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Home Safety & Modifications

Stair Lifts, Wheelchair Ramps & Lifts to Make Garage Accessible

solutions to make garage stairs accessible at home

One common way to make a home accessible for those with disabilities or limited mobility is by overcoming the steps at the garage entrance. Steps are an accessibility barrier that are typically made of concrete or wood, and railings are not always installed. The construction of the stairs may also be low-quality in some cases, which can pose injury risks from slips and falls. Here are the top 5 solutions to help make a home’s garage safe and accessible.

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by Eric Rubel  | 

Mobility & Accessibility Solutions for In-Home Cancer Patients

blog preview image for mobility solutions for in home cancer patients

People diagnosed with cancer often require additional safety precautions to ensure that any health-related problems do not occur. Day-to-day activities that can be taken for granted will become harder. Simple things like cooking, cleaning, and even walking up the stairs may become strenuous, and even dangerous.

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by Eric Rubel  | 

5 Fall Prevention & Home Safety Tips for Older Adults

fall prevention infographic preview

As we age, our home may not be as easy to navigate as it once was. Getting up and down a set of stairs may be a chore because of decline in mobility. The risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom is likely much higher, especially if there are no grab bars in the bathtub/shower, or near the toilet. An option for older adults who are having a difficult time getting around at home is a senior living facility. However, these types of facilities do not offer the familiarity and comfort that a home does. A home is full of memories from parties and gatherings with family and lifelong friends. It is the place where a majority of older prefer to stay as they age. 

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by Eric Rubel  | 

5 Ways to Make Organizing In Your Home More Accessible

5 Ways to Make Organizing In Your Home More Accessible

Independent living can be difficult to achieve if your home isn’t ready for it. A newfound lack of mobility may prevent you from doing everyday tasks as you used to. Creating systems for different parts of your home can help you remain self-sufficient. Whether it be living with a disability or aging in place, there are many ways to achieve an independent living situation. Extending your independence and being able to continue living in your home alone allows you to have freedom of choice in your life. While this may seem costly, there are options for the financial burden this could place. There are government assistance programs that allow you to use the money for additions to your home for accommodation purposes. Additionally, if you’ve lived in your home for some time you’ve likely built up a good amount of equity that can beleveraged in a home equity loan. This can be especially helpful for accessing funds immediately in one lump-sum payment. Giving your space any necessary updates gives you more ability to stay in your own home. Take a look at these tips to ensure each room of your home is up-to-date for your lifestyle. 1. Continue your kitchen use Your kitchen shouldn’t turn into a place to avoid because of lack of access. To ensure safety in the kitchen, you don’t want to have things stored too high up, especially heavy items. Having everything at eye level or at an arm’s reach will cut down on the chance of dropping things. Look to add pull down cabinets and pull out drawers so you can still grab things with less mobility. A lazy suzan cabinet or pantry could also keep everything at the same level and makeit easier to search for the items you are looking for. For heavier items, especially ones you would normally keep at a lower level, creating a raising system takes away the need to bend down and lift up heavy appliances. Simple changes can help you to continue using your kitchen as your abilities change. 2. Allow For Accessible Bathroom Storage Accessible bathrooms commonly include handrails and barrier free showers. You will want to ensure the showers in your household are walk/roll-in showers. They should be 30 inches wide by 60 inches deep with a 60 inch wide entry to allow for wheelchair entry according to ADA standards. Another aspect to take into consideration is shower storage. The height of your shower items needs to be attainable for your mobility. Putting in your own storage containers allows you to choose the height. You may want to use soap dispensers so you can easily access your products. Outside of the shower, you may want to take into consideration the sink as well. Make sure your sink is ADA compliant, at least 34 inches above the floor. There also needs to be 60 inches of clear floor space to accommodate wheelchair users. Having one row of drawers in your bathroom design keeps everything at a reachable distance and also allows more space below if you need to make it wheelchair accessible. Removing the barriers in the bathroom and keeping it neat can give you independence and privacy in a place where you want it most. 3. Create Space in Your Bedroom The bedroom is another place where you would want privacy and discretion. Keeping it functional and spacious allows you to move around easier. Make sure you choose a dresser that suits your ideal level of comfort when it comes to storing things. You may want to look into ones that have deeper drawers so you don’t have to look through multiple sections for just a few things. Putting organizers and spacers within the drawer can help keep things separated so everything doesn’t look like a cluttered mess and it’s easier to look through. If you have a lot of electronics, especially those with cords, it may be time to look into getting automation systems set up. This can keep the floor free of cords that could be a fall-hazard and allow you to operate your electronics using your phone or your voice. Smart screens and plugs allow you to control lights and electronics with your voice rather than having to get up and flip a switch. You can also schedule actions so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the living room lights off at night. These systems can also connect throughout your home, so you can control the whole house from one room. 4. Clear Up Your Closet Being able to continue using closet spaces even when your mobility is lacking is important in being able to maintain your independence. A big part of being able to use the closets is making sure it’s accessible. Implementing door widening and an automatic door opener increases the accessibility of your closet which can help if you are in a wheelchair. It can also provide you with more functionality in your closet and make it easier to move around. Shelving and hanging rods should be adjusted to suit your needs. Make sure the rods are at a height that can accommodate your reach. Pull down rods may be a good option as well to keep everything organized while still allowing access to what you need. Shelves also need to be at a height that suits you, both for reaching and potentially for a wheelchair as well. You don’t want to install shelves so low that it impedes a wheelchair’s ability to move throughout a room. 5. Accommodate for Service Animals Service animals, while helpful and necessary, are still an addition to your house. They will need their own food, leashes and harnesses, a crate, and more that you might need space for. Making sure they have their own designated area in your home can keep it from getting cluttered with things and keep it out of your way. Having bins or small cabinets for their items frees up floor space so it doesn’t become a hazard to you. Making sure everything is labeled can also help you to remember where things are stored. A doggy door may be something to think about adding as well. A trained service dog will be more independent than your average animal, so allowing it to go outside when needed without you having to open the door for them makes it easier for the both of you. Organizing your home can not only make it look nicer, but make your life easier. It allows you to live like you have been, just with more access. When it comes down to your future, you can call the shots with just a few adjustments, and make sure your house fits your current and potential needs.

