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Thread: Preparing to renovate for accessibility--platform lift recommendations?

  1. #1

    Preparing to renovate for accessibility--platform lift recommendations?

    Hello!

    This is my first post. My husband suffered a T7 injury in December as a side effect of aortic aneurysm surgery.

    We own a 2-story 1926 bungalow in Tampa. We love this house and selling is not an option for us (we would likely take a bath on it, since we just bought it a year and a half ago, and we would still be in need of accessible housing but we wouldn't have any money to spend on making it accessible). So we are interviewing contractors to start renovating.

    We know we are going to need a platform lift to travel up and down the stairs. (He has been in inpatient rehab for 3 days so it's way too soon to know whether he'll be able to transfer... so I would rather plan to install the platform lift.) We want something that will require a minimal amount of reinforcement in the wall. I know this will be approximately a $10,000 purchase, and it's something I know almost nothing about (and I'm not in the habit of spending $10,000 on anything without researching it thoroughly). Does anyone have a platform lift they can recommend? Are there any that we should steer clear of? Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    You are talking about a stair lift to an upstairs bedroom and bathroom? Just wondered if you totally ruled out downstairs bedroom and bath, even if it involved adding on to the home. Just guessing here, that the money might go a long way toward increasing property value if it went to a plan like an addition.
    If re-model downstairs is impossible, you might be able to ask a medical equipment supplier if a used unit is available for rental, allowing you to retain funds for his other needs or plans.
    Hang in there....this is such a tough situation!

  3. #3
    We actually do have a downstairs master bed and bath, though they are not accessible in the slightest and will need to be renovated. However, it's a 1500 square foot house, our future child's bedroom will be upstairs, and his office is upstairs. He'll be working from home, more than likely, so he needs access to his office, and just in general, he's not willing to only be confined to the bottom floor of the house.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by lizfunk View Post
    We actually do have a downstairs master bed and bath, though they are not accessible in the slightest and will need to be renovated. However, it's a 1500 square foot house, our future child's bedroom will be upstairs, and his office is upstairs. He'll be working from home, more than likely, so he needs access to his office, and just in general, he's not willing to only be confined to the bottom floor of the house.
    Understand. It's great that the bedroom and bath are downstairs - hope you can work out a lift for upstairs access.

  5. #5
    Where is he in rehab? Unless he has a lot of other medical problems, he should be able to independently transfer to a chair stair lift, which is cheaper, and much more easy to install in a small home. How long will they keep him in rehab? The usual 3 week inpatient stay for someone with a new injury paraplegic injury may not be long enough to get him there.

    Is it a straight stair or does it switchback or curve? The latter is much more difficult and expensive with either type of lift, but especially a platform lift. Some people purchase another wheelchair to use upstairs, while others tie a rope to their lightweight manual chair and tow it up and downstairs with them when using a chair lift.

    Will you be able to afford this vs. considering moving to a different home? I know you love this house, but consider issues such as fire safety and prolonged power outages (hurricanes, etc.) for him and the costs needed to make this home accessible (and how that may impact resale value). Good lifts have a battery back-up system, but you may need to also install a generator to assure power if there is a prolonged power outage. You might also consider an elevator instead, which could be mounted on the outside of the home in many setting.

    Ask if the rehab center does a home evaluation to make suggestions for modifications. Good ones will do this.

    Stick to the major companies that provide such lifts.

    https://www.savaria.com/products/whe...fts/delta-lift
    http://www.garaventalift.com/en/prod...ts/artira.html

    Here is some additional information about these choices:
    http://www.house-design-coffee.com/w...form-lift.html


    (KLD)

  6. #6
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    problem is the platform lifts only go 14 feet

  7. #7
    Senior Member tarheelandy's Avatar
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    I have a 3 story house and I also work from my home. I have an Acorn lift on each floor that we installed in 2007, when I got hurt. I love my lift and have had zero problems with them. They cost $3000 each in 2007 but not sure about now. I did have to buy a used manual w/c to have on the other floor.

  8. #8
    He has a lot of other medical problems, because the cause of the injury was ischemia during abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery. So he is recovering from major life-threatening surgery at the same time he is doing rehab for the SCI. He has a very nasty wound on his lower back that's been an issue for over 2 months, so they haven't even started trying to work on transfers--he's nowhere near strong enough, anyway. He suffered a perforated stomach on January 2 because the PEG tube pulled through his stomach, which means that he hasn't been able to eat until the beginning of February and his appetite is severely diminished, which is preventing healing--when he tries to eat a decent amount of food he becomes very sick to his stomach.

    It's a straight staircase, so that will make life easier. What will make it harder, though, is that he'll be using a power chair for at least a while--that will be the custom chair that will be ordered through our insurance. They are, of course, incredibly heavy, and he's a bigger guy (280 lbs) so the weight limit of whatever lift we get will be a concern.

  9. #9
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    Reading through your post, I think you will be wasting your time looking at anything short of a "platform" lift, preferably an elevator. I do hope I am wrong, but it certainly "sounds" like he will not be ready for many transfers per day for quite a while. Of course he will be the best judge of that. Using my own experiences; "I" find that transfers some days knock's the crap out of me. A platform lift or an elevator may be an answer for you.
    It is always best to use the worst case or most expensive scenario as your guide while planning, and you'll feel and be better if you get this done at a better price. Ask several contractors for a price on similar scopes of services. Steer clear of the cheapy cheap, contractors, unfortunately you will get what you pay for.

  10. #10
    All good advice,

    It may be premature to make any modifications but learning and having a home evaluation may be wise.

    I live in Sarasota. We have a barrier removal grant program as well as a home rehabilitation program which I know know some people have combined. Here is a link and possibly you can check with your local city as to similar programs. http://sarasotagov.org/OHCD/HomeRepair.cfm

    In Fl we have Vocational Rehab http://www.rehabworks.org/ and they may help out with needs to keep him working.

    Be patient I bought a ceiling lift which I have never used, right now it is for " some day" and would have been best waiting.

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