FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is aging in place?

Aging-in-Place FAQ

Aging in place means remaining in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a “home” for a lifetime.

How should I modify my home to make it more comfortable?

To age-in-place, you will probably need to modify your house as you get older to increase access and maneuverability. These modifications range from installing bath and shower grab bars and adjusting countertop heights to creating multi-functional first floor master suites and adding private elevators.

How many seniors are aging in place?

According to a recent survey conducted by the AARP, nearly 41 million seniors 65 and older intend to age in place. Additionally, 71% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 want to stay in their homes as they age. Learn more.

What is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist?

A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist is a contractor that has completed a series of training seminars that teach strategies and techniques for designing and building barrier-free living environments. CAPS graduates pledge to uphold a code of ethics and are required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs.  Learn more.

What is the average cost of a stair lift?

Depending on which model you choose, the average cost of a straight stair lift is between $2,500 and $5,500. For L- or U-shaped stairs with one or more landings, the price typically starts at $10,000.  Learn more.

Are stair lifts covered by Medicare?

Because they are classified as home modifications rather than durable medical equipment, stair lifts are not covered by Medicare. Medicaid, however, will often pay for the cost of a lift if it enables someone to continue living in his or her home. Learn more.

Will the VA pay for a stair lift?

If you’re a U.S. military veteran, the Veteran’s Administration may pay the entire cost of a stair lift if your need for it is the result of an injury sustained while on active duty. If your need is not the result of an active-duty injury, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit may still provide funds under certain circumstances. Learn more.

How wide do stairs have to be for a stair lift?

Generally speaking, straight stair lifts can only be installed on a staircase that’s at least 28 inches wide. Curved stair lifts need approximately 30 inches. These measurements are from the farthest obstruction, meaning that molding, handrails, and other projections can reduce your staircase width. Learn more.

Are stair lifts tax deductible?

In some cases, the money you spend on a stair lift may be tax deductible. Whether or not your lift qualifies will depend on a couple of factors, including if a doctor has determined it’s a medical necessity. Learn more.

How long should a stair lift last?

Stair lifts should provide at least 10 years of operation. Like any piece of complex machinery, however, a regular routine of preventive maintenance is always a good idea in order to keep the lift in good condition throughout its service life. Learn more.

Do stair lifts use a lot of electricity?

Stair lifts actually use much less power than other common household appliances such as washing machines, electric stoves, and dryers. The average cost of operating a stair lift for an entire year is about $15. Learn more.

How do wheelchair lifts work?

They may bear a superficial resemblance to elevators, but rather than cables, wheelchair lifts use a hydraulic drive mast under the platform to lift and lower the enclosure to its destination. Learn more.

How can I make my bathroom more accessible?

You don’t have to resort to a full bathroom remodel to make it more accessible. Grab bars, roll-in showers, walk-in tubs, and custom bathing systems can all be installed in as little as one day and with minimal disruption to your home. Learn more.

What is a roll-in shower?

A roll-in shower is a bathing space with a shower pan that is flush with the bathroom floor, allowing for easy wheelchair access. These enclosures are different than low-threshold showers which still have a curb. Learn more.

What is a walk-in tub?

Walk-in tubs are bathing enclosures that are accessed through a watertight door, thus eliminating the need to step over the rim. They also feature comfort-height seating and are available with a number of luxury features such as massaging jets and heated seats. Learn more.

What’s better, a walk-in tub or roll-in shower?

The side of a tub can be a difficult obstacle to overcome for those with limited mobility. Walk-in tubs and roll-in showers are both viable replacement options. Determining which is right for you will depend on your current needs and bathing preferences. Learn more.

Are walk-in tubs covered by Medicare?

In most cases, walk-in tubs are not covered by Medicare. There are, however, exceptions for those with a condition that makes the tubs a medical necessity. To qualify for reimbursement, a doctor’s prescription must be obtained. There are also other options for full or partial financial assistance. Learn more.

Where should grab bars be placed?

The ideal height and location for grab bars will depend on the person using it. Obviously, that will be different for a 5-foot-4 woman than a 6-foot-2 man. The important thing is that they’re positioned in such a way that’s comfortable and convenient for all. Learn more.

Does Medicare pay for grab bars?

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), the answer is likely yes. Grab bars are considered durable medical equipment (DME) by Medicare, falling into the same category as walkers, canes, and stair lifts. To qualify for this classification, the product must be something used in your home for a medical reason. Learn more.

How much do mobility scooters cost?

Mobility scooters generally cost between $600 and $2,000 depending on the model you choose. Determining factors include the number of wheels (three or four), whether or not it can navigate off road, and the optional accessories you want. Learn more.

Will Medicare pay for a mobility scooter?

Because mobility scooters are considered durable medical equipment (DME) like walkers and wheelchairs, they may be covered by Medicare Part B. To qualify, a written confirmation from a doctor will be needed to verify that a mobility scooter is a medical necessity. Learn more.

Where can I rent a mobility scooter?

If you’re unable to walk long distances, a mobility scooter can make the difference between being stuck inside and getting out and about. But what if you only need one for a limited time? The Barrier Free Store offers scooter rentals by the day, week, and month. Learn more.

Where can I drive a mobility scooter?

For the most part, mobility scooters can be driven in most places that experience foot traffic, including supermarkets, shopping malls, sidewalks, and parks. They are generally not permitted in streets or bicycle lanes, and some communities have specific rules regarding scooter traffic. Learn more.

What’s the difference between a mobility scooter and a powered wheelchair?

The main difference between a mobility scooter and a powered wheelchair is that a scooter is operated with a pivoting tiller and handle bars, while a powered wheelchair is operated via a joystick. Your level of mobility and arm control will determine which is best for you. Learn more.

What is a patient lift?

A patient lift is a mobility device designed to transfer an occupant from a chair to a bed, shower, toilet, or vehicle. There are many types of patient lifts on the market, including ceiling-mounted, mobile, and portable models. They also come in motorized or manual varieties. Learn more.

What’s the proper way to use a patient lift?

Patient lifts can be an invaluable tool when it comes to transiting a loved one with limited mobility from bed to chair, chair to bath, and chair to vehicle, but they must be operated properly in order to ensure the safety of both you and the person being transported. Learn more.

What is a Hoyer lift?

A Hoyer lift is a type of patient lift manufactured by Hoyer. The name has become a blanket term for all types of patient lifts, but technically it refers to only those models made by the company, which are mostly portable devices built on wheeled frames. Learn more.

Can a Hoyer lift be used by one person?

While every situation is unique, in most cases a Hoyer lift, also known as a ceiling lift, can be used by one person. If, however, you are unable to properly position the sling beneath the person to be transported, you’ll need a second person there to help you. Learn more.

When should I consider using a patient lift?

Knowing when the time is right to invest in a home life will depend on whether or not you are still confident in your ability to transfer your loved one from bed to chair or chair to bath on your own. If recent weight gain, deteriorated physical condition, or home modifications have made the task more challenging, a patient lift might be the solution you’re looking for. Learn more. 

What is a lift chair?

A lift chair is a motorized recliner that can tilt its back and seat to a near-vertical orientation. This allows for standing entry and exist. Lift chairs are great for those who struggle to get into and out of chairs, whether because of declining mobility or a temporary condition such as recent surgery or an injury. Learn more.

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