This was a big help for us. When my father came to live with us we actually considered adding a first floor bedroom to the house. When we learned how expensive that would be we looked into adding a stair lift. We decided on the Harmar Pinnacle. It was a great decision. Dad had no trouble operating it, and it took up less space in the stairway than we had anticipated.
Hire a CAPS certified contractor to review your home for accessibility, they have great ideas and can look at your home with a critical eye for safety. You may need to modify doorways for a wheelchair for the future, and a main floor bathroom. The most important thing to remember when modifying for a lift is that you need a good fire escape route. If the power is out, how will you get your mother safely out the door. You can have the house wiring modified to have an always on generator that backs up your primary system.
These are things that your CAPS certified contractor is trained to review your home for. Every home is different, and that's their specialty- making homes safe and prepared for people to age in place adapting homes to the changing needs of family members utilizing principals of universal design.
check out www.MakeWayForMom.com - it's a site that has a lot of advice on moving your parents in with you to become a multi-generational household.
Is there someone in a first floor bedroom who'd be willing to switch rooms? Or is there a den that could be made into a bedroom for her? Could be more cost-efficient than the stair lift if she doesn't *have* to have an upstairs bedroom, and better for her in the long run.
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