"Why Buy New When Used Will Do?"
STRIDE Assistance for the Disabled
Registered Charitable Business No. 11920 0632 RR000I

Francine

Posted Oct. 3rd, 2013

Four years ago I realized I needed mobility assistance. I woke up one day and faced the fact that I could no longer walk more than 2 houses length (is how I calculated it) or stand for more than 5 minutes, suffering from fibromyalgia at it’s worst, as well as coping with the shock of the sudden loss of my beloved husband.
I put my pride aside and called CCAC to request to be assessed by an Ergotherapeute (French not sure of translation). Within a few weeks, I was assigned to a knowledgeable, patient, young therapeutic assessor. Following his assessment of both my mobility and home needs, he suggested I purchase a motorized wheelchair and a list of equipment to ensure comfort and safety in my home, as I was living alone at the time, (such as an alarm, bathroom fixtures, bed railing, etc),as well as a walker & cane for around the house and to allow me to continue exercising by walking short distances.
I did not realized I was in need of so many so equipment. I had very little money at the time, as I was fighting for a Long-Term Disability pension as part of our benefit package from work. With very little money to buy all he recommended “and” a motorized wheelchair, I was in panic mode. He suggested I looked into the STRIDE program and accompanied me to the Stride site.
Shamefully, as a forced retired Social Worker, I did not know the program existed, because my clients on O.D.S.P. received all their needs through the Provincially funded program, free of charge. Thankfully they had a motorized chair to fit my size (95lbs at the time).They made the adjustments, replaced the seat with a most comfortable one. At this point it is the only seat I can sit on for long periods of time. Should I ever need a new chair..the seat remains!!!. And I have been using it ever since for all outings and at my friend’s campsites.
I was in awe of the wonderful, professional service I received at Stride. Since I purchased my chair, at a “very” affordable price, (thank God) I am more independent…. for many of us on Long-Term Disability from work…were on our own. We don’t qualify for subsided equipment or services, especially if one owns a home and can barely make ends meets….because, I learned that Long-Term Disability (LTD) financial assistance benefits you pay into at work, no longer provide financial support for much needed prescribed medication/medical supplies/therapy/equipment, assistance. There is always the Trillium program for meds, one may think?? Again, sadly they only cover half the medication I am prescribed. I was not aware of this…”I failed” to inform myself, or “look it up” when I was working, especially in the last years of my 25 year career, helping others to receive exactly what I now desperately needed. In my many search for financial assistance, I was told many times to sell my home…one may qualify for some benefits, pending on their LTD revenue…BUT for the one’s like I who don’t.. and barely make it, “thankfully” we can count on “STRIDE”. OH by the way, I shall call you dear Stride staff, my two front wheels are flat, understandably, it endured much abuse on gravel road in last four years. Did I say this already?
Moral of my story? Inform yourself if you are lucky enough to pay into L. T. D., know what you are covered for should you no longer be capable of working, or don’t have a Spouse with benefits to help out, plan ahead as you age. Inform yourself on services such as STRIDE. Thanks for reading me, this is not a sad, or poor, poor me story.. it’s my life as I live it everyday..and wished I had informed myself..would it have changed anything financially? probably not…but at least I would have been aware …Thanks STRIDE for a “much needed service” and allowing me to live independently once more….A big difference in my life and am certain the life of others……..moi, Ottawa

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