Saturday, October 1, 2011
Solution No. I - Stair Climber
I swear Twitter and Blogs are the best places to hash over problems and find solutions. After we decided maybe an apartment was not such a good idea, the problem still existed of handling the stairs to the basement, and some of the other work.
A good Twitter friend of Mario (and me too actually) suggested we check out a stair climber. She even forwarded a link to a site that sells them. I never thought of this myself, and really didn't even know they existed.
Rather than order from some web site where they just ship it to you (sounded a little scary to me), I decided to call one of our local home medical supply stores in our city to ask a few questions. They not only sold them, but would also install and service down the road should there be any problem. We made arrangements for the salesman to visit the next day to discuss the possibility of one.
Now these gizmo's are not cheap. In fact, you are looking at about $4,000 installed. Expensive yes! And, Medicare would not help pay for it. Since I'm the one that was having trouble going up and down stairs, Don left it up to me. In fact, he made it very clear that he did not intend to use it.
Quite frankly, he needs it as much as I do, only for different reasons. His mobility is good, but he has a habit of carrying things up and down the steps without hanging on to the railing. He's an accident waiting to happen. But, it was a macho thing with him. He can handle the steps on his own, thank you!!! None of this handicap stuff for him.
The guys were able to install it in 3+ hours, and I had my first ride to test it out. When we built this house, little did we think 35+ years ago that the steps should be made wider by an inch or so. What did we know - we were in our late 30's and wasn't thinking down the road to 60's and 70's. But the stair climber just fits. Don's knees don't have more than an inch of clearance from the other wall, but he's able to ride it if necessary.
I was worried that Mario might be afraid of it, but he just watched it in fascination. After it was in the house for about 2 weeks, I picked him up one day and put him on my lap for a ride downstairs. He didn't fight it, but well, he's a cat, and cats don't like to be forced into anything. Thus, he was more than willing to hop off my lap when we were 2 steps from the bottom.
We are very happy with it and would never hesitate to recommend it to anyone who might be in need of one. As a friend told me - it's probably cheaper than moving and paying rent. She is so right.
Stay tuned to see what other problems we can solve.