101 Mobility St. Louis opens as the city’s only nationally branded full-service sales, maintenance, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility equipment, including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, patient lifts, power wheelchairs, scooters and more. Owner, Brad Kolhbrecher proudly represents 101 Mobility’s 23rd franchisee.
101 Mobility’s national partnerships with trusted brands will enable families across St. Louis to choose from diverse mobility product lines manufactured with specific considerations in mind ranging from dexterity issues to limited space. In a city of stone steps, narrow staircases and turn-of-the-century homes, Brad Kohlbrecher knows that customization is key. His goal is simple,
“There is a great need for mobility solutions in St. Louis and my hope is that we can safely help keep people in their homes.”
As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of eight years, Brad Kolhbrecher has seen firsthand just how devastating the lack of awareness for mobility solutions can be.
“Throughout my years of experience as an EMT, we’ve had many people have to return to the hospital soon after they were released because their homes were not equipped with what they would need to recover. I’ve seen a lot of senior citizens go to nursing homes as a preventative measure or to recover from a fall. They would go for temporary rehabilitation and end up dying in there. Most St. Louis families simply don’t know that there are products out there to keep their loved ones safe at home. They don’t realize that something like a stair lift costs the same as a month in the nursing home.”
Brad’s own mother-in-law was sent to a nursing home for knee-replacement rehabilitation. She was so unhappy in the facility that she refused to stay. His mother-in-law’s dissatisfaction led him to search for alternate solutions. Simultaneously, Brad was also researching entrepreneurial opportunities when a franchise consultant brought 101 Mobility to his attention. His personal experiences combined with a degree in BioMedics made opening a 101 Mobility franchise in his home of St. Louis a no-brainer.
“It was pretty clear that 101 Mobility made the most sense, all the pieces fit into place.”
Brad and his team of mobility experts will strive to help St. Louis residents maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life. 101 Mobility St. Louis is employing an aggressive online marketing strategy joined with focused grassroots efforts to spread awareness about options to increase accessibility for those who are aging or living with a disability.
“We aren’t just selling products but reliable mobility solutions that work for the customer. We will go out of our way to provide solutions for any challenges that a customer may have.”
Greg Slepecki, Franchise Owner and his son Brad are proud to announce the opening of 101 Mobility Pittsburgh. These Pittsburgh natives are committed to helping Western Pennsylvania families improve their mobility inside and outside of the home. 101 Mobility Pittsburgh represents 101 Mobility’s 22nd national franchise opening.
101 Mobility Pittsburgh is a locally owned, family operated business. The Slepeckis were born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and understand the unique mobility needs of residents from the rough, hilly Pittsburgh terrain. They explained how most homes in the area are two to three level homes with upstairs bathrooms and downstairs kitchens, making stair lifts a must-have for those who plan to successfully age in place.
This charismatic father and son team have seen first-hand how people with mobility challenges have become an under-served demographic. It is their goal to provide the reliable mobility solutions that every Pittsburgh resident should have at their fingertips. Greg adds,
“The residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas are good people, blue-collar families who just want to stay in the home that they raised their children in.”
Greg recalled a personal experience with his late mother to describe how his parents relied on a stair lift to age comfortably in their home,
“My mother was nearly blind to the point of counting steps…she would count each step as she climbed the stairwell. We searched everywhere for something to help and there was no go-to name or business for mobility equipment in Pittsburgh; I think there is a general lack of awareness for what’s available.”
Prior to joining the 101 Mobility family, Greg Slepecki worked in one of Pittsburgh’s oldest companies as the President of Matthew’s International Architectural Group. He ran seven international manufacturing plants from Australia to Canada, California and New York. From constructing the memorial for Elvis Presley’s grave to engraving super bowl trophies, Greg has been a part of it all. Son, Brad Slepecki is experienced in disaster restoration/construction with a talent for exemplary customer care and relationship building. Brad will join the service and sales teams as Greg oversees the operation. The Slepeckis are also happy to have Primio LaLama join their 101 team as the top sales and technical person. Primio has been providing Pittsburgh families with 101 Mobility products for over three years.
Brad and Greg believe that their broader breadth of mobility products ranging from wheelchair ramps to porch lifts and more, in-depth product knowledge and franchise support system which allows for more ingenuity, will give them an upper hand over any competition. This Pittsburgh duo is working hard to brand themselves as the number one source for accessibility solutions across Western Pennsylvania with the goal of becoming a household name.
Call 412.428.9485 or visit http://pittsburgh.101mobility.com/ for assistance or additional information.
