Limb loss is a disability that many Australians live with every day, and it’s a significant physical change that can take some time to adapt to.
So what support is available for amputees? Physical support comes in the form of carers, financial funding from the NDIS, and assistive technology like mobility aids and safety devices.
We take a look at some assistive technologies available to help those with a limb deficiency to maintain their independence, regain normal movement and even signal for help in a medical emergency.
What is an amputation?
An amputation is a medical procedure involving the removal of the whole or part of a limb – an arm, hand, leg or foot.
Why is an amputation needed?
An amputation may be needed for a variety of reasons, including:
- Blocked arteries, which can arise from complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking or kidney failure
- Severe infection
- Affected by cancer
- Severely injured, such as being crushed in an accident
- Deformity, limited function or absence of movement
The type of amputation needed can depend on how well the limb is likely to heal from the present medical condition.
Sometimes only a minor amputation is necessary, such as the removal of a finger or toe. But if blood supply is restricted and prevents tissues from healing, a major amputation could be required in the future.
What equipment do amputees need?
The amputee support aids that an individual with a limb deficiency needs depends on the type of amputation they have or prosthetic used, but there are a number of tailored mobility aids to assist with improving balance, regaining strength and general movement.
After treatment and rehabilitation, these disability aids can also increase mobility for amputees around the home and community, making it easier to get around safely and prevent chances of injury.
Walking aids can include:
- Manual Wheelchairs
- 4-Wheel Walking Frames
- Quad or singular canes
A motorised mobility scooter is a popular choice for individuals with a lower limb amputation, helping them to travel further distances where it would otherwise be challenging to use a manual walking aid.
For those with an upper limb amputation, assistive technology may include devices that help with eating, hygiene, dressing and other daily tasks that may be affected by a hand or arm deficiency.
Assistive technology under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
NDIS funding is provided through certain categories, one of which is capital support. Capital supports help NDIS participants afford necessary safety equipment, home or vehicle modifications and assistive technologies.
Assistive technologies help people with disability to perform tasks they were previously unable to, or find challenging to complete in order for them to live an independent life. For individuals with an amputee, this can include prosthetic devices, mobility aids and safety devices such as personal alarms.
Personal alarms worn around the neck, clipped to pants or on the wrist enable the wearer to signal for help in the event of a medical emergency – and are an essential safety device for many Australians living with disability, including those who have a limb amputation.
Medical Alert Alarms as Amputee Support Aids
With a MePACS personal alarm, a signal for help is sent to our 24/7 emergency response team of trained professionals, who are always available to answer within two minutes, assess the situation and call for the most appropriate help, whether that may be a family member or emergency services.
Finding the right medical alert alarm for particular disability needs is important, so having a range of safety devices ensures our clients have the freedom of choice to suit their lifestyle.
The MePACS personal alarm range includes:
- Lightweight Home Alarms, for safety in the home and garden
- Convenient Mobile Alarms with automatic fall detection and GPS technology, providing reassurance when out and about
- Discreet Solo Watch Alarms with automatic fall detection, GPS technology and health metrics to help you stay confident and independent
When time is of the essence in a medical emergency, we can guarantee a professional response and ongoing support until help arrives.
With 45,000 clients and over 30 years in the personal alarm industry, it’s safe to say that the human touch at MePACS makes all the difference.
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NDIS funding for Medical Alert Alarms
Medical alert devices like MePACS personal alarms are safe, easy to use and relatively low-cost compared to other assistive technologies.
To apply for a MePACS personal alarm with NDIS funding:
- Ensure that your NDIS plan includes appropriate funding under Core Supports or Capital Support
Core supports – Consumables or Low Risk but must say in the description Adaptive equipment needs.
Assist Products for Personal Care & Safety (Daily adaptive equipment)
Item Number: 03_131_0103_1_1
Capital Support – Assistive Technology / Personal Emergency alarm system
Item Number: 05_222718261_1_2
MePACS provider number: 79282935
Provider name will be under Peninsula Health
3. We will complete an application and arrange installation with you, to ensure you have the right personal alarm for your needs
Have a question for the MePACS team? Send us an enquiry through our ‘Contact Form’ in the main menu.
*This information is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any medical concerns or conditions, speak to a health specialist.