The NDIS will fund supports for products that help participants with personal care and safety. This allows participants to live more comfortably, safely, and independently. The level of assistance varies widely from person to person, depending on age, type of disability, and personal goals, among other things.
A variety of personal care supports are funded by the NDIS, such as assistance with showering and bathing, dressing and undressing, oral hygiene, using the toilet, grooming, menstrual care, bladder and bowel management, and getting in and out of bed.
Sometimes the assistance is provided by a care giver, while other times it is provided by assistive technology products. The NDIS breaks down assistive products for personal care and safety into a few different groups:
- Beds and pressure care mattresses and accessories. Products in this group include modified beds (e.g. beds that can be adjusted, either electronically or manually), bed furniture (e.g. an over-bed table), equipment delivery and setup, rental beds, bed repairs, positioning supports, etc.
- Equipment or aids for dressing or specialised clothing. The NDIS names cooling vests as an example product. These are used by individuals with thermoregulatory issues.
- Specialised housing furniture. Products in this group include chairs that assist you in standing up, furniture that is customised to accommodate certain body types, standing and walking frames, water pressure chairs, etc.
- Bathroom and toilet equipment. Includes shower trolleys, wheeled shower commodes, postural supports installed in a bath, bathroom equipment delivery and setup, repairs to bathroom equipment, bathroom equipment rentals, etc.
- Personal alarms. Products include monitored alarm and alert systems, adapted doorbells, vibrating alarms, flashing alarms and smoke detectors, seizure mats, etc.
As always, in order for the assistive products to be funded by the NDIS, it must be shown that they represent “value for money” and that less expensive alternatives are not available.