The trend in a geriatric care today is aging in place. That means encouraging mom or dad to remain in the home environment as long as possible - something that most seniors desire.
However, some homes, while gorgeous or multi-storied (and perfectly suitable for middle-aged individuals) are not so senior-friendly as Mom ages. This can be said of two story homes, or homes with a basement and one to two floors, sometimes even more. To keep Mom safe and mobile in a home environment, home elevators are certainly an option.
Elevators for home use will encourage Mom to make the most use of her home and mobility as she ages. They provide long-term solutions for those dealing with age-related weakness, handicaps, or limited mobility. As a matter of fact, elevators provide even greater access, comfort and ease of use than traditional stair lifts and offer an easy way to travel between floors, especially for those with difficulties sitting and standing repeatedly due to hip or back injury.
How can a home elevator help mom? Elevators come with a variety of options and features, especially those compliant with American Disability Act guidelines. Elevators are ideal for those who use manual or electric wheelchairs and can facilitate movement between bedroom areas and garages, storage, and living areas of a home environment.
Home elevators range in size and styles depending on needs. A residential home elevator can be custom designed to offer one or two levels stops, and all types of elevators can be designed to suit the design, size, and space in a residence. Features available for various models depend on preference, as well as loading and weight capacity, speed, and of course, costs.
A high-end elevator can offer up to eight stops, and comes with a maximum cable elevation of 60 feet, capable of carrying up to 1,000 pounds of weight. Residential elevators also come with a choice of automatic as well as manual operated swing entrances, cable drives, hydraulic pumps, and automatic controls. Some elevators for the home are voice activated and can be designed with large and highly visible digital indicators, based on mom's vision, cognitive, and physical abilities or limitations.
Purchase and installation of an elevator costs depend again on the size of the home, the size and type of elevator, and the number of options or features of the elevator. Cost may also depend on whether the elevator is going to be installed in a brand-new home under construction or an existing home, or if renovations may be needed to enable installation of the elevator.
Costs range $3,000-$30,000 depending on these scenarios. For
example, a typical two-stop elevator for the home costs anywhere from $15,000 to
$25,000, again depending on the type, style, and features desired. Medicare
services may pay for some of the costs of home elevator installation, while
local or state governmental agencies may also offer a number of programs,
loans, and grants for seniors making such decisions. Home elevator financing may also be available through the local provider and installer.
Elevators not only enhance mobility in mom’s home environment, but can take some of the stress and worry away from mobility issues, fear of falling, balance or stability problems, or vision limitations. Elevators come in so many different designs and styles, from see-through glass "tubes" to traditional hotel-style elevator designs.
Residential or home elevators also come recycled or used, and are traditionally traction or hydraulic types. Tax savings may also make the decision of installing of an elevator easier.
If you have a note from your doctor stating that it's medically necessary or required for medical reasons, you may be able to write off a portion of the home elevator costs on your income taxes. Talk to your tax accountant about the possibility of tax savings.
The bottom line is to encourage mobility, movement, and quality of life for mom living at home. An elevator for the home, in certain circumstances and home environments, can do just that.