If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or experiences difficulty with steps, there are now a variety of mobility solutions to choose from, including ramps, vertical platform lifts, incline platform lifts and even outdoor stair lifts. These products significantly increase outdoor independence; Yet, many people are unaware of the outdoor accessibility options available.
Gordon Raney, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and the owner/operator of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, has a few guidelines to help you pick the best product to meet your mobility needs:
Best for? Ramping is the most common way to address accessibility issues within the home. They are perfect for individuals using wheelchairs, scooters, or who simply struggle with stairs. Folding ramps provide a solid threshold over smaller steps or curbs. More substantial modular ramps are suggested for higher landings.
How much ramp will I need? For every inch of vertical rise, a foot of ramp is necessary. The slope of your property will also dictate the amount of ramping needed. If your property is sloped downhill, more ramping will be needed to create a steady incline and vice versa.
How will I maintain it? Aluminum EZ Access Ramps require basically no maintenance; no rust, rot or decay. Aluminum modular ramps can be disassembled, moved, and easily rebuilt should families move or decide to re-sell.
How do I use the incline platform lift? The lift includes a large platform onto which the individual can drive their wheelchair or scooter. The platform then follows the incline of the stairs by a rail installed into the staircase, not the wall.
Do I have the space for it? Incline platform lifts generally work well with larger staircases as enough space for the platform to stop at top and bottom landings is required. Keep in mind that average platform size is 28” x 36” and they fold up when not in use.
Best for? The platforms are large enough for a wheelchair or scooter; similar to the incline lift, vertical platform lifts are great options for people who are unable to independently make transfers from their chair.
How is this different from an incline lift? Vertical Platform Lifts are essentially mini platforms that lift in a vertical fashion as opposed to an incline platform lift which follows the route of the stairs. Vertical platforms lifts are generally used for porches.
When should I choose a vertical platform lift over a wheelchair ramp? Porch lifts take up considerably less space than wheelchair ramps and certain models enable the user to travel up to two stories high. At approximately 30” of vertical rise, a wheelchair ramp would need to be 30 feet long and likely contain 2 landing platforms. At this point, it becomes more cost effective to opt for a porch lift instead of a modular wheelchair ramp.
How does an outdoor stair lift work? Similar to indoor stair lifts, they safely transport a person from ground to porch by following the route of the stair case.
How do I keep it protected from the elements? Outdoor stair lift models have marine-grade vinyl seats and other standard features to withstand weather conditions. Ordering a cover to keep the lift free of any dirt or debris is recommended, especially if you live in an area where it frequently snows and rains.
Still have questions? No problem, find your nearest 101 Mobility location by clicking here. Learn more from Gordon Raney about accessibility enhancing modifications in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
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Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department is now accessible thanks to Miguel of 101 Mobility Rochester!
Last week, Miguel Millan, Franchise Owner of 101 Mobility Rochester donated a stair lift valued at $4,200 to his local Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department. His generous gift ended the department’s 10 year financial struggle to purchase a stair lift. 101 Mobility prides itself in operating with integrity and exceeding expectations. Volunteer Firefighter, Mark Champion attests that this custom installation was no different,
“Our volunteer firefighters are aging and a lot of them are senior citizens, one of our former firefighters is a double amputee; we don’t have to carry him or anyone else up the stairs in their wheelchairs anymore! We also raise money for the department by renting out the upstairs reception hall and now we can bring in more groups, there is a lot of excitement within the department. We really appreciate what Miguel has done and his donation has made a huge difference!”
Although Miguel opened his Rochester franchise just eight and a half months ago, when he received a call from the Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department’s chief, Miguel simply did the right thing. After working for years as an EMT and firefighter, Miguel explains,
“I know the hardships that they go through and they [emergency responders] are just good people……we at 101 Mobility saw a need and took the opportunity to help by donating and installing a stair lift”.
Across the United States, local 101 Mobility franchisees are available to take your call and work with you to find the perfect solution for you or your family member’s mobility issues. 101 Mobility is the nation’s first full-service provider and installer of personal mobility products such as Stair Lifts, Auto Lifts, Wheelchair Ramps, Vertical Lifts, Porch Lifts, Overhead Lifts, Home Modifications, and Much More. Call 1.888.258.0652 to find your first course in mobility solutions for yourself or a loved one today.
By Michelle Seitzer
Aging in place (AIP) costs considerably less than assisted living care, but it’s not free.
Though funds are dwindling for many senior-related programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have all spent ample time on the chopping block lately), there are still a number of federal, state, local and private organizations that offer financial support to seniors who want to stay where the heart is.