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Posted 9/15/2023

10 Tips for ALS Home Modifications and Adaptive Equipment

10 Tips for ALS Home Modifications and Adaptive Equipment

The early signs of ALS are when muscle cramps and twitching, weakness in hands, legs or ankles or difficulty speaking or swallowing begin. Loss of movement follows, and then moving around the home becomes progressively more difficult. The help of a caregiver, whether that person be a professional or a family member, is eventually needed. Home accessibility is better when you can plan ahead and enjoy the freedom to move around your home without big obstacles.   There are ALS home modifications and adaptive equipment for ALS patients that can help extend one’s independence, and keep mobility possible. The accessibility solution will depend on the rate of progression of the disease, the style of your home, personal finances and personal choice. Here are some home modifications and adaptive equipment tips to help you find your ideal solution: Understand your options and seek help from a contractor that genuinely cares about your situation, and that offers full service – ALS adaptive equipment, remodeling, exceptional customer service. All these factors matter. There are more options that most people know about so ask for more than one choice. Get a full home evaluation specific to your needs from a proven and certified professional. There may be a solution that you haven’t thought of. Your home is unique and you are unique, and a personal evaluation is the best way to understand what is best for you. Prioritize needs and budget. Make a list and weigh your options. There can be a difference between what is desired and what is realistic. Evaluate lift and transfer solutions to reduce the human aid element. A ceiling lift may work better than a mobile lift, for example. Enjoy your independence for as long as possible. Ceiling lifts can do the heavy lifting to your bed or bath/shower and take the weight off the family or caregivers. Contact your ALS Association Foundation to visit their learning lab, gain support from their care coordinators and learn what is available through their loan closet. Add bathroom grab bars, which are one of the most affordable and viable solutions available to help reduce falls. Widen doorways if you depend on a wheelchair or any other equipment on wheels that require a bit more space for safe passage. This extra room will be helpful to open up your home and avoid frustration with tight spaces. Consider a bathroom remodel with no threshold or barriers. Roll-in showers and walk-in tubs can greatly improve comfort and ease of bathing. Couple adaptive solutions based on a priority list. A barrier-free bathroom remodel OR a combination of an stairlift or home elevator and a TubBuddy System that works with your existing bathroom. Explore funding options that may be available for your family. Home modifications and adaptive equipment installation may be covered by a non-profit or a government-backed grant. Look for that free money. ALS Home Modifications and Adaptive Equipment for ALS Patients If you follow a plan for your situation and home, independence and safety are achievable. If you need help developing that plan, then seek out a local accessibility expert near you. Please note that home construction services like door widening and accessible bathroom remodels may not be available at all Lifeway Mobility locations. Find a local ALS Chapter near you.

