Mobility aids are often pricey. A straight stair-lift, for example, can cost upwards of €2500 and even a cheap mobility scooter will cost over €500. However there are number of ways to lower the cost. In this post we will look at three things you can do to save money.

  1. Look in to buying a second hand model. A reconditioned stair-lift can save you up to a third of the upfront cost. Of course when buying any second hand equipment you should make sure that the supplier is reputable and has done a full range of safety checks on the equipment. It is also worth checking the age as it is easier to find replacement parts for models that are less than two years old. It will also be easier to get a decent warranty so make sure that you can get one which will cover you for at least a year in case of any surprises. Another option to consider is renting mobility aids – for example if you are recovering from an accident. This will not only reduce the cost but it also means that if you no longer need or want it then the rental company will remove it for you. The main disadvantages of renting are that there are limited options and it is only suitable for short term problems.
  2. The second is that it really is worth shopping around. I doubt I need say this, but don’t just think about price. The main things you should look for are reputation and good customer service, including after sales. If you have any friends who use mobility aids ask them about their experiences, what they found useful, and who they found helpful. There are plenty of suppliers out there are affordable and offer a good level of customer service.
  3. The third thing to do is look for grants and loans to help you pay. In Ireland you have a couple of options. Both the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme and the Housing Adaption Grant for People with a Disability provide means tested grants to help with items such as installing stairlifts and grab rails and buying scooters. In Northern Ireland the Disabled Facilities Grants provide a similar service. Because these are means tested you might find you still have to pay a hefty chunk of the price for your aids, but they can definitely lower the cost. In general if you live in a household that earns under €30,000 a year then you get 95% of the cost paid, with a steady decrease in aid until you reach over €65,000. However it is worth talking your options over with an expert who may be able to get you more.

If you need help with mobility the equipment and financial support is out there. Don’t let the upfront cost of a stairlift or scooter intimidate you and instead ask around to see what can be done. After all mobility aids can help provide independence which would otherwise be unavailable.

-This is a guest post from Daniel Frank, a blogger who regularly covers issues related to money saving tips and mobility aids such as a reconditioned stairlift