Volume 6, Issue 2, May 2011
Download PDF: RAC Communique 2011-05
Welcome to the second issue of 2011. This edition focuses on the use of mobility aids, specifically motorised scooters and wheelchairs. Both are increasingly more common in the community and Residential Aged Care Services and readily available to the public to purchase “over-the-counter”.
In the same way we all have the right to purchase and use complementary medicines we have the right to purchase and use motorised mobility scooters or wheelchairs.
The two cases presented describe issues about appropriate use and maintenance of this equipment. One of the challenges all health professionals and carers face is the bound- ary between, ensuring residents are informed and the individual’s right to access aids that are freely available. It is vital we recognise that motorised mobility scooters provide a level of independence and better quality of life to users that are not otherwise pos- sible. So any action we suggest that improves safety needs to be balanced against the limits it imposes on a persons lifestyle.
In contrast, there is no debate about equipment maintenance and ensuring mobility aids are mechanically fit for use. The challenge is overcoming our complacency. Our focus is on the resident not the equipment and wheelchairs are so commonplace that we forget about regular maintenance or if we do remember, we think that “someone else is looking after that”.