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by Eric Rubel  | 

Pool Lift Guide 2024 & Alternative Solution

pool lift guide and alternative solution

To escape the summer heat, nothing can be more relaxing than a dip in the pool. Or when it’s cool, a dip in the hot tub can be just as rewarding. For people with a disability, or anyone bound to a wheelchair, and even older adults that have lost some coordination, balance and overall mobility, taking a dip can become challenging and sometimes dangerous. The risks are falling and drowning. Pool lifts exist to help people that are struggling with mobility to get in and out of the water safely, and sometimes, independently. Types of Pool Lifts There are 3 types of pool lifts that exist: Battery powered pool lifts Manual hydraulic pool lifts Water powered poll lifts. The type of pool, whether it be residential or commercial, can affect the type of pool lift required. There are also ADA regulations when it comes to public pools that certified lift technicians must abide by. Pool lifts can also be fixed or mobile. Fixed pool lifts are typically bolted into a deck made of concrete or metal. Mobile pool lifts can be on wheels, allowing a caregiver to roll it into place, or they can also be inserted into a dedicated hole or opening on the deck next to the pool’s edge. The intent of this design is for them to remain out of the way, until they are needed. Regardless of the type of pool lift, the job it performs remains the same. It lifts and transfers a person that most often sits on a chair, from the deck or even a wheelchair into and out of a pool or hot tub. Let’s take a look at a battery powered pool lift installation. Powered Pool Lift Installation by Lifeway Mobility Steve bought a new home and the pool was an added touch. He had Lifeway Mobility install a powered pool lift to benefit a disabled family member who has young children of her own. The pool lift allows the family to get together without anyone feeling left out of the fun. Everyone, especially the kiddos, can enjoy the hot tub and pool alike with mom as a result of the pool lift installation. Mom can transfer herself from her wheelchair into the pool or hot tub, which are at different heights, in one lift and transfer. Steve in CO sits in new pool lift installed by Lifeway Mobility for all to enjoy family time in the summer. Aqua Creek Scout Pool Lift The type of pool lift installed for Steve's family was an Aqua Creek scout pool lift, which is self motorize and is ideal for raised pools and hot tubs.  A person can slide in and out of the pool lift chair from a wheelchair, and with the push of a few buttons on a pendant cord remote, he/she can transfer in and out of the pool or spa completely on their own. The lift is easy to use, is whisper quiet, and it rotates a full 360 degrees in either direction. It can lift and transfer up to 26 inches high. The particular model that Steve chose has a 350 lbs weight carry limit. Other pool lift models exist that can handle lifting and transferring more weight. Alternative Solution to Traditional Pool Lifts With some creativity and craftsmanship, other types of body lifts can be adapted to perform the same work as traditional pool lifts. One such piece of equipment is a ceiling lift that is typically installed inside of a home or business. Let’s look at a ceiling lift that has been customized to work over an exercise/therapy pool that sits above ground. These types of pools are becoming very popular. Ceiling Pool Lift Installation by Lifeway Mobility Lifeway Mobility helped Dawn Adapt a Ceiling Lift for her Pool to remain active. Dawn is paralyzed from the waist down, but that doesn’t get her down. She is a very independent and active woman. She wanted to retain her independence in her cabin and regular home, and enjoy moving about more freely to spend quality time with her husband. Ceiling lifts have allowed her to transfer from her wheelchair and back. Dawn's husband transfers himself safely into their exercise pool Having already bought a ceiling lift track system for her cabin, Dawn wanted to add one over the exercise pool in the backyard of her home. Since she was already familiar with how to operate the equipment, it seemed a natural solution. She loves to swim for fun and exercise in her swim spa. She escapes the heat during the summer months. The temperature of the water can also be warmed up so that she can use it during cooler months. She didn’t want to feel trapped, and the ceiling lift allowed her to appease her outdoorsy nature. Adapted Pool Lift: Surehands Freedom Bridge The actual type of ceiling lift that has been adapted to perform as a pool lift for Dawn and her family is the SureHands Freedom Bridge. It was customized by certified technicians to be taller so it can lift higher. The bridge is a two post system along with a powered motor glides on a track. The lift is able to reach from one side to the other side of the spa pool. The motor itself is not waterproof, and that was okay in this case. It can be removed and hooked on as needed. It is stored away when not in use to avoid weather damage. Because it does need to be hooked on before use, this pool lift solution does require a helping hand from a caregiver to operate. Dawn’s husband definitely has her back there. This goes to show that with a little ingenuity, alternatives to a pool lift do exist. Dawn is certainly enjoying staying more active. Pool Lifts - Where to Start? Get started by understanding the needs: Can the pool lift be operated independently or will assistance be needed? Look at the pool and determine if there is room along the edges or on the deck for a fixed pool lift or do you have a storage shed in which a mobile floor pool lift can be stored? Take into account the weight requirement as well because going with an inadequate lift can have serious health consequences if it can’t lift and transfer the weight required. The cost of a pool lift varies, and it’s important to find a solution that will work for you, and at a price you can afford. Looking online can be overwhelming, so don’t get discouraged. You can contact us directly to set up a free consultation and one of our certified pool lift specialists will be happy to help and provide a free quote!

