For numerous old individuals, preserving autonomy within their residences emerges as a paramount concern.
Stairlifts, providing secure and effortless navigation, can significantly enhance the quality of life.
However, a pivotal inquiry surfaces: will Medicare, the cornerstone of healthcare coverage for old people, cover the cost of these beneficial devices?
What Is A Stair Lift?
A stair lift is like a chair that slides up and down stairs on a track.
Lakelyn Eichenberger, a gerontologist and advocate for caregivers at Home Instead, a home health care company in Nebraska, says a professional sets up the track and the chair.
To use a stair lift, Eichenberger suggests sitting on the chair at the top or bottom of the stairs, buckling up, and pressing a button to go up or down.
Christina Chartrand, from Senior Helpers, a provider of at-home care for older adults, says the lift moves smoothly along the rail, helping people move between floors easily.
It’s especially useful for older adults or those with mobility issues due to health conditions like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis, or for those recovering from surgery or stroke.
Does Medicare Cover Stair Lifts?
Regrettably, Medicare won’t pay for putting in or looking after stair lifts.
A spokesperson from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says Medicare sees stair lifts as changes you make at home, not as medical gear they cover.
But Medicare will cover other types of moving gear like wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility scooters when your doctor says you need them.
Average Stair Lift Costs
Eichenberger says the price of a stair lift can change based on the type, staircase layout, and installation work involved.
Basic lifts might cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but curved or custom ones could go over $30,000.
The cost of a stair lift is influenced by the chosen type, installation expense, staircase size, and shape, as well as the model and brand.
Eichenberger mentions that customization options, installation charges, and maintenance fees are also important.
Some stair lifts offer extra features like adjustable seats or remote controls, which can increase the total cost.
She advises asking about warranty coverage, as it varies by manufacturer and may include major parts and labor.
Additionally, Eichenberger suggests getting multiple quotes to find the right stairlift for your home, budget, and needs.
How To Find Stair Lift Discounts
You can discover cheaper stair lifts by looking in retail shops, buying directly from suppliers, or browsing websites that sell second-hand ones, like discount mobility stores in your area or USM, an online store for accessibility and mobility products.
Military veterans who meet the requirements may receive assistance from the Veterans Health Administration to cover the cost of a stair lift.
However, this depends on the available grants and eligibility criteria.
You can find help for funding and support from different places:
- Medicaid offers waivers for Home and Community-Based Services. These waivers cover various services like stair lifts for those who qualify.
- Local Area Agencies on Aging can guide you on home changes and provide support.
- Nonprofit groups like Rebuilding Together help with home repairs and modifications for people who need it.
- The National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources lists companies and programs nationwide that offer discounts or assistance, such as grants.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gives grants to homeowners for modifying homes, including installing stair lifts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who benefits from using a stair lift?
Adding a stairlift to your home has 8 benefits, says Lifeway Mobility.
Older people with limited mobility often buy stair lifts, but they can also help people recover from injuries.
Installing a lift gives access to all parts of the home while healing from a leg injury.
Can I get help paying for a stair lift?
You might be able to cover the entire cost of a stairlift with financial aid, meaning you could essentially get one for free.
But applying for this aid isn’t as easy as getting a stairlift installed for free by a local council or charity.
Will Medicare pay for a sit-to-stand lift?
Yes, if your doctor says it’s needed and you use it at home, Medicare can cover 80% of the cost.
They’ll also help with accessories like slings or harnesses.
Many older folks want to stay independent at home.
Stairlifts help them move around easily.
But Medicare won’t pay for them.
Stairlifts can cost a lot, but there are ways to get help.
Medicaid and veteran benefits might cover some costs.
Other organizations also offer grants.
So, while Medicare doesn’t help, there are still ways to afford stairlifts for those who need them.
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