, I am looking to get a custom manual wheelchair. I have some strength, but just can't walk long distances and I believe a manual wheelchair would be very helpful.
btw: An ATP requires certification which The RESNA defines as: demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumer’s needs, and providing training in the use of the selected device(s).RESNA link
After trying to navigate my insurance companies complexities, I discovered that ATP exist and not only help you with mobility selections but can also communicate with the insurance companies using the codes and terminology required (they speak insuranceese).
Jameson, I also responded by email the following:
Since I am not familiar with your current capabilities, I will wing my response.
One question you need to ask is: Since this is a progressive disorder, what will I need over the next five years to remain safely mobile? When I was initially looking at a mobility device, I was only concerned with what would solve my immediate issue. Four years later, I was looking again.
In your discussions with the ATP, make certain you can talk specifically how the disease has progressed over the last five years loss of capabilities, safety issues, etc. This will help the person diagnose what will happen over the next five years.
A consideration should also be the height of the seat. If you cannot comfortably stand up from the seat in a four-to-five years, you will be looking for something else.
There are taller seat configurations and some manual chairs can be converted to electric to help if arm strength becomes an issue.
I look forward to reading responses from others who have been through this.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
I've always bought equipment that would help me with daily living long before the insurance company would consider paying for it. At best you can get insurance to cover your needs for today, and with a progressive disease that equipment is inadequate when purchase or soon will be. Not that insurance for DME is usually for medically necessary equipment. Something that helps you walk further is considered a convenience by them and not covered.
I've had a series of powerchairs through the years all purchased used a very considerable discount to advertised prices (1/3 or less usually.) Often this is pretty close to the co-pay for insurance if you could get the insurance company to consider a chair.
A manual chair would be a waste of time unless you have an attendant as your arm strength will most likely drop off as well. That said, a bottom end transfer chair that others push may come in handy once in a while.
There are several other posts on this forum section suggesting how to remain independent of others for your mobility.
email:rheitzman at gmail
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614