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by Eric Rubel  | 

The Home Safety Guide for Seniors

home safety for seniors mom daughter hug

  Most seniors want to age in place in their homes, well past retirement and into their golden years, and with a bit of help, they can. When circumstances change, specifically in the areas of mobility and ability, seniors may look for ways to make the rooms in their homes more easily accessible for themselves. Adult children of aging parents also worry that mom or dad may be more susceptible to potential risks at home, especially in the bathroom or shower. A fall while performing daily activities would surely raise concerns about their continued ability to stay safe and independent at home. Wheelchair users can grow frustrated by common barriers like narrow doorways, stairways, tight hallways and inaccessible bathing or shower facilities, just to name a few. Facing any of these challenges can be enough to make a person want to move. This Home Safety Guide for Seniors is intended to help the elderly, and their caregivers alike, commence a plan to stay in their own home as long as is possible, and on their own terms. This home safety for seniors guide contains useful information about ways to help them get around in their home an community. Lifeway Mobility can help seniors plan ahead and make informed decisions about assistive equipment and home modifications that can be the difference between living independently in their home and alternatives that are not nearly as desirable.   Falls: There are Ways to Lower the Risk of a Fall The elderly are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes. Too often, seniors seek help after a tragic event happens. Seeking a professional assessment of one’s home environment to learn how to make it safer is highly recommended. This will help seniors and their families understand the variety of assistive and safety devices that may help reduce the risk of falling. Or, here are some common-sense ways for seniors to prevent falls right away: Use a cane or walker to steady yourself when getting up. Stand up slowly after eating, lying down or resting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint. Use a cane or walker to feel steadier when you walk. If your doctor prescribes a cane or walker, we can help find one that fits your needs. Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or smooth-soled shoes on stairs or waxed floors can be unsafe. Hold the handrails when you use the stairs. Use hand grips and install grab bars throughout the house. Use a reaching stick, or more commonly known as a reacher, to reach items on top shelves. Consider a step stool with a handle. Carefully consider the safety of your bathroom. Grab bars, raised toilet seats, safety bars for your tub, and transfer benches can make your bathroom a significantly safer place. Consider purchasing a personal medical alarm to wear around your neck. These electronic devices that can bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Taking care of your overall health and well-being can help lower fall risks. Ask your doctor about a bone density test, which will tell how strong your bones are. Medications are available that can make your bones stronger and harder to break. Regular exercise can help keep you strong, and your joints, tendons and ligaments flexible. Talk with your doctor before beginning any program. Have your vision and hearing tested often. Even small changes in sight and hearing can make you less stable and can throw off your depth perception. Discuss possible side effects from medication with your doctor and/or pharmacist. Some medicines affect coordination and balance. Related resource: Take this Free Fall Risk Assessment Test Making Every Room in a Home Safe and Accessible Have you thought about the current and future safety and accessibility needs of all those who are living in your home? What about accessibility needs of friends and relatives who visit? Do you have an aging parent who is coming to stay for awhile?   Practicing the concept of universal design, either during initial construction or with home modifications later, incorporates design elements, spaces and even equipment that make each room more user friendly for as many different people as possible. Modifications like extra-wide doorways and hallways can accommodate a walker, or make getting around easier for a person on crutches or in a wheelchair. Movable cabinets increase the usability of the kitchen wheelchair users, and anyone who has a hard time bending down or reaching up. Equipment like grab bars and support poles offer assistance when coming to a standing position, while stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, platform lifts and even residential elevators can keep every level of your home accessible to all. Home Safety