Where can I get assistance purchasing a recliner for my mother with diabetes?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 10, 2016
Auntinaz asked...

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago. She desperately needs an adjustable bed, or a recliner she can adjust to sleep in. My father has Parkinson's and their only income is social security and a small amount of child suppor for a grandchild they are raising. I am unemployed so I have no finanical resources to put into the mix. Basically they are paing most of the household expenses and we just have no money at all to try and purchase the recliner or even the special slippers she would like.

I feel bad that we can't get the recliner because she is in pain and lacking in sleep due to being uncomfortable. I also feel like she blames me for having to pay all the bills, but I've been trying to find another job. I was just wondering if there are any resources that might help us to purchase the recliner for my mother. She prefers a recliner over an adjustable bed, partly due to space considerations.

Thank You!

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

Medicare or Medicaid will not pay for a recliner or adjustable bed. If it is medically necessary, they may pay for an electronic hospital bed. Your mother's doctor needs to prescribe the bed and provide a Certificate of Medical Necessity. Even if Medicare approves payment, durable medical equipment is covered by Medicare Part B, which has an annual deductible and 20% copay. This means that your mother would need to pay the deductible of $162 and 20% of the monthly payments. This may not be feasible. The exception to this is for seniors who have a Medigap/Medicare Supplement policy. Depending on the plan, Part B deductibles and copays may be covered. If your state has a Medicaid program for home care, you may be able to get benefits, including home health care and a hospital bed, through them. To find out if your mother is eligible, contact your county board of social services. They may be able to offer additional options.

You should also check websites like Freecycle.org and Craigslist. You might find someone looking to give away exactly what you are looking for.

Community Answers

Kit cat answered...

Excellent answer.

I have a few additional thoughts.

  1. If they are raising their grandchild, that child may be able to collect dependent's benefits from social security. They will need to contact social security and enroll her. It could be quite a bit of extra income for their household.

  2. If your mom is low income she may be eligible for Medicare Savings Program. She can contact her local medicaid office and ask how to enroll. If she is not already doing this... This will pay all of her medical deductibles and co-pays, plus it will raise her monthly Social Security check (since monthly medicare fees won't be taken out of it anymore).

  3. If she is very low income, she may also be eligible to enroll in SSI. Some seniors do not realize they are eligible for this. It will mean more money each month, plus medicaid will pay 100% of her medical expenses.

  4. The Medicaid long term care program mentioned above is for people who need help with bathing, dressing, eating, bathroom, and personal care. If your mom needs this kind of help, she should definitely apply. She may be able to hire a full time caregiver... and guess what... she gets to pick the person! She could hire you and that would solve your unemployment problems too! Contact social services and/or your local area aging agency. Make sure you let them know you are looking for a "medicaid waiver" or "medicaid long term care" - do not just apply for medicaid health insurance that is totally different.

Kit cat answered...

p.s. Medicaid pays the salary