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Incontinence Support Blog

Renting a Home from a Chair

Posted by Caleb Bartlett

Aug 16, 2016 4:36:16 PM

My family and I recently went through a rather difficult, yet educational experience. For the first time since my injury I was jointly responsible for a home. By the this I mean my name was on the lease. Many of us in chairs often live with family, some us received a settlement and bought a home, but there are those of us making a go of it out there in world living in a place we do not own. This means Landlords and that can be good, or really bad.

Last year my family and I moved to a new state to start a business. We had trained, saved, and searched for the right opportunity as well as the property. We planned to run a home-based food business and so infrastructure and amenities were equally important as accessibility. We finally found what we wanted and in a flurry of activity we signed a lease, packed, and moved. So as not to bog down this post with the gory details I’ll get to the point… the Landlord was dishonest and breached the lease causing us to lose a years’ worth of hard work, money, and ultimately we had to get a lawyer. Now ultimately our case stands on its own for anyone leasing a home, but in our effort to educate ourselves about our rights I learned a few things I felt it might be worth it to pass on to you. So here’s a few tips...

Make friends with a Lawyer. I’m serious. Attorneys get paid for their time and do get expensive, but the $150-$250 to have them read through a lease agreement could save you thousands on down the road. If you’re in a chair there are many pro bono disability rights services that can at least advise you on such matters before you sign anything. If you have a friend or family member who is an attorney don’t assume favors, be honest about what you can afford, tell them what you need, and offer them something for their time.

Don’t be in a hurry. If you are even remotely considering moving start looking now. Give yourself time. When you rush you settle for second best and a lease can be a difficult thing to get out of.

Don’t be impressed and don’t believe the pictures. Anything can look great with a coat of paint. If you are limited physically take someone with you who can look at the attic, the crawl spaces, the plumbing, and under the cabinets. Have them check for rot, mold, leaks, pests, and anything that could be unsafe or a fire hazard.

Be specific with the Landlord about your needs. Educate yourself about disabled tenant’s rights. There’s a lot of them and they’re in your favor. There are many resources online. However, be kind and polite. Explain your daily routine and how the space does or does not work, and what you can do to change it. Educate yourself on all the accessibility aides that are modular and can save them money. They will appreciate that.

Ask for references and do your homework. They will want references from you, expect no less from them. If you can, speak to previous renters, other current tenants, employees, or other professional connections. Listen and watch their reactions, it will tell you a lot.

Get it in writing, get it in writing, GET IT IN WRITING. Protect yourself now and you won’t have to fight later. If the lease is vague, get it rewritten in clear language. Know exactly what you are responsible for and what you are not. If you need special wording due to the wheel chair be honest and say what you want.

Life in a chair can be a daily challenge. Knowledge is power and can ease the stress of so many unnecessary battles. Living independently is a great blessing and gift that many don’t get to enjoy. The more of us who get out there and make it the norm the more landlords will make more and more properties accessible.

Thanks for reading.

Topics: family, wheelchair, Patient Stories, Guest Blogs, how to

How Do I Know if My Insurance Plan Covers Men’s Liberty?

Posted by Mens Liberty

Nov 24, 2015 11:00:00 AM


 This week we’re following up on one of our most popular series – Understanding My Insurance! This week we’re going to be talking about one of the most confusing parts of your insurance – how to know what your insurance will cover.


So first, let me start with a disclaimer. There are over thirty five thousand different insurance plans available in the US right now. There is no way I can cover all of them. The best I can do is give you some helpful guidelines and general information from our insurance experts.

First – consult your benefit book. If you’re like me, you probably got this massive booklet a few years ago, promptly tossed it in a corner and never read it. Your benefit booklet is your holy grail for information on what is covered AND what isn’t.

The downside is, it’s written in legalese – that’s the knick-name for language used by lawyers to confuse us normal people who don’t speak in tongues. But if you strip away the legal mumbo-jumbo – it will tell you whether or not something is covered.

Not sure, you can call them but you’ll be on hold for several weeks before you speak to an actual person. So your best bet is often to visit their website. Most insurance companies will let you set up an online account to access your profile. This has lots of coverage information and even better, it’s usually written in plain English!

Our second tip, especially for those of you who have Medicare, is to call 1-800-MEDICARE. They can give you lots of great information about coverage. In general, for older adults, Medicare sets the baseline for what is considered acceptable coverage. If Medicare covers it, many insurance companies will follow suit. This isn’t always the case but it can be a useful indicator.

And our third and final tip – if you’re not sure – ask us! We talk to men every day looking to try Men’s Liberty and get it covered by their insurance. We work with our distributors to do something called: insurance verification. This is where we take your information from your insurance card and check it with the insurance company online to verify your benefits for Men’s Liberty. Men’s Liberty is covered under a particular code – so that’s what we look for. Once we’ve verified your insurance, we’ll call and tell you if it’s covered or not! If you’re looking for another product – reach out to a distributor who sells that product – they do the same insurance verification process.

 


I hope this helps you all – and if you have more insurance questions be sure to let us know and we’ll include them in our next installment of the Understanding Your Insurance series.

Get Help Now! 

Topics: Medicare, how to, insurance

Tips & Tricks: How to Use the Bedside Bag

Posted by Mens Liberty

Nov 20, 2015 10:00:00 AM


We’ve seen a new question popping up over the last few weeks and I wanted to take a few minutes here with all of you to answer! It seems like we’ve got a little confusion out there about some of the related products that can be provided alongside your Men’s Liberty.


The first of these products is a bed bag. It looks just like this one <<hold one up>>. This is designed for overnight use and attaches to the small plug at the base of the Men’s Liberty pouch. It holds up to 64 ounces of fluid and is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

So when you’re ready for bed – this is what you want to do:

  • Sit down on your bed, place the empty bed bag on the floor next to your bed or hook it to your bedframe. It doesn’t matter which of these you do – you just want to make sure that the bag is resting below your bladder so that gravity will make sure it drains.
  • Next, take off the blue cap on the end of the bed bag tubing. Remove the plug from the bottom of your Men’s Liberty pouch and push the bed bag adaptor into the plug hole on the pouch firmly. Keep pushing the adaptor in there until it’s secure. Pull up your boxers or other pjs and then you’re ready to get a restful night’s sleep. In the morning, remove the adaptor and replug your Liberty. Empty the bed bag into the toilet and put it somewhere safe for tomorrow night.
  • One other tip, if your bed bag has a bit of a smell to it after a few nights, you can rinse the bag with a solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water or 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach and about a cup of water. Pour this into the bag and swish it around for about 30 seconds. Drain the bag and allow to dry.  This will totally get rid of the smell and keep your bed bag daisy fresh.

The bed bag is supposed to be re-used for up to two weeks. That’s why we give you two bed bags with each month’s supply of Men’s Liberty. If you don’t wear the Liberty at night – just tell us and you can skip the bed bags.


I hope this is helpful – if you have any other product questions – please let us know in the comments or send us an email to CustomerCare@MensLiberty.com – we want to hear from you!


 

Topics: urinary management, Medicare, how to