Solutions to Home Accessibility Challenges Here are some solutions to common home mobility and accessibility challenges for seniors by room. Bathrooms Barrier-free showers Walk-in tubs Step-in tub cutouts Grab bars & handrails Elevated toilet seats Bath lifts Shower benches Swing & support bath basins Toilet support frames   Bedroom Adjustable beds Bed rails Floor or ceiling-mounted lifts Bedside commodes Handholds/poles to help with standing Over-bed trapeze Pull-out closet shelving Handrails   Kitchen Easy-access cabinetry Accessible counter tops Handrails Easy-grip utensils, ergonomic dishes Accessible appliances Reachers Pull-out shelving   Living Area Stairway lifts Lift chairs Canes & walkers Home monitoring devices Walkers Safety poles Handrails Lighting Home automation devices for seniors   Getting Around – inside, outside and in your community Scooters Portable ramps Power wheelchairs Rollators & canes Vehicle lifts Accessible vehicles Lightweight transport wheelchairs Porch railings Foldable canes, walkers, wheelchairs   Wheelchair Users Modular ramps Door widening Curbless or barrier-free showers Residential elevators Patient and vehicle lifts Pull-out shelving Inclined platform lifts Vertical platform lifts Automatic door openers   Modify Your Home Room by Room Modifying the home can be as simple as picking up throw rugs (tripping hazards) or more complex – widening doorways, installing a “curbless” shower, changing door handles to levers, installing “rocker” light switches, or opening up interior space to make it more accessible and practical for individuals who use mobility equipment. Some of the most common home modifications include: • Grab bars in bathrooms especially around the toilet and bathing area• Ramps, both interior and exterior• Stair lifts – both indoor and outdoor• Door widening• Walk-in tubs/curbless or barrier-free showers• Full bath remodels• Ceiling lifts• Porch lifts• Accessible room additions• Floor coverings to accommodate wheelchair use   Staying Safe in Your Home Home automation products are ‘smart’ home devices that can help seniors monitor the security and safety of their homes, engage automated lighting systems, allow the homeowner to see who is at the door, and program the thermostat so it learns family patterns, and knows when someone is home or not. Elders can also check on pets and the security of your home while away, and so much more. These gadget can help seniors stay in their homes –– comfortably and safely. Actual smart devices include security cameras, doorbells, thermostats, smoke detectors, lighting controls and more. Emergency alert devices and systems can help seniors remain independent at home and when out and about in the community. Most systems offer options for wearing the alert button around the neck or on the wrist, and are automatically triggered when a fall is detected and the user cannot push the button. Such automated fall detection can be a real life saver. Medicare & Insurance Guide Many home medical products are covered by Medicare. What Medicare doesn’t cover, secondary insurance often will. Home modifications and accessibility equipment like stair lifts, bathroom safety, ramps, vehicle lifts, and vertical platform lifts usually are not covered by Medicare or insurance, but may be through non-profits, waiver programs, reverse mortgages, special home improvement loans, foundations and churches. Remember to weigh the cost of alternative care versus the cost of making your home environment more accessible through modification. The average annual cost of skilled care at a nursing home is $82,500 for a semi-private room, or $92,500 for a private room. Assisted living costs an average of $48,000 annually. The average rate for an in-home health aide is $23 per hour. Adult day services average about $22,000 if care is provided five days a week. Learn about how much a stair lift, wheelchair ramp, or home elevator might cost (spoiler - each solution is more cost-effective than any alternative care option above!) Stair Lift Pricing Wheelchair Ramp Pricing Home Elevator Pricing We trust you’ll find value in all the information presented and that if circumstances change, that Lifeway Mobility will be top-of-mind when needing a professional evaluation for one’s home. Related Resource: Medicaid Home Modification Funding Guide

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Posted 2/25/2022

Accessibility Solutions Help Discharged Patients Remain Safe at Home

nurse meeting with family and their senior parent

Due to the pandemic, more patients with complex needs are being discharged directly home, which can cause challenges for healthcare facilities and patients. Home care and home access are part of the solution to help those with limited mobility remain in their homes safely and on parallel path to help minimize readmission.   

