Stairs and stairlift for people with als

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Elo

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Mar 16, 2006
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41
My husband will get a stairlift in 4 weeks. In the meantime bedrooms and washrooms are upstairs and he gets upset if I cannot help him up 14 stairs every night, he is wheelchair bound. I feel very guilty when I cannot help him but I think it is very unsafe for him, and my right leg and arms are giving out on me. I am 117 lbs and feel exhausted the next day when I help him. I prefer him to stay downstairs if I don't have a strong arm to help but he doesn't like that how can I let him understand?
 

Mary Helen Barr

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Mar 6, 2006
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61
Would it make a difference if you or someone else told him that if something happens to YOU while you are struggling to help him up the steps, you won't be able to help him AT ALL for a long time! I know what it's like to help someone up the steps. For my father, I had to bend down and pick up each leg and put it on the next step. Absolutely crazy. If your husband falls, you'll both go down.
 

lunarruna

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May 20, 2006
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145
Reason
CALS
Country
US
State
xx
no, no more stairs

Elo,
You are doing the right thing--you know best your strength limits so you must make the call--no more stairs until the lift. It is so hard...but on some level your husband understands..he just doesnt want to have to accept yet another loss from this horrible disease. My husband kept wanting to make the trek upstairs to our bedroom too, and we made a few very stupid dangerous ones. As long as we could get to our bed and sleep together we could cling to some of our normal, previous life. I felt scared and angry doing it, and then felt despair that I was letting him down when I couldnt do it anymore. Eventually we got set up downstairs and adjusted to the new situation, but it was one of a series of losses we had to mourn.
Finding the balance to meet both CALS and PALS needs is difficult--hang in there and good luck.
Beth
 

ChrissyWho

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Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
21
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
03/2006
Country
US
State
California
I know just how you feel. Before we got our stair lift I had to practically lift my husband up each step. Life is much easier now with the lift but there are some nights that I'm just too exhausted to even help him with the transfers from the lift to the chair to the bed, on those nights George sleeps in a bed we put in downstairs. Hang in there.

Chris
 

Elo

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Mar 16, 2006
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41
replies to "stairs"

Mary Helen Barr, , Beth, Chris:

Thanks Mary Helen for your helpful hints, you certainly described some of what I am going through right now, a relative did mention the danger of this to my husband but he thinks I should be able to lift him as he has lost some weight. I have to lift him to every step and pick up each leg and put it on the next step, he helps a bit.

Beth, you described exactly what I am going through right now, thanks for the hints and encouragement.

Chris, thanks for the insight, yes, I practically lift my husband up each step. He helps a bit, but it is tiring.
 

pez

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Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Messages
5
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
massachusetts
stairlift

Hi
This Is My First Time In Using This Forum
My Husband Was Just Recently Diagonsed With The Hard Disease And We Have Come To The Point Of Needing A Stairlift
They Are So Expensive Any Suggestions?
We Contacted An Als Group And They Told Us Financially They Could Not Help Us.
We Both Lost Our Moms To Cancer Last Year In The Same Week So They Were So Helpful To Us, But Now It Is Me His Wife Doing Everything And We Just Got Married Two Years Ago. So It Has Been Extremely Hard As You All Know.
Yes, Basically Helping Him Up The Stairs, It Is A Lot Of Work And You Definitely Cannot Hurt Yourself That Would Not Be Good For Either One Of You!
Thanks Again And I Am So Glad I Heard About This Forum.
Pez
 

Al

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Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
Hi Pez. Once again it helps to know where you live. Different things go on in different states provinces and countries. March of Dimes can be approached ,Service Groups and even some Shriner Groups have done fundraising for ALS. Let us know where you are and we might be able to be more specific. Al.
 
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pez

New member
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Messages
5
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
massachusetts
Stairlifts Or Elevators

Hi
I Am New To This Website
We Are Looking For A Stairlift And The Best Prices
We Live In The Boston Area And We Were Told That At Least $7000 For A Stairlift
Anyone Have Any Suggestions
We Were Looking Into Used Elevators, But We Are Having Difficulty
I Would Appreciate Any Helpful Hints
Thanks Again
Pez
 

Al

Legendary member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
That sounds like a lot of money for a stairlift. My porchlift was only $4800 for the lift itself. The sidewalk and bridge were extra. They make a stairlift as well. They are in Quebec Canada but may have dealers in Mass. Website is www.savaria.com Give it a look.
 

kathmc

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
51
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
02/2006
Country
US
State
ky
homemade stair aid,

Hi there. that is the pits 4 both. hate to say this, but sometimes a loving stand must be taken, esp. when 4 good of all. He may not be strong enough 4 this idea, but maybe someone out there can use it safely. We have 5 + deep steps to leave & return to our house. months ago my husband was lifting my legs on these stairs. He also had to do this 4 bathtub.

