Dad’s “tree house” gets a lift

As a shared services leader in healthcare and a longtime supporter of Joy’s House, Tony Nebesny knows a thing or two about planning ahead and healthy aging.

When Tony’s family built their home in Zionsville in 1998, they knew they would eventually add a carriage house to the property so that their parents would have a place to live if and when they needed it.

In 2006, the family designed and built that two-floor carriage house overlooking the heavily treed lot in their backyard. It was christened the “Tree House” because of the huge trees that shade and cool the upper carriage house deck.

When Tony’s father was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2013, his father sold his Florida home and bought a small ranch in Indianapolis. As his father’s condition began to worsen and he lost the ability to drive, the family began working in earnest to ready the carriage house for its new occupant.

“It’s was tedious to get upstairs to the Tree House for my father,” said Tony. “The stairs were a balance hazard and physically taxing. I wanted our family to have safe access to the carriage house so they could all enjoy our horses, goats, chickens and the gardens on our property.”

“I wondered how we could incorporate something like a elevator into the unusual design of our carriage house. An elevator would have to work around a turret in the center of the house and two garage bays below, one on either side of the stairs.”

Tony came across the 101 Mobility site. He noted that we are Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) and consistently highly rated by our customers. He saw that we carry and install Bruno “vertical platform lifts” (known as VPLs), which was a brand he was interested in. The more Tony learned about VPLs, the more he thought it would function better for his family than an elevator or a stair lift, so he called us.

Because of the work I do, I notice when someone is actively listening to what I am saying,” said Tony. “Jon really heard my concerns and had good answers to every one of my questions. He agreed with me that an elevator might be a little claustrophobic for my father. Because a VPL is open at the top and has a roomy 36” x 54” platform, it could readily accommodate two family members, even if one needed a walker or wheelchair in the future.”

Jon was also very willing to work with Tony’s general contractor to construct the VPL shaft with special lighting options, HVAC, a safety camera inside and outside the lift, and a locking mechanism — to ensure the lift would be very safe for everyone in the family to operate.

“Rather than considering this as an investment, I saw it more as a release. We can all rest easy now, knowing the Tree House is safe for for my Dad and our family. We also wanted to make sure there would be purpose in our parents’ lives as they aged with us, fully enjoying the gardens and animals they love. This makes everybody happy.”

“Jon was great to work with. His follow up with us was excellent, he kept us in the loop through every step of the install. We were very pleased with that, and the experience as a whole.”

                           – Tony Nebesny, “Tree House” homeowner and

                           happy 101 Mobility customer


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