Sacramento Serving Greater Sacramento & Central Valley
menu Shape

Blog

Making the Garage Steps 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.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Does Health Insurance Cover Stair Lifts?

Elite Indoor Straight SRE 2010 lady2 showing turned seat

If you’re in the market for a stair lift, you may be wondering if your health insurance or Medicare coverage will pay the cost. Unfortunately, standard health insurance policies and Medicare will not typically cover the purchase or installation of a stair lift, even with a doctor’s order.

Continue Reading

by John Burfield  | 

8 Benefits of Adding a Stairlift to Your Home

0106

For some seniors, the stairs can become too difficult to navigate due to limited mobility, weakened muscles, and lack of stability. As a result, navigating a staircase at home becomes a daily chore and may eventually be avoided. When the stairs become a challenge, many seniors may consider downsizing to a single-level home or moving into a retirement living facility. However, both of these options can become very costly.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

5 Common Accessibility "Fails"

Side side wrong ramp slope and right ramp slope

Our home accessibility experts are invited into our client’s homes and into our local communities to evaluate for home accessibility solutions, such as stair lifts or wheelchair ramps or lifts. During our evaluations, we often encounter modifications that were done by another company or DIYs that do not meet ADA requirements, or are unsafe.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Happy Holidays (2023) & New Year from Lifeway Mobility

Happy Holidays 2023 Video Preview v 2

Watch the Lifeway Mobility "Happy Holidays" Video: Best wishes for a happy holiday season, and joyful new year, from all of us at Lifeway Mobility! Thank you to our referral sources and partners for your trust and support this past year. It's an honor to work together to provide home accessibility solutions that improve quality of life, independence, and safety at home. We look forward to working with you in 2024 and helping more families remain safe and independent in the home they love!

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Does Medicare Cover Stairlifts?

man riding stair lift and his wife standing next to him at bottom landing of staircase

  A question that comes up in many stair lift conversations is, “Does Medicare cover stairlifts?”. Unfortunately, the short & quick answer is no, Medicare does not assist with paying for the installation of a stairlift.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Will a Stair Lift Damage My Walls?

Lifeway technician servicing stairlift after installation in customers home

While some may worry that a stairlift installation could damage the walls or floor in their home, that is a myth, and simply not true.  Professional installation of a stairlift will not damage the walls in a home as they are simply installed onto the stair treads.  

Continue Reading

by Lifeway Mobility Technician   | 

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.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Zero Step Entry Universal Design - 7 Tips to Make Your Ramp Fantastic

