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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Getting Vehicles for Disabled Seniors Through Motability

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

It’s not uncommon for older people to experience some difficulties with mobility. Many age-related conditions, like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or even dementia, can make it difficult for an older person to walk around. Even for seniors who don’t have these conditions, the decrease in balance and strength that comes with ageing can mean it’s harder for them to get around.

For older people who do experience these difficulties, getting the right assistive technologies and supports is essential. Home adaptations, walking aids and hoists can make it easier to do daily tasks. And wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and scooters can help elderly people to feel safe and comfortable both at home and while they’re out and about.

But once you’ve found your perfect wheelchair, you might need a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) to help you get around with it. In fact, cars can play a huge role in helping older people with mobility difficulties to get around, whether they use wheelchairs or not.

If you have a disability and need a vehicle, powered wheelchair or scooter, there’s a scheme to help you get them. In this post, we’ll talk about the Motability scheme, including how it works and what’s available through the scheme.

What is the Motability scheme?

Motability is a charitable scheme designed for people with disabilities who receive certain mobility allowances from the government. The scheme lets them use these allowances to lease a brand-new electric wheelchair, scooter, car or wheelchair accessible vehicle at a significantly lower cost than usual. Some insurance and maintenance costs are also included.

A key element of the scheme is that after a user signs up for the scheme, their mobility allowance goes directly to Motability. That’s intended to be more convenient for the user. Motability describes this as “exchanging” the mobility allowance for the leased chair, scooter or vehicle.

Another important part of the Motability scheme is that it doesn’t tell people what kind of vehicle they must get. It allows them to make their own choices about what they need. For example, Motability customers can browse a listing of car options to select one they like.

What’s included?

Motability’s goal is simply to make getting around easier for drivers with disabilities. To that end, it bundles a number of services in with the monthly vehicle lease payment.

When you lease a vehicle through Motability, your monthly payment also pays for:

  • Insurance coverage for up to three drivers
  • MOT
  • Coverage for breakdowns
  • Routine repairs and servicing.
  • Other elements needed for an electric car, such as installing a charging point.

In fact, the insurance coverage is arranged by Motability.

What vehicles are available?

Motability allows qualifying users to lease the following types of transportation:

  • Powered wheelchairs
  • Scooters
  • Electric cars
  • Cars
  • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs).

It’s important to note that cars from Motability can be adapted to suit the driver’s needs. That might mean adaptations relating to using a wheelchair. But it could also mean other types of adaptations, like adaptations to the controls for drivers whose disabilities make it more difficult to grip or turn.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for Motability is based on whether or not a person receives certain mobility allowances. Note that for some of these allowances given at different levels, the person needs to receive a higher level of the allowance.

A person could be eligible for Motability if they receive:

  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or Armed Forces Independence Payment, both related to disabilities resulting from military service
  • The higher rate mobility part of Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, both of which are for people with disabilities

In Scotland, the Motability scheme works slightly differently, but those eligible might receive the higher rate of Adult Disability Payment or Child Disability Payment.

What doesn’t make you eligible

In past posts, we’ve discussed Carer’s Allowance and Attendance Allowance – two allowances that might come into play when an older person needs significant care. Unfortunately, these allowances don’t provide eligibility for Motability.

What’s the cost?

We’ve already mentioned that vehicle leases through Motability cost less than they would otherwise.

But how much do they actually cost?

Motability broadly categorises its vehicles into three categories:

  1. The vehicle costs some, but not all, of your mobility allowance. All of Motability’s powered wheelchairs and scooters fall into this category.
  2. The vehicle costs exactly the value of your mobility allowance.
  3. The vehicle costs more than your mobility allowance.

If the cost of a vehicle does exceed your mobility allowance, have no fear! At the start of the lease, you can make a single Advance Payment to make up the difference between the vehicle you want and the allowance you receive.

Remember, the Advance Payment is not a monthly top-up payment! It’s a one-time payment that needs to be paid to a dealer before the user can receive the car.

New Vehicle or New Product Payment

Unlike the Advance Payment, the New Vehicle Payment or New Product Payment is not paid by you to Motability. It’s paid by Motability to you!

The New Vehicle Payment is £750 that you are eligible for one time. The New Product Payment is similar, but it’s just for powered chairs and scooters, and it’s worth £100. Either way, you can use these payments toward the Advance Payment, or you can just receive them as a rebate.

How long is a Motability lease?

A Motability lease is typically three years, but it’s five years for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV).

When your lease is done, you can choose to start another leave, return the vehicle and leave the scheme, or return the vehicle and choose another one.

If you’ve taken good care of the vehicle during your lease, you could receive money back in the form of what’s called a Good Condition Payment.

How do you join the Motability scheme?

If all this sounds good to you, you might be wondering how you can sign up.

The first step is to make sure that you’re eligible. If you are, you can use Motability’s tool to decide what type of vehicle is best for you. This is a great way to get started because the tool smoothly takes you to a listing of providers or dealers who can help you get the type of vehicle you want.

You can then sign up for Motability either online or at a dealer or supplier. If you prefer to skip using the tool to find your vehicle, you can just browse a list of Motability dealers.

How SureSafe protects people who use mobility aids

Technology is a wonderful thing. The right devices and supports can help an older person with mobility difficulties to move smoothly through their day – from getting up, to bathing and dressing, to going out.

In fact, it’s fair to say that mobility devices can make a huge difference to an older person’s mental health. We know that being able to get out and socialize can help an elderly person stave off depression and loneliness.

But the right mobility technology can help with something even more crucial.

Falls are especially dangerous to the elderly – and they’re also unfortunately common. It’s easy to see why. Weaker eyesight, dementia and mobility difficulties can make it easier for an older person to fall. Then, slower reflexes, weaker bones and other medical conditions make the fall more dangerous.

Needless to say, mobility devices help lower the odds of a fall. But they don’t totally prevent falls. If a fall does happen, you also need a bit of technology to keep you in contact with loved ones and prevent you from the painful experience of being stuck on the floor.

This is an elderly personal alarm.

Personal alarms can have lots of different functions. For example, automatic fall detection means that your alarm can tell when you’ve fallen – even if you’re unconscious. When an alarm detects a fall, it will call for help all on its own.

Another function is the one-touch button. This simple button also calls for help with just one press. That’s great if a health crisis suddenly occurs that makes it difficult to get up and grab a phone.

If you’re considering getting a car or powered wheelchair from Motability, why not get a personal alarm to give that extra layer of safety and protection? At SureSafe, we’re UK market leaders in the field of personal alarms, and we’re here to help with any guidance you need. Just call us on 0808 189 1671, or chat with us through our live chat. You can also request a call back.

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