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Utah's Seniors and People with Disabilities Will Feel Impact of Medicare Policy Changes that Restrict Access to Power Wheelchairs
Date:10/14/2010

perform the daily necessities of life, such as grooming, getting to the bathroom, and preparing food, which can delay placements in expensive nursing homes.  He said that power wheelchairs also save the government money by reducing the amount paid for hospital emergency room treatment of Medicare patents after  fall-related injuries.  "One of the many benefits of power wheelchairs is that they significantly reduce fall-related injuries," Curry said. "Our seniors and people with physical limitations need to have continued access to power mobility assistance to maintain independence!" 

What's clear is that power wheelchairs can have a tremendous impact on those in need of mobility assistance – it can change their lives.  For instance, Keli Babcock, 27, of Ogden, said her wheelchair has allowed her to achieve many accomplishments, despite facing significant medical challenges. Babcock, who was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Utah a year ago, was born with a condition that eventually cramped her lungs and required that she use a ventilator.  Ten years ago, Medicare provided her with a complex rehabilitation wheelchair that also accommodates her ventilation equipment. With this mobility assistance, she has earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Weber State University and she has a job helping others overcome their disabilities.  

"I wouldn't be able to get very far without the power wheelchair," Babcock said. "I wouldn't be able to even leave my home. I wouldn't have been able to get my degree or to work. The wheelchair has allowed me to be active and to live an active life. It has meant everything to me."

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and other organizations in the homecare community. Members serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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