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by Amy Finke  | 

Colorado Home Modification Tax Credit

Colorado Home Modification Tax Credit

The State of Colorado has created a tax credit with the vision that individuals with an illness or disability wouldn’t be deterred from retrofitting their residence for health, welfare or safety reasons due to financial constraints. The state income tax credit which was created under the bill known as HB18-1267 gives homeowners up to $5,000 per qualified individual per year for eligible costs incurred while retrofitting a residence. This credit is available for years 2019 through 2023. The Colorado Legislature recently passed clarifying legislation (HB19-1135) to make dependents and spouses eligible. It also allows for up to a $5,000 credit per person in the family with a disability. Maximum tax credits per year are limited to $1,000,000. Who Qualifies for the CO Home Modification Tax Credit? The following criteria determine eligibility: Have an illness, impairment or disability that necessitates the requested home modification; and Be an individual taxpayer with an adjusted family income at or below the income limit, which is $150,000 for the 2019 income tax year. If the qualified individual is not the homeowner of the residence being modified, they must have the owner’s permission to modify the residence.* Please note, if a dependent is the only person with a disability in the family, then that family is not eligible to utilize this tax credit. The residence being modified must exist before the work begins – the work may not be completed during initial construction of the residence. The residence must be the primary residence of the qualified individual. The residence must be located in Colorado. Be necessary to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of a qualified individual Increase the residence’s visitability Enable greater accessibility and independence in the residence for a qualified individual; Be required due to the qualified individual’s illness, impairment or disability; and Allow a qualified individual to age in place; Meet the Division of Housing’s Home Modification Construction Specifications; and Be completed in the tax year for which the qualified individual will receive the tax credit.*Please note, durable medical equipment and other items that are not installed or affixed to the residence are not eligible modifications. The process to claim this tax credit begins with evaluating the qualification criteria carefully and then determining what modifications your home needs. You will need to have a written estimate of the cost before you apply to the state for tax credit consideration. To claim the tax credit, you will need to apply with the state of Colorado. Once your application is complete and submitted, the state will approve your application. Homeowners will need to send invoices and receipts from the project to the state, along with pictures of the project. After the work and the application are complete, you will receive a Tax Credit Certificate to file with your income taxes. Schedule your free, in-home consultation today with one of our accessibility experts and make your Colorado home safer and more accessible. We can help with  wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, ceiling lift systems, and accessible bathrooms you need to stay in your home. Find an accessibility specialist near you.   Additional ResourcesHome Modification Look BookHome Modification Construction SpecificationsHome Modification Tax Credit Program Guidelines

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Posted 8/24/2020

The Art of Toileting: 4 Steps for Seniors & Disabled

customer OTs and family visit Lifeway showroom in Denver to explore safe toileting options

Dale is wheelchair bound and will soon be discharged from the hospital. He doesn’t have a lot of support at home, and because of his disability, his immediate concern was not being able to get his pants up on his own after toileting. Accompanied by his OT, Whitney of Spalding Rebah PSL, and her OTA student, they toured the Lifeway Mobility showroom in Denver and explored various bathroom accessibility solutions. Below are 4 steps Dale & his OT followed that can help make toileting graceful and independent for older adults and those with disabilities. 1. Toileting Height Customizing your toilet height is step one of toileting for anyone with mobility challenges. If you are standing and sitting, the height of the toilet is very important.  The most common toilet height is 13 inches, but a taller toilet can make standing up and sitting down so much easier. Newer toilets are ADA height or 15-16 inches.   Also, you can add a porcelain insert called a toilevator underneath the toilet (red arrow in image above) to add 3.5 inches more or add a elevated toilet seat for 5 more inches. A bidet is another option that can added for easy cleaning, warm water, warm seat, and other luxuries. Bidets can replace the seat on any toilet. They do not need a second seat or a transfer and do not require a power outlet close to the toilet. 2. Shower Chair or ShowerBuddy A second step to make toileting an art, is consider a bath or shower chair that rolls over the toilet. These types of products are made at the correct seat height to roll over the toilet, and eliminate the transfer to the toilet. In the seat is a cutout so that you don't have to move from the rolling chair. These chairs can also roll in to the shower for bathing and cleaning. The ShowerBuddy has the advantage of connecting to a bathtub or shower and allow the seat of the chair to slide into the tub or shower. 3. Overhead Ceiling Lift During the visit, Dale was educated on the SureHands ceiling lift with the Body Support system. This overhead lift setup is great because it grips in just the right places when lifting: Under the thighs and under the arms. It mimics the arms placement and gentle lift provided by a caregiver. Best part is that it can be operated independently. The OT demonstrated the use of the ceiling lift from a bed while Dale looked on. It was then Dale’s turn to test the SureHands ceiling lift out, from his wheelchair. This required some extra hands during the initial trial run, which is common. A sling variation was then attached to the ceiling lift. The goal was to find the best solution that would help Dale toilet independently, while remaining comfortable and painless. 4. Bedside Commode Most health care professional will recommend a bedside commode, which is like having a plastic toilet in your bedroom. Bedside commodes are helpful but typically a last resort. A bedside commode is made of a steel or plastic frame with a bucket under the toilet seat. Art of Toileting Summary In all, the show home tour, the education about the various toileting solutions, ceiling lift systems, and the actual trial runs took the group just over one hour. The end result? Dale found his ideal body lift and transfer solution and left with a smile under his mask, and newfound reassurance that he’ll be okay on his own once he gets home from the hospital.

