I’m standing in the hospital room, looking at my sister-in-law who has been a part of my life for the better part of four decades, and wondering how did we get here?
Just a few months ago we were walking on the boardwalk alongside the beach, enjoying ice cream cones and the balmy, warm air.
Today, thankfully, is her last day here, but it’s going to be a long, hard ride for her when she gets home. All of the sudden, she’s having trouble standing on her own, and she is definitely having a difficult time getting up from a seated position.
I know she’s only living on Social Security and my funds are nothing to write home about, so what I’m wondering, while I painfully watch her struggle, is does Medicare cover recliners for seniors? How can I find out?
I’m certain my sister-in-law’s case is not the only challenge in the world like this one. I’m sure there are many people who would benefit from the knowledge of where to find free recliners for seniors, if that is even a thing.
I knew it was up to me to find out.
Especially true since I was slated (volunteered) to be her caretaker.
Long time divorcee, and no kids to call her own, the hospital said she could only go home if there was someone to care for her.
Otherwise, she was headed to a nursing home, and no way were we going to have that; I already knew from previous discussions that she would not be happy with that, not even for a short amount of time.
Check: Review of the Best Recliners for Seniors
Will Medicare or Medicaid Cover the Cost of an Adjustable Recliner?
After a bit of research, I did find that there were resources that might help us to purchase the recliner we needed, or even to help us get one for free but it wasn’t going to be through Medicare.
According to an article on Caring.com,  “Medicare or Medicaid will not pay for a recliner or adjustable bed.” They might cover the cost of a hospital bed (great for deep sleep or helping to curtail restless nights), but there would have to be a proven medical need (it would have to be deemed as necessary medical equipment), and it would have to be signed off on by the attending physician. I contemplated the bed for a moment but wasn’t really convinced that was what she genuinely needed.
With physical rehabilitation on the horizon, recovery was in our future. We weren’t going to need something with such a potentially permanent need as the hospital bed (though the zero-gravity position would admittedly have been helpful), just something to help us get her into a standing position and moving easier than I could do alone, by simply reaching down and trying to pull her up.
I may have been able to care for her, willingly and happily so, but knew that I was no spring chicken either, and lifting wasn’t as easy for me as it used to be.
It was imperative for me to ensure my friend’s safety, and in my heart of hearts, I knew it was an adjustable recliner that would be of the most help to her.
Not only would it help her to get to an upright position, but could also give her a relaxed recline when she wasn’t using it to try to stand.
The mission to go in search of a lift chair recliner…
Resources to Help Purchase Recliner Chairs or Get a Free One
One thing I’ve learned on this journey, even though it’s just begun, is that people in medical situations stick together. There are a whole plethora of resources available for people who are in the same proverbial boat as we are, and I intend to utilize every one of them.
We’ve already passed along a shower bench that was donated to us, but we think it might find a better home elsewhere.
We’ve also been offered the temporary use of a wheelchair by the manager who runs my sister-in-law’s apartment. That will be helpful in getting her from the car to the apartment, and vice versa.
What I’m hoping to find now, is someone who is willing to part with their lifting or adjustable recliner, so she can be seated in a comfortable position but still have a boost to get help when needed. A swivel recliner might be nice, but honestly, most any lift chair recliner would be welcome at this point
We are looking at some free options, and then possibly some low cost ones as well.
I’ve also put out my own feelers, letting people know of our need for one because you can’t get help if you don’t ask for it. We came up with the following ideas:
Check: Best Sleep Chair for Elderly
5 Ways to Get a Free Recliner for Seniors
There are some options to explore for finding a lift mechanism chair for free:
1 – Bulletin Boards
My sister-in-law said there is a bulletin board in her apartment building, in the reception area. We are also going to try to post at stores in the area, such as the local grocery stores, department stores, and others.
2 – Churches
There are many churches close to us and many do offer help to people in their communities. We will be trying to reach out to as many of them as we can.
3 – Flyers
I’ve already started working on the flyer to ask if anyone can help. These will be posted in public areas and handed out to people who are leaving areas where seniors frequent (hoping someone has or knows someone who has a lift chair they no longer need).
4 – Social Media Groups
Social Media, especially Facebook, is a great place to look for free items. Facebook groups for seniors, local Facebook groups and the like are a great place to make inquiries about items like a power lift chair.
5 – Word of Mouth
Just making it known to friends and family that we need a chair to help with limited mobility (and asking them to mention it to the people in their circles as well) can be a great way to actually find one.
A lot of people understand that elderly people have a need for such items from time to time, so communication can go a long way in finding success.
Now let’s talk about the paid options! If the above options don’t pan out, we have the following paid ones to consider, if we can get them at a low or very reduced price.
5 Ways to Get a Cheap Recliner for Senior
1 – Emailing Organizations
I have e-mailed area organizations such as Salvation Army, Goodwill and local thrift stores to ask them to be on the lookout, and contact us if they see something in our price range.
These organizations have thrift stores and may already have one or be able to stay on the lookout for us to obtain one, at a low cost.
2 – Contacting Manufacturers
While it might not be helpful most of the time to contact the manufacturer directly, there is no harm in trying, and maybe we will get lucky. You just never know and we are looking at all of our options.
3 – Social Media (again), Especially The Facebook Marketplace
In addition to the social media website itself (Facebook groups were mentioned above), there is also a bona fide Marketplace on Facebook where people sell items.
We came across one that was a perfect choice for us, that was for sale, but it was already gone when we reached out to the seller. We will, however, continue perusing that resource regularly.
4 – Craigslist
Most people have heard of Craigslist. They offer items for sale by the owner, in your local area. There was one that was listed for FREE, a classic style leather power lift recliner with a wide seat, and a remote control but it too was gone by the time I saw the ad.
Another that said it had comfortable long-term sitting was listed for sale, but it was marked as ‘sold.’ I do intend to scour Craigslist daily. It only takes a few moments and could prove to be very valuable to us.
5 – Newspaper Ad
A newspaper ad may seem a bit antiquated (you may ask, ‘who reads the newspaper anymore?’) but as I said, we are exploring all options.
I have a friend who still very much enjoys sitting at the table with her morning coffee and hard copy newspaper each day. This option may not be as obsolete as one might think, and it is worth a try.
Whatever the case may be, we are staying positive and moving forward one step at a time.
The Future Looks Bright
We have a bit of a struggle in front of us, of that, there is no doubt, but we’ll make it through together. I’ll be there for her every step of the way, even if my caretaking means I have to sleep on the couch.
If the shoe were on the other foot, I know she would do the same for me. Today, I’m keeping track of her appointments, ensuring she has her medicine when she needs it, and staying close in case she needs me for anything at all, AND I’m still looking for that chair.
Do you have any suggestions for where we can look that weren’t mentioned above? Share with us down in the comment section!
1. Barbara Steinberg. Where can I get assistance purchasing a recliner for my mother with diabetes? [Internet] 2011. [cited 2022 Mar 25]. Available from: https://www.caring.com/questions/my-mother-was-diagnosed-with-diabetes-a-few-months-ago-she