If you or someone you know struggles getting up and down the stairs, you know how nerve wracking it can be. Any day has the potential for serious injury or harm, and that makes day-to-day life frightening. While some people opt to move into single-story homes, not everyone has the option to move because of finances or family obligations. Another common option is installing a stairlift in the home, but this too can end up being quite expensive and outside of some budgets.
As it turns out, in many countries and provinces, there are financial assistance programs that can help cover a part or even the entire cost of installing a stairlift. Further, some companies provide grants and other financial assistance options to people in need of stairlifts. The following will explore a few things you might want to know about stairlift financial assistance.
Of course, every governing body is a little bit different. The methods for applying and receiving grants and what grants are available vary widely depending on where you live. It’s important to read all documentation associated with grants and their requirements before beginning an application to reduce the risk of confusion or disappointment later.
The Paperwork Is Important
No matter what financial assistance programs are available to you, the paperwork is very important. Messing up a few details or making a mistake in the application process can end up costing you a lot of time. If the stairlift is something that you needed installed months ago, you probably don’t want to waste any time. This means you should read all forms and instructions carefully and follow them. Any questions you have should be asked before you submit your paperwork so that you don’t run the risk of having to do the whole thing again when it turns out that your question was pertinent to the paperwork.
Many governments have grant systems available to help people keep their homes accessible to themselves. A stairlift grant will typically take into consideration your income and savings as well as how dire your need is for a stairlift before making a final decision. In some countries, the grant will be part of a larger disability or accessibility grant program, so if you don’t see stairlifts mentioned specifically, you might still be eligible for the grant. Often government programs have a cap on how much they can offer a single person, but usually, this cap is more than enough to handle your situation. In England, for example, the cap is 30,000 pounds. In Wales, it’s 36,000 pounds.
If you do not see any grants in your area, you can also ask your local government to look into whether there are any grants they can apply for from bigger governmental bodies on your behalf. Many times there are options available, only they’ve not been requested or needed, so your local council doesn’t have experience with them. You can also research federal and provincial/state grants and present them to your local council if needed.
There Will Be Waiting Time
If you’ve applied for a government grant, you need to understand that government offices have a lot of regulations and steps that dictate how they approach reviewing and approving grants. This means you might be required to wait sometime. You might want to establish an interim plan to wait to hear back. This could involve having friends or family visit more often to check that things are okay. It might involve having things moved downstairs temporarily or even sleeping on the couch on the ground floor in the meantime. Figure out what works for you and your household to keep things as comfortable as possible as you wait to hear back. Government officials want to get it done quickly, just as much as you do, but they need to ensure that they’re meeting the appropriate requirements in the process.
In addition to government grants, there are some charities that focus their efforts on accessibility and might be able to help. Organisations like Independence at Home, The Headley Trust, The ACT Foundation, The Glasspool Trust, The Barchester Health Foundation, and Turn2us all offer grants that can assist with stairlifts. If you don’t know of any charities in your area, you can ask around at the local hospital, social services bureau, or mental health clinics. Often people in the care industry keep themselves up-to-date on things that could assist their patients and clients, and so they might know of options you haven’t heard of.
The above information should help you navigate the world of financial assistance for stairlifts. It’s important to remind yourself if you get overwhelmed that accessibility to your home is a need; it’s not a want. It’s the same thing as needing to eat or sleep or drink water. There will be an option that works for you and your budget.