Getting Your Life Back

Going Home

One of the most important things for all of us is getting our lives back to the way it was prior to amputation. Obviously some changes will need to be made and you may experience daily challenges, but most of these can slowly be overcome in time.


Becoming an amputee may mean that you can do most of the things you used to do in a different way, and sometimes it’s just a matter of careful planning, organisation and learning as you go along.


Being able to go home for the first time can raise mixed feelings; excitement, anxiety and apprehension for you and sometimes members of your family. Discuss any concerns with your health care provider prior to leaving your medical facility. Knowing your way around a hospital or rehabilitation centre can be very different to what your home life will be like. Carpet instead of lino floors, easily accessible toilets and bathrooms are things we never need to be concerned about while in the safe surrounds of a medical facility, but our homes can sometimes be a myriad of obstacles. Your occupational therapist will assess your home for accessibility and safety. They will also make recommendations for equipment to assist you with independent living.

Below are a number of suggestions which can make that first time a little easier for you and your family.

  • Mats on polished floors and tiles are a nuisance for wheelchairs and also prosthetic legs; remove them.
  • Temporary portable ramps can be used if necessary to gain entry into the house; in time you may require permanent changes to be made.
  • Hand rails for steps and stairs always assist with balance, stability and safety.
  • Furniture like coffee tables, hall tables or anything that is an added extra can be challenging to navigate around in the early stages; have them placed near walls and out of the way of the main thoroughfare.
  • Anti skid mats for the shower/bath floor are a safer option and the use of a shower stool/chair or bath seat is a good idea, they come in various sizes to accommodate the size of your bath or shower.
  • Grip bars are usually required for the wet areas (shower, bath, bathroom and toilet).
  • Arrange things so that they are in easy reach to enable you to do things for yourself.


For many Australians driving is second nature. We live on such a vast continent it is simply just a way of life. Usually after an amputation Driver's licenses are cancelled or suspended


In most cases amputees are required to re sit a practical assessment to ensure their capabilities behind the wheel of a vehicle. Amputees are able to take lessons from qualified instructors using modified vehicles; to regain confidence and sometimes re learn our driving methods on the roads. Vehicles can be modified to suit your needs whether it be hand controls, left foot accelerators or spinner knobs.



Your Occupational Therapist will introduce you to the people to assist you in regaining your driver's license. You may be required to re sit both the written and practical driving tests and take a number of lessons if your vehicle is going to be modified and it may be compulsory that you drive an automatic car. Some amputees can even ride their motorbikes again with the necessary modifications installed.

There are a number of companies which specialise in the re fit of accelerator pedals and/or the fit out of hand controls and spinner knobs. The basic refits are not very expensive nor does the work take very long to complete.


If walking a long distance is difficult for you, a disabled parking permit will assist with close access to venues.

A person may hold a permit if they have a significant permanent ambulatory disability. A disability that is not likely to improve within the person's lifespan. Applications forms can be obtained from municipal councils. Permits will only be issued to permanent residents of a municipality. Applications need to be completed by a medical practitioner. Permits are recognised elsewhere in Australia, however parking conditions may differ between States and Territories and should be checked prior to travelling.

To find out more about disabled parking permits in your state click here to download the PDF


Taxi Concession Card

Taxi concession cards can be applied for in the following states.




VIC Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1800 638 802
Download form »

QLD Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1300 134 775
Download form »

SA Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1300 360 840
Download form »

NSW Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1800 623 724
Download form »


WA Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1300 660 174
Download form »

NT Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
(08) 8924 7580
Download form »

TAS Taxi Subsidy Scheme:
1300 851 225
Download form »


Going back to work

Returning to work can be a major milestone to overcome. You may or may not be able to undertake the same role you did prior to losing your limb/s. Many companies offer return to work programs and the Government has programs in place to assist you to make the transition easier. Modifications can be made to the workplace to aid your return and enable you to fulfil your requirements. They recommend that you stay in contact with your employer during your absence and discuss future opportunities.

If you require assistance with a return to work program please contact:

Traveling as an amputee

Adjusting your lifestyle can intially be a challenge - these links will help you organise all sorts of travel arrangements in Australia and around the world.



Where is?
A useful site to gain access to a place which you require a map to get to.

Travellers with a disability - Details on passenger information, airports, medical certificates, mobility aids, boarding and seating arrangements and more.

Matching Houses
A holiday house exchange where people with disabilities swap houses with other people who have the same accessibility needs.

Disability Hire - Sydney
Luxury and budget prices rentals with both hand controls and left foot accelerators.
Phone: (02) 4573 6788

Easy Access Australia - providing information about accessible travel in Australia

Australia for all - an international web site designed by and for people with disabilities, which is devoted entirely to accommodation and leisure venues which are accessible to people with disabilities

NICAN - information on recreation, tourism, sport and the arts for people with disabilities in Australian

Ambleside Tours - fully escorted and aided theatre parties, day trips and trips within Australia for persons with a wide range of disabilities



The RACV provides road maps on how to arrive at your destination. These can be downloaded from the internet or call 1313 29. They also provide an emergency Wheelchair & Scooter Breakdown service. $34 (Including GST) If you use a wheelchair or scooter to get around RACV Wheelchair Care gives you security and peace of mind that you'll never be left stranded. If your scooter or wheelchair breaks down you have the choice of getting help from RACV's road patrols or a taxi to get you to your destination.
For information call 13 19 55.
Wheelchair assistance

Travellers Aid

Public Transport
Accessible transport information is available from the following:
Metropolitan Public Transport Information Line (Melbourne)
Ph: 131 638

V-Line Country Transport (Vic)
Ph:13 61 96

Great Southern Rail (Adelaide & some Vic country trains)
Ph: 13 21 47

Sydney Accessible Transport

Adelaide Accessible Transport

Western Australia Accessible Transport

Other States Transport information only
Northern Territory Transport Group

TRANSLink Queensland

Metro Tasmania