Recently when I was visiting dad, I saw a packet of material from one of those scooter type stores. Dad had apparently called them and asked for it. I didn’t say anything but decided to talk to the administrative staff about this.
About ten years ago, dad had a scooter. At that time, his Medicare co-payment for the purchase of his scooter was $1000 and mom was very upset as he had been told it would be free (that is, insurance would pay for it.). He enjoyed his scooter for many years but after he moved into assisted living he stopped using it. He had not been permitted to use it inside the building of his southern large assisted living facility and could only use it outside if mom or someone else were with him.
Dad asked me to sell his scooter when he moved north in 2011 and that was just what we did. Now dad uses a walker. I know he misses his scooter but I don’t think he is competent to use one anymore. His Alzheimer’s has progressed a lot since he purchased the scooter 10 years ago. His physical abilities have also deteriorated.
And, of course, he no longer lives independently. When he bought his scooter he lived in a mobile home community and kept his scooter in the shed outside his home. Now he is not able to go outside alone and has never asked to. However, he isn’t thinking about that. He remembers how he used to be independent on his scooter and now he is not.
In addition to his inability to use a scooter (in my opinion) there is the cost factor. Medicare would not pay for a second scooter. They refused to pay for a walker when he was down south 18 months ago because they had paid for his scooter. Luckily once he got to his assisted living here in the north, Medicare (different Medicare subcontractor) did agree to pay for the walker. In any case, a walker is less than $100 whereas the advertised scooter cost $5000!
I didn’t say anything to dad about the literature I had seen. We have discussed this before and he forgets the conversations because of his Alzheimer’s disease. He only remembers that he wants things to be the way they were before. Dad is not competent to make financial decisions. I have a letter from his former doctor stating that he cannot make medical or financial decisions because of his Alzheimer’s disease.
I hate to worry about something like this, but now that I see dad was able to make a phone call and receive the literature, I became afraid he might also order one without anyone even knowing what he has done. I know his doctor would have to be notified but he doesn’t even remember the name of his local doctor. He does remember the previous doctor who signed off on the last scooter and that was the same doctor who approved the renewal his old prescription (a year after Dad left that state!) without even checking to see if he was still taking the same medication. (He wasn’t!). The office staff just follows through without asking because it is such a busy office.
I talked to the nurse at dad’s assisted living facility about my concern. She didn’t see what use he would have for a scooter since he walks well with his walker. And she didn’t think he could possibly call them himself. I told her he used to use his scooter to go to garage sales and get around more independently after he stopped driving. And he did manage to call the scooter store and order the literature. We agreed she would contact me if there seemed to be any movement by dad or a sales person to get dad back into a scooter.
Dad’s a pretty quiet guy. I don’t always know what he is thinking about. I just don’t want any surprises!