I came up w/ solution where we both work lot less . At target and places like that in exercise section they have pks. of 4, closed cell, 1/2" thick foam, each 2'x2' with edges cut where they can interlock. here in states seen a high of $19.98, low of $14.99. seen them connected to make a play area 4 young children. if they fall it cushions., also protects floor from kid stuff & marks area toys stay in. come in gray or crayola bright colours.

two years ago i couldn't get on elliptical, too much of step up. After leaving target realized oops. used them full size for intermedate lift to machine. 4 foam panels = 2" step or lift.

i cut some in 1/2 ( 12"x24" ), duct taped together 4 intermedate step to tub. Now have to use smaller ones w/ it. step on, lift leg, Tom puts risers under, step again, lift, etc. also use to get out of tub. better than no bath.

to house hunt and scale our steps i cut each into quarters, 12"x12", taped them in pairs, each one 1" thick. When my husband is helping me now, he puts 2-3 of these 1" lifters on step making it half of original height. before he lifted one leg, i dragged other one up. was terrible strain, knees in agony. this is much easier on my knees.

My stairs have hand rails, i use both w/ homemade lifts. bath has grab bars . when this no longer feels secure, won't do anymore. SAFTY FIRST. been a lifrsaver 4 now, esp looking at houses. before had to rest 4 too many days after struggle to get in. hated it when r.e. agent offered to lift legs. she is 1/2 of me. my assistant thinks this is easier and safer than b4. we measured steps before cutting & we do not use on narrow steps. we carry a few singles w/ others in case odd step, or weakish day needs extra lift.

i hope this helps someone. this site has helped me.

kathy
 

TBear

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Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
430
Country
CA
State
ON
Hi Pez:
We had a stair lift (stair glider) that came to us through the ALS Society in Ontario (Toronto) The cost to us was for installation only. Usually they are recycled as needed and add or subtract rails depending on the stairway required. We approached the ALS Society through our local ALS Clinic to determine the availability of these things.... and others as we required them (hoyer lifts, chairs, scooters etc.). Next we approached local service organizations to help with the cost of installation. (Lion's Club, Rotary Club etc., Shriners Club)... I see you are from Uxbridge... so am I!
 

Susan

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Messages
4
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
Maryland
Access to house

Hello. I am new to this forum - and already have benefited from your insights and experiences. I am appreciative of this.

My brother has ALS - and we are trying to figure out how to outfit our home so it will remain accessible to him. There are many steps to our house - and we have looked at building a ramp but the required grade makes it impossible for our narrow space fronting the road. We are also looking at vertical lift/outdoor elevator options and recently came across what looks like a very flexible option - a portable, inclined platform stair lift by Garaventa, called the Super Trac TRE 52. However, I was told by our local dealer that this unit costs about $10,000. Does anyone have experience with this lift and would recommend it? Is there a place to go for second hand lifts for sale? I have already checked ebay - and will keep checking.

But, we are in this for the long haul - and want to do whatever it takes to keep my brother out and about. Are there recommendations for loan programs that are reasonable? There is an ALS loan closet in our area - but the equipment loans are to the immediate family and there is much need. So, understandably we are not first in the cue.

If there are alternatives for access to a house that is about 10 feet above the street and is on a narrow lot, please let me know. We have a friend who is a mechanic and have talked to him a hydraulic lift for cars that could be modified for a wheelchair. But then we were told there are county regulations on what you install and a home-done job may not pass muster. The most desirable option is one that would provide my brother the most independence possible re control.

Thank you in advance for any recommendations,

Susan
 

Susan

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Messages
4
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
Maryland
One more comment

To GramPAL - i read your recommendation on your platform lift and will with the company. Any problem with reliability and long term performance? Work ok despite effects of rain and snow? Thank you.

Susan
 

Al

Legendary member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
Hi Susan. If you go to the People with ALS-Pals Thread and look down under Porch lift and bathroom pictures you can see some pictures of the installation at my place. We had to build a bridge from the up position on the sidewalk and the lift will go up 6 ft. If you need more height you might be able to build a ramp up to it. The lift was $5000 canadian and the bridge was $700 for materials and my brother and 2 friends built it with the son in laws help. We have only had it in a few months but it is rain proof and the company has them in Thunder Bay Ont. which is far enough north that I don't even want to think about how cold it gets. They did say that if you go out and it is going to or is snowing that the lift should be left in the down position. There is a safety switch that stops the lift if it contacts something on the way down and a couple of inches of snow will stop it. Hope this helps. AL.
 

Lisa Lane

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
21
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
GA
Hi, we are trying to solve the same problem. I found the best price for a vertical platform lift at lift-world and another good site was planetmobility.

We are going to make a purchase soon. We have to go up 9 feet. I had one place suggest using 2 wheelchairs. One for the upstairs and one for the street level and use an outdoor stair lift. he said this combo would be cheaper than a vertical lift. He was right but, I don't know how long it would last. I think the less moble we become, transfering from one thing to the next would be hard. Any thoughts?
 
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