Gone and never to come are those days when seniors used to remain in one position for many hours without moving. As we speak, most of them can now move from one location to another. For instance, they can go upstairs and back without essentially having to scale the stairs. Here, these individuals normally rely on a wheelchair ramp in order to access such places. When it comes to wheelchair ramps, they can be expensive to install.
As a result, several American seniors might not be able to afford to install it right away. Thankfully, there is a myriad of organizations that now offer wheelchair ramp programs to such individuals free of charge. This way, these seniors can be safe at home and enjoy more convenience. Besides this, the wheelchair ramps can make it easy for seniors to be accessed in case of an emergency at home. Since most seniors would like to get a free wheelchair ramp, we will discuss wheelchair ramps for home free programs in this guide. .
Ways to Get Wheelchair Ramps Free of Charge
From the introduction above, it is clear that you can now get a wheelchair ramp free of charge. This can be attributed to the fact that some organizations and programs in the United States allow low-income families and seniors to enjoy this benefit effectively. As a result, they do not have to strain their overall budget in order to install wheelchair ramps in their homes. Here are some of the programs that offer wheelchair ramps free of charge:
To start with, the above-mentioned program is meant for seniors who are 65 years and above. Typically, this health insurance program has two main parts. Part A mainly covers the hospital insurance. On the other hand, Part B takes care of the medical insurance. Since the wheelchair ramps falls under medical equipment, it falls under Part B.
If your senior needs a wheelchair for him to be more mobile, be sure that he will get the much-needed financial assistance vial the Medicare plans. Besides this, the senior might enjoy an extra coverage depending on what the private insurers opts to offer. To be on the safe side, there is a need for you check with your private insurance agent so that you can get started.
Besides Medicare, you can also get a wheelchair ramp free of charge via Medicaid. As far as this program is concerned, it is imperative to note that it mainly caters for the health costs of individuals who come from low-income families. With this program in place, you will be able to get the finances that you need to install a wheelchair ramp in your home.
Under this program, one can get the much-needed coverage for a wheelchair ramp via two ways. These include:
- Regular Medicaid
- Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers.
The former usually guarantees coverage for qualified seniors. This means that you can only enjoy coverage of this equipment in case it is deemed to be medically vital to you. Although there are some seniors who get a wheelchair ramp through this method, only a handful of them manage to enjoy this luxury.
To be on the safe side, consider going for the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Thankfully, in most countries, Medicaid Waivers usually caters for the cost of ramp installation as they are considered to be an environmental adaptation or home improvement. Therefore, you cha check whether your Medicaid Waivers is offered in your state so that you can know the way forward.
3. Assistance for Veterans
Previously, we stated that Medicare Part B can help cater for the cost of the wheelchair ramp. However, this program only covers about 80% of the total cost. To cater for the remaining 20%, there is a need for you to go ahead and apply for a free wheelchair ramp via TRICARE for life.
To enjoy this luxury, you need to ensure that Medicare caters for 80% of the total costs first. Although this might work, this is not always the case as the program might have some delays. To avert many inconveniences, there is a need for you to determine if you are eligible for the Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services Program (VD-HCBS).
Unlike other programs, this one is specifically meant to provide veterans who deserve assisted living placement to get almost the same kind of care in their own abodes. Here are the qualifications that one needs to meet for him or her to enjoy these privileges:
- The applicant has to be under nursing home level care
- The senior should be living alone. However, if you have a spouse, you can still get this assistance.
- You must live in a home and not in a nursing home or any other assisted living facility or premise.
- The applicant needs to have 24 months of continuous active duty and discharge status.
4. Habitat for Safe Senior Free Ramp program
The above-mentioned organizations is always mindful of the safety concerns of seniors residing in the United States. Unlike other organizations, this one has the purpose of repairing any unsafe condition in the homes where seniors live.
Typically, this organization relies on donations and the support it gets from various volunteers out there. If your home has a senior or an elderly person, be sure that this organization will install a wheelchair ramp for you so that the senior can move seamlessly.
5. Rebuilding Together
This is another reputable national non-profit organization that helps to modify homes and make them more secure for the elderly. Thankfully, this organization has been in service for 40+ years.
If you have a senior at home, this organization will install a wheelchair ramp for you. Besides this, it can install outdoor lighting, handrails and so much more. Consequently, the senior living in your home will remain secure for longer.
