An elderly relative needs a stairlift and a bathroom conversion. Social
Services have said they cannot provide any financial support with the lift
but they will with the bathroom.
Relative has had a visit but was told that she won't know the cost of the
stairlift until after it has been installed. On asking what would she do if
she can't afford it she was told she could pay on monthly terms. It all
seems like the window salesmen of the 1970's. The installation is as simple
as possible - straight stairs. An accurate estimate and the APR of any
finance surely is a legal requirement.
I asked why she couldn't make arrangements directly with a stairlift
supplier. She had been told that she has to go through Social Services as it
is part of the "Scheme" with the bathroom.
Sorry to be a bit vague - any ideas on what the normal practice is?
My father had one installed several years ago, together with various
rails and a device to assist with getting in and out of the bath.
It probably varies across the country, but generally an occupational
health person from social services should visit and make an assessment
of what is required.
AIUI, achieving that is quite a trial as they are typically way
understaffed. In our case, this was the larger issue than funding
for the equipment.
It does not surprise me that they are willing to fund bathroom related
stuff because anything to do with this and the use of the toilet takes
precedence over anything else.
The local authorities do seem to have their tame suppliers. For
example, my parents have been visited on various occasions by a chap
who is basically an odd jobs person and who fits rails and other items
of that ilk.
For larger capital items such as stair lifts, there are numerous
suppliers and deals and you certainly don't have to go through the LA,
as typically the individual pays anyway if they can't wait for budget
to become available. Unfortunately, quite a lot of these things
appear to be discretionary as well.
If you can get involved in this, you could save a wrong decision being
made. It can be difficult because most elderly people highly value
their independence and dignity. For many, getting social services
involved in the first place is something of an anathema because they
feel that it is some kind of charity.
I would start by getting agreement from your relative and go and see
the occupational therapist yourself, sympathise with their plight and
ask about the options and best ways forward.
Certainly a stair lift is a considerable benefit if it avoids a fall
downstairs or being confined to part of the house.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
When it looked as if my father wouldn't be able to walk again
(contracted gangrene in hospital ! ), my brother looked into buying one.
He found quite a few second hand ones being advertised quite cheaply on
Luckily it wasn't as bad as it at first seemed , so it wasn't taken any
further, but that's I think that that might be your best approach
Unfortunately she is a bit overweight and has been frightened into "you must
have a proper survey otherwise it cannot be guaranteed" situation.
I have noted that most equipment in the disability shops don't display
prices. I guess they have a captive market.
"geoff" < email@example.com> wrote in message
A standard stair lift should be capable of taking up to 20 stone.
When my parents had a stair lift installed, the installers surveyed the
stairs and said exactly how much it would cost. However, they were buying
privately, rather than through Social Services.
Prices for disabled equipment are not straighforward, as VAT exemption can
be claimed in many cases.
On 20 May 2004 02:43:11 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (MBQ) wrote:
That's not it. VAT exemption is based on medical need and the user
simply has to sign a declaration that the supplier should provide,
which the supplier can then provide to Customs and Excise if asked.
The user should have a backup letter from a doctor or occupational
therapist in case the VAT people ask.
As long as the quotation makes it clear whether the price includes or
excludes VAT it doesn't really matter. Most medical equipment
suppliers seem to quote exclusive prices anyway.
It is also fair to point out that suppliers have to have quite onerous
product designs with all manner of safety switches as well as product
and service liability insurances. All of this adds to the cost.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.