For the past few months I have noticed what appears to be an increase in the number of motorized wheelchairs being used in the city I work in. I have 2 clients that use them. One of my clients has a regular wheelchair as well as a motorized one, the other just the motorized wheelchair. The nephew of a third client has a motorized scooter provided to him by the VA. All of these motorized means of transportation are paid for by the taxpayer. Actually the scooters are the least expensive, but since very few of these chairs/scooters are in the possession of people who can't walk, why do they have them?
Those who sell these drains on the taxpayers pocketbook will tell you it's to prevent the owner from being a shut in which is bad for their emotional/mental health. These chairs give them the mobility needed to get out of the house and enjoy life. Except, once the chair has been delivered, they tell you the chair ISN'T supposed to be used outside. The VA told my client's nephew the same thing about his scooter. They use them outside anyway.
Which brings me to my next concern about these chairs. How many medications are these people on? People who may not be in a sober enough state to drive a car are zipping around the streets in these things. They have pain, and may be on a dose of Oxycontin or morphine that would put the rest of us to sleep for a day. And there they are rolling down the street at 15 or so miles per hour without a care in the world. Does a driver who sees one of these people have any idea which way they're going? Hell, the people in the chair have no idea which way they're going. Trust me, I see the damage they've done to their apartments using these babies indoors.
Under sink cabinets with deep grooves cut into the doors. Refrigerators less than 2 years old with dents and grooves cut into them. Walls with huge chips of paint and plaster knocked off. These are HUD buildings, guess who pays for the repairs? Why the taxpayers do. These apartments aren't big enough to use these chairs inside them. Yet, these people have become so reliant on them that they won't get up and walk two steps to keep from damaging something.
The amount of pressure on doctors to order these chairs is a nightmare to them. The Scooter Store and Hoveround has the application of that pressure down to a fine art. Patient sees the ads. Patient wants one. Patient calls the provider of chairs and it's ON! Tactics even include having the salesman go to the doctor WITH the patient. I'm even being bombarded by ads. I checked the prices of chairs versus the scooters online. I haven't cleaned my browser out since and EVERY ad I see on any site I go to is from both of these places. Even in my email box. I can clean my browser out to get rid of them, it's not so easy for a doctor. For them, it's not just one patient.
Doctors who refuse to provide the prescription for these chairs have lost patients. In a way, Medicare/Medicaid and other insurance companies are contributing to this rip off of themselves. They won't pay for long term programs to help these people become stronger unless there's been a hospitalization that resulted in short term nursing home residency for rehabilitation. They won't pay for nutrition programs for the seriously obese. If a bone is broken, they'll pay for a few short weeks of physical therapy, but won't pay for long term PT on chronic back problems. Pain management these days consists of nerve destroying shots backed up by large doses of the "good" stuff. None of which would be necessary if people would actually do what the doctor asks them to do.
Lose weight, exercise, take a walk. They'd feel so much better if they did. I need to go clean my browser cookies out and go to work. I will feel much better then.