aluminum wheelchair ramp with stairs option

Zero step entry or wheelchair ramps can make your home or building accessible and be a beautiful addition. However, there are many common mistakes and costly errors that you can prevent by continuing to read this resource.  Universal Design states that the entrance should work for everyone, however what modifications are needed to include everyone.  Here are the top 7 tips: 1. Who are the Users? Are They Using Any Assistive Devices to Enter the House?  The difference between a wheelchair, scooter, walker, stroller, rolling luggage is subtle. They all have wheels, but the mobility needs of the user can widely vary. While ADA suggests a maximum slope of 1 inch of rise for every foot of ramp, this is the steepest recommended and would not be suitable for someone using a walker with limited strength. The ADA specifically states, “The least possible slope shall be used for any wheelchair ramp.” Most people automatically focus on standards like this and seek to meet the minimum standard. But, users may need a wheelchair ramp to exceed the standards and be easier to go up or down. Surprisingly, more falls happen on the way down the ramp, because momentum and gravity are stronger forces. And because of the increased speed of a fall, there is more force for an injury. Know your users, and exceed their need for your best ramp design. This is why Lifeway Mobility's experts always take the time to understand the needs of the customer any others living at the home before taking measurements and recommending a ramp layout. 2. Make the Pathway Fit the House In every design, we start with the door usually in the garage or in the front of the house, and end with where the user wants to enter the ramp. This is usually where we get out of a vehicle/transportation, like a driveway, garage, parking lot.  The best tip to make your ramp fit the house is to identify where the ramp should start and stop that has the least amount of vertical height difference. Also, you need to look at the house and design along the house vs. out away from the house. This will gain you a visual benefit, ramps looks better if they blend into the structure of the building, but also a design benefit.  Wheelchair ramps are easier to use when they follow the design of the home.  However, watch for the home with short walls and multiple corners. Because a ramp should have a 5 foot level platform at the top of the ramp and every time you turn, a ramp will get longer with more turns and should be designed to be a straight as possible and fit the home. Also, you want to use a type of ramp and materials to fit the home, as you will compliment the look of your ramp instead of stand out. 3. What Type of Wheelchair Ramp Is Needed?  Is the Need Temporary, Portable or Permanent?  There are 3 major types of wheelchair ramps and ramp materials: Aluminum Concrete Wood They each have their advantages, but you first must know how long the ramp is needed. We have seen a wood ramp only used for a year because the owner moved homes and unfortunately, the wood ramp was worthless for the new home. Aluminum wheelchair ramps have several advantages because there are portable options, as well as modular ones that can be customized and even reconfigured to be moved or reused, and it doesn’t require any maintenance like concrete/brick and wood. Wood also requires much more maintenance than concrete.       4. What is the Best Surface for Your Ramp?  The biggest mistake that we see here is to focus on what it look like vs a surface that prevents slips and falls with a good grip. While trex or composite wood is more attractive and offers less maintenance, it can be the most slippery surface, especially if you run your board down the ramp like a bowling alley. Concrete gives a good surface and grip, but ice and snow can build up and be dangerous.  Again, the aluminum ramps can excel here as they offer either a black friction surface like sand paper, or a extruded edges every quarter inch that looks like grooves in the surface. This will be a much better surface in rain and snow. We cannot forget that the ramp should look beautiful and blend into the home, so many of the aluminum ramps now come in colors for the discerning home owner.   5. Little Things Matter  The Threshold of your ramp at the bottom is crucial for ease of use and safety.  Also, where the ramp meets the threshold of the door into the house is just as important. The two pictures below show 1-2 inch bumps as you enter and exit the ramps in these two areas. These can be avoided by working with a home accessibility expert.   A 3/4 in bump is all the is need to bring a walker or wheelchair to a complete stop, like slamming on your brakes in your vehicle. The difference is that when you slam on your brakes, you know you will violently stop. Using a ramp and hitting a small bump can cause you to fall down or out of your chair, you can hit the door frame as you enter or exit the house, or possible you cannot get over the bump and cannot use the ramp at all. The WORST possibility is that you have to ask for help and lose the independence that a ramps is SUPPOSED to PROVIDE.   6. Type of Handrails The Handrail of a ramp is the most intimate part of the ramp because it is what you touch or glide your hand along. A safe smooth surface for your hand is just as important for your feet or mobility device. ADA requires a smooth, uninterrupted handrail that you can wrap your fingers around 7. Maintenance When choosing a wheelchair ramp for your home, it's importance to consider maintenance and how that might impact the long-term cost of the ramp.  Unfortunately, the least expensive ramps are wood and many people choose plywood, but it will deteriorate within 2-3 years. Wood wheelchair ramps require the most maintenance because sun, rain, snow, heat, and cold all cause the wood to expand and contract. Staining or painting is required every 2-3 years.    Concrete or brick ramps require sealing to avoid cracking, and because they are so heavy, they can sink or shift, causing the ramp to be unusable.  Steel Handrails may require painting. This can add 10-25% of costs to the price of a ramp if you include the needed future maintenance.  Aluminum wheelchair ramps may be a bit more expensive up front, but no maintenance is required, making it the most cost-advantageous of the three material types over the long haul. Contact us to learn more about universal design when it comes to wheelchair ramps, or to schedule your FREE ramp consultation!

