Is there was a service that would help me with getting my father up and down the stairs for a fee. Any suggestions?


In 2015 my dad got a bad UTI and it left him very weak. He got rehab and was doing OK until he had to get a hip replacement and then had another string of UTI's. We live in a two story condominium building with no lift or elevator. He's getting stronger, but he cannot get up or down the stairs without assistance, meaning he has to be lifted and carried (at present). I usually call the fire department to help me, but I hate to have to keep bothering them. And I always get asked the same lecture from them: "Move to the first floor" (which would mean selling our unit and buying another, not an easy task); "Put him in a nursing home" I refuse to do this even I could afford it - I can't (my dad has been refused medicaid). I wish there was a service that would help me with this for a fee, does anyone have any suggestions?

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Charlie, thanks for clarifying the location of the condo. My gosh, you have been though so much as I remember your Mom had passed earlier this year with dementia.

Check with the building management and ask them what would they suggest. I don't know if your Dad would want to pay to have a chair lift placed on the hallway stairs if the building management gives the ok. I have a feeling they won't.

My Dad went into Assisted Living and he loved being there. He had mobility issues and he decided it was time to move out of his house which had too many stairs. The caregivers were finding it difficult helping him up and down the stairs. He sold his house and I used that equity to help pay for his Assisted Living. He enjoyed being around other fellows closer to his own age, who also had mobility issues. Plus he liked the idea of all these "new ears" to hear all his stories :)

Try again to see if your Dad can be accepted for Medicaid. Being that you have been his full-time caregiver, plus your late Mom's full-time caregiver, Medicaid could exempt the condo completely from the recovery program.
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I guess I wasn't clear - our unit is all on one floor, we live on the second floor pf the building itself. Sorry!
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I would listen to the advice the fireman are giving you. I agree about converting space on the first floor for your dad to live, assuming there is a bathroom on that floor. We put my grandmother in our living room once. It's not ideal, but, sometimes you have to just make it work with what you have.

I'd be concerned that he could get injured being transported up and down the stairs, especially if done by a volunteer, family or friend. And if they get hurt too.....not good. Too much liability.

Another issue is what would he do in case of emergency and he can't get out of the house due to his immobility?
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You really, really need an accessible home, unless Dad can get good at climbing stairs with standby or min assist via PT. The fire dept. is right. Granted, not easy but ought to be done. I guess we are not clear about your condo arrangement - is your living area all on the second floor, as in two-story walk-up, or do you have a unit that spans two floors?

Can you say why Dad was denied Medicaid? Was it something you could appeal? Regular Medicaid does not typically cover chair lifts, but sometimes Waiver plans might help defray that. Not all stairs are even suitable for this and you might need permission from the condo association too.
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One option I can think of is to purchase one of those "chair lifts" which can be installed professionally in a couple of hours. It all depends if your Dad would even use it, some senior are afraid of those lifts.

Another option is to create bedroom space on the first floor. Example, removing the dining room furniture and put the bedroom in that spot. Hopefully there is a half bath on the first floor. For bathing, you could hire a bath tech to give Dad a bath a couple times a week, someone who can help lift Dad up the stairs using a gait belt.
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Charlie, your intentions are good, but you could injure yourself if you're actually picking him up, or having him lean on you. Consider what the next step might be then if both of you are incapacitated.

I would seriously examine the first floor arrangement to determine how you can in fact accommodate his living on the first floor. Is there a room that can be converted? More importantly, is there a bathroom?

I know of 2 people who did this; my aunt, who lived alone, converted her dining room to a bedroom. There was already a half bath, so she only had to go upstairs in her trilevel for bathing purposes.

This might take some creative thinking, but from the description of your father's current condition, it would be helpful to both of you at the current time.

The only services I can think of would home care agencies, but they have minimum hourly requirements. In calling various ones in this area, I've found that some mandate at least 3 hours per visit, twice a week. Another had a 20 hour minimum per week.

If there are other things someone can for the remainder of a 3 hour stint, you might be able to work something out.

One thing I would absolutely, totally avoid is hiring someone independently. If that person is injured, you could be in a world of financial hurt. And getting a worker's comp policy wouldn't be financially advisable.

I learned this when I considered hiring church workers who were willing to help. My insurance agent advised that, if injured, they wouldn't be covered under any homeowners insurance, that a commercial comp policy would be necessary, at between $750 and $1k annually.

What could be a long shot but might be productive is to contact various charity organizations for people with movement disorders, or paralysis, and find out if they know of any agencies that could provide some movement assistance for your father. Paralyzed Veterans, Parkinson's, MS charities might have some referrals for you.
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