Caring for my 230 lb, 6'2" husband who is emotionally and mentally normal, but has severe mobility issues.

Started by

My husband is 86; I am 71 and in good health. He has had this problem developing for the past 15 years but is still able to live independently with me. We are relying on some paid help and some family and volunteer help. I'm looking for comments from others who have similar challenges and hope to get some good ideas of how to make this as workable as possible for as long as possible.


You do need help here. Call Community Health Services or the Visiting Nurse Association and ask for a large helper who can LIFT. It may take both of you, but don't give up. He needs your assistance. Be glad that he is happy and mentally stable. Enjoy your life's later than you think.
medicare will pay for a skooter if your doctor writes a prescription. Also, if funds are available, you can modify the shower to be wheelchair accessible. Go to a store that sells grab bars, bed frames with lifts if he can pull himself up.They will be able to tell you if medicare will pay for these. good luck
There are many devices to help transfer someone from a wheelchair to a bed or from a whchair to a shower (hopefully your husband is not climbing in/out of a bathtub!) or moving the person into & out of a vehicle.

Here are some websites which show you what's on the market, from grab bars to bath lifts, from slings to transfer boards, from trapeze stands to hydraulic lifts:




Medically necessary equipment purchases might be covered by insurance, check with provider. Medical equipment stores can probably help you determine this.
This website is so great, ask a question and get so many helpful answers. Love all you guys.
If the doctor writes a prescription for a scooter please make sure he/she writes exactly what scooter and model because Medicare won't pay unless a specific item is written down. You may want to go to your local medical supply company and ask them first what scooter and models Medicare will and will not pay for. Plus some medical equipment Medicare only pays for one item every 5 years so please check first. This happened w/ my mother when she needed a walker. Just an FYI. Hope this helps.
Getting Medicare to pay for a scooter or wheelchair is easier said than done I would suggest you contact the store you will be doing business with and find out from them what you specifically need from the doctor to get the items you need. Sometimes it's a prescription and copies of actual doctor's notes. We had a problem finding someone local and ended up purchasing the wheelchair my husband needed ourselves.
Scooters may be a bit of a problem. Federal agents raided the Scooter Store headquarters last month and they are in big trouble. I would be glad to offer advice if you would contact me and let me know details on the mobility issues. I attend many national tradeshows and know of innovative products that could help.
I hope this is workable for the two of you for a long, long time.

Have you ever had a PT or OT come into your home and give advice about what can be done to make life easier for both of you? Do you need a customized van? A hoyer lift? A ramp to the front door? These professionals know of devices I'd never heard of. If you haven't had this service, or if your husband's needs have changed since then, ask his doctor to order such a visit.

Good luck to you both!
Update on Scooter store- about 1500 employees got notice of termination so it appears they are done for. There are other issues in the healthcare world (government "competitive bidding") which will likely cause 40% of the home medical equipment stores to close soon (many by July 1, 2013). Getting medical equipment (or even knowing about new products) is going to become more difficult (not what you want to hear). If anyone needs suggestions to address mobility problems I would be glad to help.
Hi Friendlybedguy, I think I have asked before but not sure. I am getting good hoyering Mom into a wheelchair now, its taken a long time to learn how to get her in straight by tipping the chair, etc. My only huge issue is getting mom from the wheelchair onto the toilet and off the toilet. Shes 91 severe dementia but for some unknow reason she saves her bm's until she is on the toilet so I have lost caretakers and am ruining my arms and shoulders. Of course my husband wants an over head lift system of some type but money for that at her age and condition is not practical. Thanks for any info. IF anyone needs info on how to use hoyers just ask, Ive become quite good at it now.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support