Stairlift (a bit OT but I respect the experiences of the group)

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?
--


Regards

John




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Sounds like a complete rip-off. There are a number of unscrupulous companies preying on the disabled in this way. Make big waves with the Social Services etc.
--
gee six jay en snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net



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On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:21:11 +0100, "John"

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.
.andy
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if
simple
it
I wish I did - the time is looming ...
Mary

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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 the internet.
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
--
geoff

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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.
--


Regards

John


"geoff" < snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
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So there should be a proper survey.

--
Z
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must
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.
Colin Bignell
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So they could show the ex-VAT price to allow comparisons. I'm with the previous poster on this one, it's a captive market and they know it.
MBQ
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On 20 May 2004 02:43:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (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.
.andy
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Your relative should be provided with a written quote. If the company will not provide this give them a wide berth.
--
Z
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No kidding. And written specs for the lift as well.
Regards, NT
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