Earlier this year I fell and broke one of my crutches the gong show that followed was both frustrating and disappointing. I immediately called the government agency that is responsible for purchase of medical equipment. It took them 6 weeks to get back to me to book an appointment for an assessment. Because well I have only needed crutches for the last 50 years and you know my condition may have changed and I no longer need crutches, what a joke.
While I was waiting for the government agency to get back to me I contacted the medical supply company where the crutches were purchased well that wasn’t a piece of cake either. My understanding was that the crutches have a warranty for a specific amount of time and that there is a further weight warranty on the crutches; meaning that if the user is under certain weight and the crutches break then the crutches are to be replaced by the manufacturer. The medical supply company attempted to contact the manufacturer a number of times but wasn’t successful.
I had to get involved in order for the manufacturer to respond. By the time the government agency responsible for the replacement of the crutches contacted me I had a new pair of crutches replaced by the manufacturer. Some of you might be saying well what’s the problem you got your crutches and they didn’t cost you anything stop your complaining; well my issues are these; I shouldn’t have had to wait 6 weeks for a call to get an assessment for a new pair of crutches as it was unsafe for me to use the crutch that was broken; I knew about the warranty and was able to assert myself with the manufacturer but there are many individuals that are not aware of the warranty. The irony is that the government program that is responsible for the assessment and replacement is called Community Aids for Independent Living; what kind of independent living can someone with a disability have when they break medical equipment and they need to wait 6 weeks for an assessment; keep in mind that the person who does the assessment may deny payment for the crutches. When you go to the Inform Alberta website the description of the program Community Aids for Independent Living states that “This Government of Alberta funded program assesses and helps people who have a chronic health condition or disability get basic medical aids and equipment.”
To learn more about Community Aids for Independent Living you can visit Inform Alberta at: https://informalberta.ca/public/service/serviceProfileStyled.do?serviceQueryId=5600