To begin – because first you might need to sell the idea to skeptical family members, or just figure out what modifications are needed before getting the capital to do it – get to know what services and resources are offered in your home state via these helpful sites:
- Search for home repair and modification resources in your region at Eldercare.gov.
- HomeMods.org is a national information clearinghouse on all things related to home modifications. Professionals and consumers alike can peruse an extensive resource directory on the site.
- Not sure if your own home or a senior loved one’s residence is adaptable for AIP? Most are, but the WellCome Home site helps you clearly see the potential and know where to direct your energies and efforts when it’s time to transform the home.
- Download this Home Safety Checklist from Rebuilding Together, Inc. to remove fall hazards and resolve accessibility issues, many of which may be implemented without spending a dime.
Should the need arise for assistive equipment (such as power chairs or stair lifts) or home modifications (like wheelchair ramps or door-opening systems), here are a few ways to ease the burden of purchasing or installing these costly components.
Claim a deduction. Russell Glickman, a DC-based home design and remodeling expert, recommends conferring with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to find out whether you or a loved one is eligible to deduct the cost of home modifications on your federal income tax. You need a written recommendation from your doctor as proof that the modifications are medically necessary. Glickman also states that you can claim a deduction for the costs of operating and maintaining the modifications, whether or not the stair lift, ramp, or other equipment qualified as a medical expense. Home improvements (or capital expenses) that may be deducted per the IRS.gov are as follows:
- Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.
- Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.
- Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.
- Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
- Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
- Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
- Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).
- Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
- Modifying stairways.
- Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).
- Modifying hardware on doors.
- Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.
- Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.
Note: You can only itemize these deductions if the main purpose of installation is medical care for you, a spouse or dependent (modifications made for aesthetic, architectural or other personal reasons do not qualify). Permanent improvements that boost your property’s value may be partially included as a deduction; in this case, the cost of the home modification is reduced by the amount of the property value increase (whatever the difference is what your qualified medical expense to deduct will be). If the home modification does not increase your property value, you can deduct the whole cost as a medical expense.
Visit the Area Agency on Aging. Every state offers different incentives, programs, and benefits to their senior residents. The best way to learn about them all, in addition to any tax credits or federal monies available through Medicare, Medicaid (in some states, you may be able to qualify for funding via the Medicaid HCBS – home and community-based services – waiver), HUD, the VA, or the USDA that would be disbursed through the state, is at your local Area Agency on Aging. The AAA is a one-stop-shop neighborhood branch of your state’s department that handles senior care (i.e. Department of Aging, Department of Public Welfare, etc.). Go to Eldercare.gov or N4A.org to find your AAA by zip code, city or county.
Apply for grants or take advantage of state assistive technology projects to make your home wheelchair accessible. According to HomeMods.org, funding is available for this specific modification through the Department of Veteran Affairs (call 800-827-1000 or your local VA for more details) and via the United Cerebral Palsy Association (call 800-872-5827). The IRS also permits those with disabilities to claim some of these expenses as a tax deduction. Check in with the National Council on Independent Living Center (call 703-525-3406) to get local funding information and referral services.
Get a loan to add a room. If Mom is moving in and she has health needs or disabilities, you may be eligible for government funding. FannieMae offers the HomeChoice program, Home Keeper program, and the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (get more details at eFanniemae, or visit the local office). In Texas, New Mexico, California and Illinois, residents can apply for a Home Modifications Loan for Homeowners (with fixed interest rates and low minimum loan amounts) via Bank of America, under the “Access Loans” category. For more information, call 800-843-2632 (in CA, IL) or 800-900-9000 (in TX, NM).
Contact local foundations and non-profit organizations. Some may offer financial assistance or services referrals for those providing care for someone with disabilities or diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Easter Seals and Rebuilding Together both offer low- or no-cost community-based home modification and repair programs.
Take out a second/reverse mortgage. If you have the equity, this is a good way to secure a loan for a home modification, which, if done well, should add value to the home as more people will be seeking homes where aging in place is possible. You must be over 62 to secure funding via a reverse mortgage. (Learn more about reverse mortgages here.)
Check your insurance policies. The National Association of Home Builders says that some programs (auto insurance, worker’s compensation, long term care policies, state catastrophic accident insurance plans, and medical trust funds) might cover the costs of a home modification.
Move your parents in. If you have decided it’s best for Mom and Dad to just move in with you so you can provide care more readily, Glickman says you may be able to use proceeds from the sale of their home to make an accessible suite at your residence. He adds that adult children can avail themselves of the space in the future too, as their own care needs change.
