Home mods providers now have nat’l org

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Friday, December 29, 2017

DULUTH, Minn. – In another nod that it’s a specialized but growing market, the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services has opened up its Home Modification Accessibility Committee to providers nationwide.

At press time, the committee had 14 members, including new members from Arizona, Mississippi and California, according to Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES.

“It’s a great opportunity to network in such a specific area,” she said, “which is extremely helpful when something pops up on a state level.”

Jim Greatorex, vice president of the newly rebranded VGM Live at Home, has been named chairman of the committee.

One issue that’s been popping up on a state level and that spurred MAMES to create the committee in the first place: laws that require elevator contractor licenses for the installation of stair lifts and platform lifts.

“Legislation was introduced in Kansas that basically mirrored what was passed in Minnesota and we were able to share lessons learned and it ended up dying on the vine in Kansas,” Schafhauser said. “The committee is an opportunity for us to educate members about, here’s what you can do when this happens.”

An expanded committee also helps to put more weight behind national initiatives like the Senior Housing Act, a bill in the House of Representatives that would provide incentives to individuals 60 years old or older to “age in place” by providing $30,000 tax credits for home modifications like the widening of doorways, and the installation of ramps, handrails, grab bars and non-slip flooring.

“We want to have a committee with providers from across the country as we go about kicking that ball down the road,” Greatorex said.