Who do you turn to if your house needs modification such as a ramp, widening of doors, bathroom modifications etc?

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I was recently informed that my mom wont be walking when she leaves rehab,although she's only been there three weeks. She was at an acute rehab and now she's at a sb acute rehab. She had a stroke that left her left side weak. She can't move her left arm at all and can barely make steps (4 to 5) then must sit. If this is the case I want to know what she'll need to make her home comfortable and safe for her.

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Concerned43, so sorry to read about your Mom's medical issues. First before picking up the hammer to do any remodeling sit down and go over all the things that would be needed to make Mom comfortable and safe in her home. From what you said about her condition, sounds like she would need caregivers on a regular basis, daily.

Now check and see if Mom sold her house [I know, never an easy thing to think about] and moved into a retirement community where she would have assisted living which probably would have all these required items....

Which would be the better choice?

Of course, it depends on your Mom's age and if she can get herself back to being independent. I remember when I broke my shoulder and didn't have use of that arm for several months, it was quite difficult to deal with daily routines... yikes, dressing myself was a challenge. Try putting on socks one handed !! Hope your Mom isn't left handed, simple stuff like brushing teeth or even eating is hard to learn with the other hand.
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shower chairs,oops....
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As said above the facility should have a therapist come to the home they will make all the evaluations for you. Also try Craigslist/want ads for ramps many people have moved or gone on to NH's and no longer need them.Again check your local building codes usually so many inch drop per length of walk. As well as carpenters that may build one specific to your needs(ask for references).There are several companies that sell the metal ones on line. I scored a brand new leather lift chair from the Goodwill for $299 it had all the tags etc...it had been a floor model that they could not sell as NEW so it was donated, works perfectly and easy to clean, though I do put a bed pad on the bottom just in case.Medicare will pay for some costs-they paid for special wheelchair cushions for mom due to scoliosis and they will pay for the motor of the lift chair but not the chair....crazy! So my cost still would have been well over $500 after Medicare paying for the chair motor. There are many out there look around. I have also found roll in chair showers (hospital type) again very costly and other items at Habitat for Humanity and a local thrift shop that takes in items when their residents go into their facilities so check with any of those or your church shops. Also check the Estate/garage sale section of the internet, paper you find many handicapped items available.Grab bars are a must, permanently attached to the studs/floor not the stick on type....make sure they are installed as she would use them and on her good side. I have seen many installed behind the toilet which does not work, they can not face the toilet to go and hold on or turn...maybe for a man it could be helpful to have both but not a woman. If you don't have a wall to install the bar as it would work for her "good" side they do make L shaped bars that attach to floor and back wall. ...by the way why is she leaving rehab after only 3 weeks??? It sounds as if she needs more therapy to safely go home. If they gave you the she has "plateaued" nonsense that is illegal. I just fought a case like this.As a large lawsuit was won in 2013 against Medicare and ruled by the Supreme Court. The NH/Rehabs will deny it but when faced with documents they must do the correct thing. Hopefully she has not been discharged...you may also have her transferred to another better facility if you feel it is warranted.. Message me if you need info. Good luck on your journey and I hope your mom gets better! You are a sweet daughter to help with your mom's care!
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Habitat for humanity, Catholic charities, etc. Google - "charity for low income home repair" and add your location. I did this and tons of information came up. If it is not a low income situation, lots of information and organization were returned in the search.
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There are some basic things I did for my mom they you may find helpful.

A potty chair. It sits over the toilet and can be adjusted up or down and had large sturdy handles. It was a great help to my mom who had falls in the bathroom.

A shower chair or bench as was mentioned above.

An electric lift easy chair. Really helps getting up to use the Walker, and back down again.

A bed rail. I used one that is very simple. It's an L shape with the longer portion sliding in between the mattress and box springs. The shorter part looks like a very small ladder and sticks up vertically beside the bed forming a nice grab rail. No tool, easy installation.

I've also put grab rails in the tub area and at all the doors and steps.

Except for the electric lift chair (about $600) all of this stuff was affordable and easy to install. Its all been a huge help to my mom who has very limited mobility.

As was suggested, it would be great to get a therapist to visit the home and give you tips on what types of aids to use and how to place grab bars etc. It was very helpful for me.

You can probably do more accommodation than you might think without changing doors and undertaking expensive building projects.
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Concerned, I don't know if your mother gets Medicaid or not, but that would be the first source to look to for financial assistance. I'm just not that familiar with what Medicaid will contribute.

As EL writes, the therapists should be able to guide you in preparation of a list of improvements to be made, in order of priority so you can determine which to get if you can't afford all of them.

Medicare's policies have changed since the sequestration and some assistance that's necessary has been cut back, or limited in other ways. I recently asked a Medicare rep about payment for a ramp to be installed and learned that Medicare will not assist.

If you need financial assistance, contact your mother's community and ask if they participate in the HUD emergency repair grant program. My understanding is that it covers basics such as minor home repairs, so I don't know if it would provide for retrofitting.

If not, you might research online or contact the AAA for lists of device suppliers, and ask if the AAA is holding a Caregiver's Expo near you. There have been various device suppliers including home retrofitters at the expos I've attended. They focus on this, whereas general construction companies don't always get involved with this specific subset of building issues. These companies may also have some financial assistance programs available.

You should be aware that widening of doors would probably require costly structural adaptations, as would bathroom modifications such as installing walk in tubs. For the latter, I would consider a transfer bench that extends out from the tub and doesn't require standing to enter or exit the tub. Also consider using a no rinse shampoo to allow bathing in a warm, more comfortable environment and avoid the hassle of getting in and out of a tub.

I would ask the therapists who provide an evaluation to recommend alternates, i.e., if you can't widen the doors, what alternatives are there? I.e., could your mother enter sideways, taking a few steps at a time, with grab bars to hang onto?

Same with ramps. Your mother's community will have specifications for slope to which the ramp must conform. Some yards are too shallow so the ramps need to be angled to meet that requirement, resulting in more cost to build one. An alternative might be to sacrifice parking space in an attached garage and have a ramp installed in the garage - it would be much safer for ingress and egress anyway, especially in rainy and wintery conditions.

Nothwithstanding this, I would ask one of her physicians for continued PT and OT in her home. Medicare will pay for this, for a limited duration. It will help with specific in home adaptability.

I also would contact local hospitals to see if they have stroke support groups; you might get some advice from others as well as the medical pros who might participate in the group meetings.
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The therapists at the facility should be able to do a home evaluation to tell you exactly what she will need based on her abilities and the characteristics of the home. Request one for sure!
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