Mobility Shops serve as vendors and distributors of various pieces of adaptive equipment. Their purpose is to assist you in becoming as mobile and independently-functioning as possible. Common types of adaptive equipment found in mobility shops include, but are not limited to: electric wheelchairs, quickie wheelchairs, walkers, canes, mobility scooters, mobility scooter batteries, transport and lightweight wheelchairs, portable wheelchair ramps, car wheelchair lifts, van wheelchair lifts, permanent wheelchair ramps and accessories and parts for each piece of equipment. Mobility Shops may also carry pieces such as shower grab-bars, shower chairs, hospital (adjustable) beds, backrests and seat cushions, and nonskid floor mats for your home. Even if you do not have a particular item in mind, visiting your local Mobility Shop periodically is an excellent way to keep appraised of new products and services. Upon visiting a Mobility Shop, you may discover pieces of adaptive equipment that you had not previously imagined; these pieces may become invaluable to you in your daily home life.
Mobility Shop staff are trained to assist you in purchasing the adaptive equipment that fits your needs. When calling ahead, be sure to ask about the licensing and accreditation of the business and the qualifications of the staff; many shops have nurses or physical/occupational therapists on staff to assist you. Some Mobility Shops accept appointments in advance, but many do business simply on a drop-in basis. You may want to ask your primary care physician (or physical or occupational therapist) for a recommendation as to a local Mobility Shop that can meet your needs. Many Mobility Shops also have catalogs and websites; be sure to peruse their selection prior to your visit/prior to placing your order if possible.
When purchasing equipment from a Mobility Shop, be sure to inquire regarding:
- their official dealership licensing (and the qualifications of their staff.) The mobility industry has seen several frauds and scams in recent years. Be extremely wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails from a mobility dealer.
- delivery of adaptive equipment, and any additional cost associated with delivery
- insurance for adaptive equipment, as well as any applicable warranties
- your own insurance coverage, and the procedure and timing for processing claims
- additional paperwork necessary (for example, a specific physician’s order may be necessary for insurance to cover a portion — or the entirety — of the cost of your adaptive equipment)
- a tutorial (ideally both on paper and in-person) on the proper use of your new (or used) adaptive equipment
- proper care of your new (or used) adaptive equipment; under which conditions the equipment should and should not be used; the expected lifespan of the device
- additional products and services that may increase your quality of life
For more information on the various types of wheelchairs and pieces of adaptive equipment available, see our posts on: Electric Wheelchair, Quickie Wheelchair, Mobility Scooters For Sale, Lightweight Wheelchairs, Portable Wheelchair Ramps and Mobility Scooter Batteries.