The WalkAide for the long haul

August 24, 2014

Just a couple more items to check off my to-do-list, and I expect to be the proud owner of a WalkAide.


I’m exercising even more now that I’m planning to purchase the WalkAide. I do this additional exercise to further strengthen my ankle, leg and hip, and to improve my balance. In some cases, I’m attempting to improve muscle function that’s been impaired for ten or more years. I don’t expect it to be a walk in the park, but it’s doable.

So, in addition to my normal four-day-a-week exercise schedule, I exercise at home as much as I can. Most often, I exercise while watching television in the evenings — especially during commercials.


After some checking around, I understand that my primary medical insurance provider (Medicare) won’t help pay for the WalkAide in my case. And because it doesn’t pay, neither does my secondary insurance provider (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama).

I researched the situation, and the way I understand it, Medicare would pay a portion of the cost of the device if I had been diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury. But because my diagnosis is multiple sclerosis, medical insurance will not help me. I further understand that diagnoses of cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and stroke also would result in nonpayment by Medicare as well as private insurance providers.

Other funding sources are few and far between. One exception is the Alabama chapter of the National MS Society. I want to thank that organization for helping me with the cost of the WalkAide.


I feel fortunate that I can afford to purchase this device, and I find it unfair that so many others who need it cannot afford it.

This situation is only one example of the many gaps in our country’s healthcare system. This gap keeps many Americans with MS and other conditions from using new technologies, such as the WalkAide, to improve their gait.

NOTE: I want to thank the people who sell the WalkAide system for posting a link on WalkAide’s Facebook page to one of my earlier blog postings about my experience with the device.


2 Responses to “The WalkAide for the long haul”

  1. Sherry Whisenhunt Says:

    Are you saying the Alabama Society will help with the device?


    • Thanks for reading my blog, Sherry! And, yes, the Alabama chapter of the National MS Society has a program that you can apply for that can pay up to $500 once a year toward the cost of a piece of equipment. In this case, it’s a small percentage of the total cost, but it sure helps! -Jane


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