If there's one thing certain in life, it's that each one of us is temporarily able-bodied. One way or another, someday, we will face losing our mobility, at least partially. So it's never a bad idea to consider the ways to obtain mobility products and assistance, even if we don't need it just yet. Additionally, many of us are or will become caregivers for mobility-challenged individuals and need information on how best to serve them.
We've taken a look at the different types of equipment and resources out there for anyone in need or interested. While not all sites are discount sites (most will attempt to work with your insurance company or Medicare to find you the best prices possible, where applicable), you can always catch sales if you check back from time to time.
Here’s what you’ll get in this guide:
100+ resources for mobility/accessibility devices and mobility-related products
Organizations and services that help those with limited mobility
Tips for finding and securing financial aid and discounts on mobility and accessibility devices and products
To start, here’s a list of popular mobility and accessibility equipment, and the category it falls in:
Many mobility and accessibility devices fall into three main categories. They are:
Now, let’s dive into how you can apply for funding for accessibility equipment in the US.
While outfitting yourself and your home for accessibility may seem like a daunting and expensive task, there are many government and non-government organizations that may assist with the cost of some of the above items, depending on what type of item they are.
If you use a mobility device and itemize your deductions when you file, you might be able to deduct medical expenses for the previous year. This covers all sorts of medical and dental procedures and products, including hearing aids, wheelchairs, crutches, and things of that nature.
You might also be able to deduct transportation costs to and from doctor’s appointments and visits - check the IRS site for more info.
While all medicare plans differ, Medicare Part B usually covers durable medical equipment (DME), which mobility devices fall under. Only durable, medical items that your doctor prescribes for use in your home qualify as DME.
Some of these items include:
Anyone with Part B medical insurance is covered, and you’ll most likely only end up paying 20% of the total cost. Other options can include renting the equipment, which might be a good idea for someone with temporary mobility issues, like a recent hip replacement patient.
You can search here to find mobility product suppliers that offer Medicare rates & discounts.
There are a few ways that Veterans can receive aid for mobility products.
The U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs offers a Veteran-Directed Care program that allows senior or disabled veterans to consult with their caregiver and receive assistance with buying items and services that will help them live independently in the community.
TriCare offers health care coverage to veterans and active duty military members, as well as their families. They offer financial aid to supplement Medicare costs for veterans. As a part of their coverage, TriCare offers three grants that are awarded to help with the cost of updating your home to be more accessible:
The U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs offers the health care service CHAMPVA to spouses or children of severely injured or deceased veterans. CHAMPVA offers payment assistance for some DMEs, but you’ll have to check to see what might be covered for your individual plan.
Medicaid coverage varies by State, but they offer both assistance and waivers for individuals experiencing mobility and accessibility impairment. You can check on your state’s policies on the Medicaid website.
Next we’ll dive into some companies - offering both physical products and innovative technology - that can assist you with mobility and accessibility. If the company offers any type of discount at all, we’ve listed it here.
As inevitable as it is to grow older, technology is inevitably becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives. And luckily for those facing mobility challenges, they are changing the way we move about the world as well.
Here are some apps that work to improve mobility and increase your overall quality of life:
Ablephone makes adaptive hands-free and voice-activated phones.
Harmony Ultimate Hub from Logitech turns your phone or tablet into a remote control device for controlling your television, stereo, and other in-home technology without assistance. There are usually plenty of Logitech promo codes available (they often offer 5% off your purchase).
PEAC creates assistive technology to help the severely disabled to navigate and control their environments.
Tecla is designed for hands-free tablet and smartphone usage, and once set up, can assist with control of not only mobility scooters and wheelchairs, but every aspect of a home that can be connected to a smart device.
Uber lets you look for wheelchair accessible vehicles to get you from point A to point B. Uber frequently offers promo codes for new riders, but there are also some ways for existing riders to get discounts, too.
Wheelmate allows wheelchair users to easily find accessible bathrooms and parking areas throughout 30,000 locations within 45 countries - and they are expanding on that! Wheelmap does the same, but you can contribute your accessible finds to their list when you visit new areas as well.
AbleNet offers speech generation technology, toys, assistive technology kits, apps, and other iPad-based communication devices. They offer funding options and possible loans as well, along with discounts.
Gus Communication Devices offers speech generating devices for autism, stroke, cancer, ALS, and other disabilities in the form of iPads, iPods, Windows, Mac, handheld, tablets, and more with funding options from Medicare and private insurance.
Voice for Joanie offers computer technology and assistance to those who are unable to speak due to ALS and Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Zygo makes a variety of speech generation and alternative communication devices.
Assistech makes products to enhance or improve hearing, vision, dexterity, mobility, and more
Adaptive Technology Resource Center offers vision-assistance technology, e-learning options, and more.
Freedom Scientific offers technology for those with blindness and low vision throughout 55 countries.
These these retailers offer physical products you can add to your daily life to make things more accessible for you.
Electropedic sells and rents adjustable beds in several regions of California
Infogrip offers assistive technology for a variety of uses including making keyboards accessible via hand-held devices, ergonomic computer furniture, accessible "joysticks" for games, and more.
AirDesk creates ultra-adjustable projectors, stands, and other accessories to allow you to use your laptop or tablet while reclining, lying down, or otherwise.
Max-ability provides portable stair lifts, adjustable bathrooms, changing and showering tables, universal family restrooms and more.