6. AccessABILITY Experience
Formerly known as Push America, the above-mentioned program allows seniors from low-income families to get a wheelchair ramp free of charge. Here, the organization will support you with a grant of about $1000 so that you can purchase the materials needed to install a wheelchair ramp in your home. When it comes to the labor costs, you do not have to worry as this you will get volunteers to work for you.
7. National Directory of Home Modification Repair Resources program
Currently, there is a directory of programs that can help your senior get a wheelchair ramp free of charge. The good news is that the University of Southern California usually publishes these programs every now and then. Depending on your residential state, check the program that is available there and then make your application right away.
8. Centers for Independent living
As we speak, there are some local centers that support individuals with disabilities living in different parts of the United States. Depending on where you live, you will not miss a local organization that can help you cater for the cost of installing a wheelchair ramp.
9. Operation Ramp It Up
If you have exhausted all the options for getting a free wheelchair ramp, consider getting one from the above-mentioned program. Initially, this program used to pay attention to seniors and their spouses. However, over time, it has started offering its services to any family that is in need.
As long as you are eligible, you will be able to get a free wheelchair ramp in your home. Typically, these ramps are installed by a team of volunteers. However, a professional contractor is always present to ensure that the project is undertaken successfully. In case the ramps are no longer needed, they can be removed at will.
How Much Does a Wheelchair Ramp Go for if I Am Not Getting Free
If you are not getting a Wheelchair ramp free of charge, brace yourself to part with $1015 to $3212. However, this cost depends on vital factors such as the material used, the type of wheelchair ramp one wants to install, local labor costs, and weight capacity, slope and so on. Therefore, you should set a budget for this undertaking so that you can have this equipment at your home.
Why Are Wheelchair Ramps Vital for Seniors?
It is no brainer that seniors are less mobile than young Turks. However, this should not be an avenue for them not to move to their desired location. Thankfully, wheelchair ramps have proved to be a lifesaver for such individuals. Here are the various reasons why wheelchair ramps are important to seniors:
- These ramps play an instrumental role whenever the senior needs to visit his or her doctor every now and then. With this inclined plane in place, the senior will have an easy time leaving his or her home. Additionally, this reduces chances of the senior getting an accident as he leaves or comes home from hospital. Generally, the wheelchair ramp improves the overall mobility of your senior by a large margin.
- Besides making the seniors mobile, the wheelchair ramps makes them more independent. This way, they will not need someone to help them move from one location to another. In fact, you can leave your senior at home and go about your daily activities. The senior on the other hand will be able to move from one place to another hassle-free.
- It makes the senior to have some peace of mind as he or she can move on her own. In fact, the wheelchair ramp makes it easier for the senior to meet friends and other people close to him or her. Consequently, the senior feels happy and fulfilled.
- If the senior wants to attend a social services program, the senior can now access them seamlessly. As a result, the senior gets connected to his or her community.
- In case there is an emergency, first responders will be able to access the senior and take him or her out of home. This can go a long way in saving more lives in the long run.
What is the Correct Slope for a Wheelchair Ramp?
If you are using a hand-propelled wheelchair, the slope can rise by 1 inch for every 12 inches covered. On the other hand, if you are using power chairs, the maximum slope should rise by 1.5 inches for every 12 inches covered. However, these dimensions might vary depending on the size and the setup of your home.
Tips to Keep the Elderly Safe at Home
In case you have a senior at home, there is a need for you to ensure that he or she remains safe at home. After all, these individuals are very vulnerable to emergencies, accidents and so forth. Here are some of the vital ideas that can help optimize the safety of your elderly back at home:
- Ensure that you light up the hallways and paths of your home. This way, the senior will be able to see the way clearly even at night.
- Eliminate any object that might obstruct the movement of your senior. Whether it is a pair of shoes or any other object that might be on the floor, there is a need for you to remove it so that your senior can have a free space to walk.
- Since you have a senior at home, reduce the use of area rugs. If possible ensure that the carpet are firmly fixed on the floor.
- Install a wheelchair ramp in your home so that seniors within the household can have an easy time whenever he or she wants to move from one place to another.
- If you live in a one storey building, you can convert the downstairs room into a bathroom where your senior can take a shower. This way, he does not have to scale the stairs anytime he wants to take a shower.
- Install personal alarms in your home so that your senior can ring them anytime he or she is in danger. This way, your senior will be able to get the much-needed help in good time.
- Keep fire hazards at bay. If possible, ensure that you install smoke detectors in various places of your house. For optimal results, the batteries of these smoke detectors should be charged at least twice in a period of 12 months.