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Why You Should Choose a Licensed Installer for Your Stairlift

stair lift installation.jpeg

If you’ve been searching online for a home stair lift, you may have noticed that pricing can vary across different websites. If so, may be asking yourself why one provider is willing to install a new straight rail stair lift for one price and others are $1,000-$2,000 higher in price.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Bruno Stairlift Dealer - Lifeway is a Bruno Diamond Dealer

0106

Lifeway Mobility is humbled and honored to be recognized as a Bruno Diamond Stairlift Dealer for the 8th consecutive year in 2024! The Bruno Diamond Dealer Award, which originated in 2016, is an award that is given to Bruno dealers that finish in the top 3% of Bruno’s sales throughout North America. Prior to 2016, Bruno's top dealers throughout North America had been referred to as “Bruno preferred dealers.” The “Diamond” Dealer award is recognized as a more prestigious award.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

7 Stair Lift Myths Debunked

woman standing up from Bruno Elite curved stairlift installed by Lifeway Mobility

As a trusted stair lift provider for 30+ years, we have heard several stair lift "beliefs" that in reality are not true. In this blog post, we debunk the 7 common myths that people have about stair lifts so that you can know the real facts.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Webinar Recording: Modifications for Home Accessibility

Watch the Webinar: Modifications for Home Accessibility The Accessible Systems - Lifeway Team presented the 1st of our Hospital to Home webinars January 25th 2023 Watch a recording of the webinar here  This webinar covers a wide variety of accessibility solutions with live demos from the Accessible Systems showhome on Denver. It is for Discharge planners, Case and Care managers, Social workers, Nurses, OTs, PTs, Home care providers or Anyone interested in post discharge planning for those with limited mobility  

Continue Reading

by Amy Finke  | 

Stair Lift Options

woman standing up from Bruno Elite curved stairlift installed by Lifeway Mobility

Depending on the mobility of the individual that will be using the stair lift, there may be one or more options that may need to be added to provide extra comfort, convenience, and safety. The stair lift options listed below are the ones that are most commonly recommended to meet customers' specific needs.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Webinar Recording: Safety at Home for Individuals Living with Dementia

lifeway alz Assoc logos

Watch the October 27th Webinar   Date / TimeThursday, October 27th1pm-2pm Eastern Time Julie McMurray of the Alzheimer's Association and Amy Finke of Lifeway Mobility will explain how dementia affects a person's safety awareness, explore home modifications to support independence, and provide helpful resources.

Continue Reading

by Amy Finke  | 

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

Continue Reading

Posted 2/25/2022

Chair Lifts for Stairs with Landings

bruno curved stairlift at bottom landing of home in Bewrywn IL

There are many reasons landings are added to stairs. They allow stairs to change directions and also provide a space for people to rest, if needed. Stair landings are also needed when a door at the top of the steps swings inwards towards the stairway.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

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.   

Continue Reading

by Amy Finke  | 

Local Stair Lift Showroom in San Francisco-Bay Area

local stairlift showroom San Francisco preview image

Lifeway Mobility San Francisco, a Bruno Diamond Stair Lift Dealer, has a showroom in Union City, California that is equipped with fully operational straight and curved rail stairlifts. For those with limited mobility, a stair lift provides a simple and affordable way to regain access to a second level bedroom or laundry room in the basement 

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Aluminum vs. Wood Wheelchair Ramps

aluminum wheelchair ramp installed by Lifeway in Stratford Connecticut  1

When evaluating your home for wheelchair access via a ramp, there are many factors to consider, such as the location for installation and type of material. There are many types of ramps available and for each individual's needs and situation, the best solution is going to vary. In this post, we'll compare aluminum and wood ramps and briefly review the best locations for the installation of a ramp.

Continue Reading

by Bob Conroy  | 

Stair Lift Tracks, Seats and Safety Features

iStock 1126651533 1024x683

You have decided you need a stair lift. Maybe you are caving to the nagging from well-intentioned and worried family members. Maybe you have read the shocking statistics. Like, one-fourth of Americans over the age of 65 fall each year, and the older you get, the more likely these falls can be fatal.

Continue Reading

Posted 2/20/2020

Stair Lifts vs. Home Elevators - Which is Best for Me?

stairlift vs  home elevator which is best for me

If the stairs start to become too difficult to manage at home, there are usually two options that people can consider to solve the problem. The first option is to remain at home (with modifications), and the other is to move to a senior living or assisted living facility. Both are feasible options, but many prefer to remain in their home because it prevents the stress of having to move again, and makes it possible to remain in the place that has so many positive emotional ties. A home is a place of comfort as it is where most people build lasting memories with family and friends, whether it be from holidays parties, or social gatherings with friends.

Continue Reading

by Eric Rubel  | 

Improve your mobility. Request a quote today!

Request a Quote
Request an Evaluation