Special needs computers makes bed desks.
Fetterman Crutches has all sorts of crutches with different types of accessories like hand grips and tips. You can donate to Fetterman's non-profit Peace Tips to provide rubber tips to those in countries where they aren't available as well.
JenWeir.com describes a vast selection of canes, walkers, scooters and more.
Just Walkers isn't actually just walkers - but they have a lot of them! They also have rollators, crutches, wheelchairs, canes, and more.
1800wheelchair makes everything from manual and electric wheelchairs to scooters, rollators, lift chairs, walkers, cushions, and all accessories - delivered to your door.
AllTerrainMedical and Mobility has affordable motorized scooters and wheelchairs as well as parts, lifts, ramps, cushions, and more.
Best Medical Supplies on Sale offers the best prices on all types of equipment for disabled individuals.
EasyMedOnline has scooters, wheelchairs, lift chairs, ramps, and more, offering free shipping and in-home service.
JenWeir.com describes advice on how to select your first wheelchair, scooter, etc. when the need arises.
Pro Healthcare Products has all types of mobility equipment in addition to therapy equipment and more.
Used Wheelchairs has second-hand electric wheelchairs for sale and rent-to-own
Aquila makes custom seat cushion systems and accessories.
Ease makes state-of-the-art seating systems and cushions.
Go Mobility Solutions has portable shower and commode chairs.
Spine-Health offers ergonomic office chairs and other spine-supportive supplies.
Affordable Mobility offers assorted home, auto, and other resources for mobility assistance.
Battery Wholesale offers replacement batteries for motorized scooters at low rates.
Chester Creek makes computer keyboards and mice for children and adults with vision or dexterity issues.
HDS Medallion has fashionable bags for carrying with all types of mobility devices and equipment including walkers, wheelchairs and more.
IKAN Bowler allows those with motorized wheelchairs to go bowling!
New Disability makes wheelchair accessories like umbrella holders, gloves, backpacks, reflectors, and arm rests.
Safe Step offers walk-in tubs and showers.
The Special Needs Store provides online products for the parents, therapists, and educators of children with special needs.
These products are tacked on to your existing home or place of living to make it more accessible for you.
Acorn Stairlifts offers stair lifts and servicing for straight, curved, and outdoor staircases. Next day installation is available.
Bruno makes stair lifts as well as power lift, vertical platform, and wheelchair lifts.
Discount Ramps makes affordable, quality ramps, including portable ramps, to allow wheelchair and scooter users access to your building or other area.
Handicare offers new, secondhand, and rental stair lifts.
Indy Stair Lifts offers both residential and commercial stair lifts.
Pennsylvania Stairlifts offers new, used, and rental stairlifts to both residences and businesses in the metropolitan Philadelphia area.
Williams Lifts offers stair lifts, rentals, repairs, and accessories throughout New Jersey.
BLVD.com has all sorts of lifts and transfer devices.
Garaventa has home elevators, wheelchair lifts, and evacuation chairs.
4 Medical Supplies has internal and external lifts and carriers for vehicles.
Universal Accessibility provides wheelchair lifts, stairlifts, walk-in tubs, and more.
Caregiving Cafe has a huge collection of links and resources for caregivers in need of support/assistance.
Center for Accessible Technology offers computer access to people with disabilities by developing a lending library of iPads and iPod touches for those with speech and other disabilities.
Connecting to Care offers assistive virtual technology which allows users to connect with physicians and caregivers via advanced camera and video technology.
Good Days provides assistance to those with cancer, chronic diseases, or other life-changing conditions who cannot afford their treatments or medications. See also PAN Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Cancer Care.
Graying with Grace offers tips, resources, and equipment for seniors facing mobility issues for the first time.
Healthwell Foundation helps those who are insured but cannot afford their co-pays, treatments, etc., due to low income.
Silver Cross helps those in need find help purchasing their mobility equipment.
Give Forward allows users to create crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for treatments (similar to GoFundMe).
HomeCity offers information and links to resources for guidance on modifying your home or selling it when mobility equipment becomes necessary.
Illinois Assistive Technology Program offers help with the costs of tuition and assistive learning devices, and more.
Internet Drug Coupons offers discounts on over 50,000 different types of medications nationwide. See also FamilyWize, LifeSource Direct, Live Healthy, Rx Relief, Prescription Discount Card, and Your Rx Card.
Mobility Advisor offers guidance on various types of mobility equipment.
New Mobility is an online magazine featuring articles on all the latest topics for wheelchair users.
Needymeds lists numerous programs to help with costs of mobility devices as well as companies which work toward discounts through Medicare, private insurance and state agencies. Search by diagnosis, state name, program name, or others.
Patient Advocate Foundation assists with finding funding resources to help remove obstacles to health care.
State Assistance may be available for mobility products, medical equipment, and assistive technology in your state. Additionally, State Protection and Advocacy Systems may help you fight insurance companies when your equipment has been denied. Check the site to find out!
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs helps veterans and their caregivers find support when in need of health care provisions. See also National Resource Directory and Army Homefront Fund to find educational, employment, housing, transportation, homelessness supports, and other benefits for those who have served in the military.
It can be hard to see the light when attempting to live a normal life as someone with limited mobility. Hopefully, these money saving tips and resources can help you adjust as best you can.