Ready to consider a home modification for a family member’s residence, or your own? 101 Mobility has a full line of products (stairlifts, auto lifts, ramps, and more) and a team of highly-trained professional installers standing by to get AIP construction underway. Learn more about our services and find the local office serving you at http://101mobility.com/locator/.
Glen and Deanna Geggatt, of 101 Mobility’s Houston location, may be new to the mobility business, but they are passionate about helping their customers remain safe in their homes. Recently they received a call from a client who had fallen down the three steps that lead from the house to the garage. Thankfully their client sustained no injuries. However, just a few months prior he had fallen down those same stairs and been hospitalized for some fairly significant injuries. Something needed to be done to prevent this from happening again.
When Glen and Deanna arrived that day to discuss mobility options, the homeowner, his wife, and his son were all there to discuss options and share their concerns. The homeowner and his wife both wanted to remain in the home and maintain their independence and mobility. While the son’s main concern was ensuring their safety.
With just three small steps between them and their safety, Glen and Deanna knew a solution was at hand. The problem was the poorly constructed steps had variations in rise. The first step was positioned with a 10” rise, the second with a 7” rise, and the third at an 8” rise. The variations in rise were making it incredibly easy for the homeowners to misjudge their footing, causing them to fall.
The solution was for 101 Mobility to remove the old steps and install a deck or platform at the same height as the garage door leading from the house. The next step was to install a new set of stairs with a uniform rise height making it easier to climb the stairs to the platform. Additionally, a vertical platform lift was installed so that the homeowners did not need to use the stairs at all if they did not want to.
This solution provided two easily accessible ways for the homeowner to enter the home from the garage. With these solutions in place the homeowner is now able to maintain their independence and mobility and continue to “age in place.”
When a loved one is disabled or aging, and wishes to maintain their independence by staying in their home, bathroom safety needs to become a top priority. At 101 Mobility, we understand the importance of bathroom safety and have worked with hundreds of homeowners to make their bathrooms a safe place.
We offer a complete line of bath safety products to meet all of your needs. Because most falls in the bathroom happen as people enter or exit the bathtub, we offer the Safety-Step Bath Door. This product lowers the threshold of entry into the bathtub to 9” making it easier to get into and out of the tub. It includes a water-tight seal. The Safety-Step Bath Door can even be installed on your existing tub for your convenience, eliminating the need for a lengthy and expensive bathroom remodel.
Grab bars are another important bath safety modification item. Grab bars around the tub can help ease the transition in and out of the tub. It is important to note that no one should ever use towel bars to ease the transition in and out of the tub. Towel bars simply cannot support you if you slip or fall. 101 Mobility can position and install grab bars to help you get around your bathroom with ease.
Many of our clients also require transfer benches or toilet safety frames to ensure their safety in the bathroom. 101 Mobility has a wide range of products in this area to help you feel comfortable and safe in the bathroom. There is no need to worry about your safety when the team from 101 Mobility is around. We have the experience to answer your questions and provide the top quality products that will ensure your safety in the bathroom.
For more information about 101 Mobility’s complete line of bathroom safety products, please contact your local 101 Mobility location.
101 Mobility is proud to help America’s Veterans. Under the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA), Veterans may receive “home improvements necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities.” We work with Veterans each and every day to help them improve mobility in their homes.
With 101 Mobility and the HISA, Veterans can:
- Replace all bathroom tubs with shower stalls complete with molded or pull-down seats
- Install non-skid strips or slip-resistant tiles in the shower
- Install grab bars in the shower stalls and toilet area
- Install hand-held showerhead
- Install raised toilet seats
- Install handrails on both sides of the stairs for better support
- Replace carpeting and tile flooring with non-slip/skid type flooring
- Install non-skid rubber strips on the edge of stairs to help prevent falls
- Convert kitchen cabinets into drawers to hold pots and pans for easier access
- Replace door knobs with lever handles
- Install lever-handle faucets in kitchen and bathrooms
- Consider increasing door opening sizes to as much as 36 to 42 inches
- Install a permanent or portable wheelchair ramp
- Install a stairlift or chairlift
Your local 101 Mobility location is ready to help you with need HISA improvements and alterations. All of our 101 Mobility locations are GSA Contract Holders, and have the experience and knowledge to help you achieve a completely functional and accessible home, customized for your needs.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact your local 101 Mobility location.
