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    • #31569
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      My mom recently took a bad fall and broker her sternum. My dad is doing well for his age of 91 but has definitely slowed down and I worry about the stairs for both of them.

      I happened to make a new friend at the airport who is a homecare nurse for heart failure patients. She claims since my dad is a VET he can get a stairlift put in their home for free. Does anyone know anything about that?

      If any of our members have a stairlift or has considered getting one and has researched it, I would appreciate whatever information you can share.

      The other challenge is convincing my mom that she needs one.

    • #31585
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Hi @colleensteele, when I was first diagnosed, we had our 2-story home. We thought about getting a stairlift. It was quite expensive, and that was 16 years ago.

      Certainly, I can understand your concern about both of your parents and the stairs. I am not certain about the VA covering 100%, but that nurse may have been correct. I would suggest your Dad contact the VA and see what they may be eligible for. Here is a link to a few grants the VA offers. The E-benefits site is a great tool to use if he does not want to call and has to wait long periods of time for someone to talk to.

      At 91, I think your Dad has some health issues and could get the VA doctor to write him a prescription for this. That, or your mom’s physician.

      I know that my MIL had one in her house just before she passed away. Hers was covered about 50%, but she also was on Medicare and a Veteran’s spouse. They also sold it after she passed, and that was a great deal. It was practically new and still under warranty.

      Buying a used one may be an idea, too. Please let us know how things go with this. I know that having this stairlift, you will feel a bit less worried about those darn stairs at their age.

    • #31589
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Thanks for that link @jenc. My other concern is my dad has been out of the Marine Core for a LONG time and as far as I know, never made use of the benefits offered to veterans. I don’t know if he has the documentation he would need to access the benefits.

      My father-in-law recently got a chairlift and he is retired Navy. I’ll be asking him if he had military assistance with it.

      • #31598
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @colleensteele, I do know that the e-benefits site asks questions and will confirm military background. I set up an account for Manny before.

        I also wanted to mention that the VA may also assist with some in-home care part-time or full-time if they continue to do that. When I worked in home health, I had many Veterans that had services like Meals-On-Wheels and part-time assistance that would come in for an hour or a few hours per day. This was over 16 years ago, so that things could have changed. Your FNL may be a better resource as far a the stairlift and the other benefits.

        The VA should be able to confirm your dad’s information with his basic information. That should not be an issue. Please do let us know how we can help.

    • #31955
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      In case anyone is interested, I have been researching this.

      What I have learned is that insurance in America does not cover Stairlifts except for a certain type of Medicaid. Even then, you need a doctor’s referral and have certain health issues.

      The VA will only help cover the cost if the patient is under their care, which my dad is not.

      Cost depends on several things, like whether the stairs go straight up and down, if they curve, if there is space at the bottom of the steps for the chair to rest of if it would have to rest on the stairs.

      So far I’ve looked into bigger companies that have locations throughout the US and they are estimating the cost to be around $3-$4,000+. There are finance options and there is an option of buying used.

      Next I’m looking into a small family owned company to see if they are cheaper.

      Just thought I would share in case anyone else has been considering a chairlift for their home.

    • #31964
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Thanks for sharing this, @colleensteele; that price is not bad that you share from the larger companies. I had seen people sell their used lifts for more than that. Then, someone has to install it.

      I bet others will also find this information helpful.

      Ughh, I am sorry that the VA won’t cover it. I know they do also have specific requirements. For example, they ask if the need is related to a service injury.

      Please do keep us posted on the smaller companies to see what they estimate the costs to be for your parents. When are you and Cullen headed to NJ to see them?

      How is your mom’s recovery?

    • #31971
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc Cullen and I will probably see them in November. We will have a better idea once Cullen gets his syllabus for his classes next semester.

      • #31978
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        I know that Cullen will be excited to see his grandparents after so many years. @colleensteele, how is school going for him so far? I know that he was so happy to start back.

        So crazy you are already talking about next semester; where does the time go?

    • #32125
      Sue Collin
      Participant

      Ccolleen, can your father get an appointment at the VA to then become eligible for the benefits? My elderly friend has received no cost chair lift, wheelchair and an in home aide for a few days/few hours per day from the VA.

      Tip on stair chair is try to be there when they measure. If stairs are near doorways or appliances, measurement need to consider when doors are open, etc. My friend said they originally measured w/o considering and they had to start all over again.

      Also, things move a bit slow when going through the VA but the savings would be tremndous.

      One more thing, his local community may have a senior center or the city’s Family and Children’s dept that may be able to help with Grants for aides and equipment. In nearly every case, Grants and or lower hourly rates are income based for the patient.

      Hope this all helps…best to all of you, Sue

      • #32133
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @scollin thank you so much for taking a moment to offer advice regarding the chairlift. The concern with making an appointment with the VA is that he has excellent health insurance and medical care already that I don’t want him to lose.

        I hadn’t thought about reaching out to the local community. That is a good idea and will consider that as an option.

        What I really hope will happen is that my parents will finally agree it’s time to sell their big home and downsize to a ranch.

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