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by Armando Carrillo  | 

Colorado Medicaid Gets Approval to Raise Home Modification Cap to $14,000

woman sitting on new Bruno Elan stair lift at bottom of staircase and smiling at grandchildren on the stairs

As of February 1, Colorado Medicaid can approve up to $14,000 for Medicaid Home Modification. This has been a 2 year journey and the Federal Government has finally approved this increase.  The State Legislature has voted in 2014 and again in 2015 to increase the funding for this valuable program, but the Affordable Care Act required any changes in these programs had to be to be approved by the Federal Government (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).  This is perfect for Colorado Home Modification or Denver Home Modifications. Since the cap has not gone up in 15 years, this restores the benefit that helps CO citizens stay in their home. This will help a Colorado family who is disabled have an accessible shower and an accessible wheelchair ramp/lift.  Due to inflation over the last few years, each Medicaid beneficiary was getting less and less for home modification benefit.  The benefits are real. The State of Colorado reported in 2013 that it cost $73,000 to have a Medicaid patient in an assisted living/nursing home. They also report that it was $27,000 to have the same person stay in their own home. They already want to stay in their own home and this is a big savings to the State as well.  When you can modify your home, your independence goes up.  When your independence goes up, you can better take responsibility for yourself and reach for a better life. Currently, the State of Colorado Medicaid provides home modification, accessibility, and assistive equipment thru this program throughout the state and in major cities, such as Denver, CO Springs, & Loveland. This includes the following home accessibility solutions: Accessible bathrooms and roll in showers Wheelchair ramps and platform lifts Stair lifts Ceiling lifts and patient lifts Grab bars and railings Door widening    If you have used your Medicaid Home Modification benefit in the past, you can access the additional $4,000 for additional projects or use it for repair/service.  This increase only applied to the Adult waiver programs, and doesn’t cover the Spinal Cord Injury Waiver at this time.  Hopefully, the federal government will approval this additional benefit for more programs soon. The State of Colorado has posted further details on the Home Modification Benefit Website – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/home-modification-benefit.   You can apply for the Medicaid Home Modification Benefits which is a part of the Medicaid Waiver Programs. There is one Single Entry Point for each County.   Visit https://www.colorado.gov/hcpf/single-entry-point-agencies to see a list of Single Entry Point contacts. You can also use the following link to help Medicaid Home Modification Funding Process: Medicaid Home Modification Funding Guide Lifeway Mobility is a full-service, licensed contractors for all home modifications in the state of Colorado. Contact us today to set up a free home accessibility consultation!

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Posted 1/25/2017

8 Tips to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

At some point, due to age or disability, you or a loved one may be faced with the prospect of having to use a wheelchair to assist in your primary mobility at home. Whether it be a temporary fixture to your home or something that will be more permanent, there are a number of simple modifications that can help improve accessibility and make life easier. If you are like most people, you live in a home that was not designed to accommodate wheelchairs. Below are some simple ideas on how to make sure that you will be able to stay in your home despite the necessity of a wheelchair.

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by Chris Frombach  | 

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