As baby boomers age and are forced to make important decisions regarding their long-term care, many choose to stay at home and “age in place,” rather than be moved to a nursing home or assisted living facility when faced with disabilities. Choosing to remain in their own home gives people a sense of comfort and security of familiar surroundings and allows them to maintain personal relationships and connections to their community, friends and family. These benefits are crucial for aging gracefully and independently, but the right measures need to be taken in order to ensure comfort and safety at home.
With falls being the number one cause of home fatalities among the senior population, this is one of the most important issues that should be addressed when assessing an elderly loved one’s safety at home. If you find that your senior’s well-being is compromised due to declining health or disabilities, it may be time to consider investing in a mobility solution. Everyday activities such as climbing stairs or navigating from one room to another can become a hazard, but are easily preventable and manageable with the right equipment. In addition to the more commonly used scooters and walkers, mobility and accessibility equipment can also include auto lifts, stair lifts, turning seats, modular ramps, platform lifts, hospital beds and so much more. When helping your senior decide what mobility solution to invest in, it’s important to consider what options are best suited for his or her needs depending on the ailment, structure of the home, budget and financing tools.
The process of finding the right solution for your elderly loved one can be overwhelming at first glance—with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to pinpoint what will be the most helpful. The first step is to evaluate your elder’s needs based on his or her current state of health and living conditions. Survey the order and appearance of the senior’s home and take note of the overall state of the house. Is there an unusual amount of clutter piling up? Are items in disarray or put in the wrong place? If so, these may be signs that the elder is having difficulty walking from room to room and could benefit from a walker or wheelchair to help him or her maneuver safely and efficiently. Is he or she reluctant to climb or descend stairs? A motorized stair lift can be installed on the staircase to eliminate the risk of slipping or falling.
Besides installing ramps or lifts, there are many small changes that can be made around the home that are often overlooked but aid immensely in maintaining mobility throughout a house. Sharp corners in the kitchen, for example, can be dangerous if a senior should happen to fall. Make sure counters and tabletops have “bullnose” or rounded corners to prevent more serious injuries. Lower the shelving in cabinets so seniors don’t have to rely on step stools or stooping down to grab necessary items. In the bathroom, grab bars installed in the tub or shower add extra support, in addition to a shower chair and removable shower nozzle. For more ease in the living room, consider extending the legs of furniture by a few inches so a senior doesn’t have to rock to get up. If he or she still has trouble rising, a lift chair, which pushes the entire chair up from its base, can be helpful in moving to a standing position. The important thing for a mobile senior is to keep moving. Canes and walkers are great tools to encourage activity.
After evaluating your elderly loved one’s needs, it’s important to research mobility solutions thoroughly, in order to determine costs and financing options. Even with good health insurance, mobility equipment can be tight on the budget for many seniors, but is very affordable with the right plan. Many mobility equipment providers offer financing in the form of monthly payments to qualified customers. This is a good option for those who need the equipment but have to pay small amounts over time. When financing your purchase through credit, be sure to read the fine print to find out if a down payment is required, what the application fees and interest rates are and exactly what your monthly payment will be. This ensures there are no unwelcome surprises down the road. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover a large portion of a new wheelchair or other powered device with a qualified medical professional’s statement that it’s medically necessary.
For those who do not have insurance or don’t qualify for government assistance, there are numerous places to look for free or inexpensive mobility equipment. Local churches and senior centers may have used equipment that has been donated by the public or hospitals and nursing homes often keep their older model wheelchairs to sell or rent out after they update to new models. Also, look for deals on the bulletin boards at nursing homes, assisted living or veteran facilities. When purchasing second-hand wheelchairs or any other equipment, have it examined by a professional to make sure it’s safe to use.
There’s a lot to consider before investing in a mobility solution but choosing the right product will aid immensely in helping a senior maintain independence and mobility in their cherished home. If you or a loved one is unsure of where to begin the process, contact your local mobility solution provider for more information.
Dave Pazgan is the CEO of Wilmington, NC-based 101 Mobility, a franchised provider and installer of a broad range of high-quality, affordable brands of mobility and accessibility equipment. 101 Mobility consultants and service personnel professionally install and service auto lifts, stair lifts, turning seats, modular ramps, platform lifts and more for seniors and individuals of all ages with limited mobility caused by injuries or disabilities. 101 Mobility also provides power wheelchairs and scooters and medical equipment including walkers, canes, hospital beds, therapeutic pumps and more. 101 Mobility expects to have more than 150 franchises in operation within five years. Prime franchise territories are available nationwide. For more information, visit www.101mobility.com or call 910.350.2755.
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