Stairs can present a challenge for individuals with reduced mobility, such as seniors and those suffering from temporary or permanent health conditions. Stair lifts are a safe option for getting up the stairs.
Most models involve a seat that allows the user to simply sit down and ride up the stairs to a second-floor or basement. With so many models available, though, trying to find the stair lift that fits your needs and budget can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process.
The following tips can help you while you’re shopping around for a stair lift.
1. Choose the type of lift that suits your staircase and the features you require.
The two main types of lifts are designed to suit different types of staircases. Straight chair lifts are used on straight flights of stairs. Straight chair lifts can cost between $3,000-5,000 to get installed. Curved stair lifts are designed for stairs with features such as corners, landings, bends, and twists. They are more costly, and may cost between $10,000-15,000 depending on how complex the installation is.
Some companies also offer additional features, such as weatherproofing for outdoor stairs and standing stair lifts for people who have difficulty bending their knees to sit down. In addition, heavy-duty lifts are available for people who require a wider seat and or additional lifting capacity. Tall individuals may also require certain adjustments.
All stair lifts mount to the stairs and not the wall, which means that they are very sturdy and secure, regardless of the amount of use they get. They can be installed in any home.
In addition, stair lifts can often be customized to make them easier to get into or out of for the user. Some come with the option of adjustable armrests, footplates, and seats, which can make the ride more comfortable. Standard safety features usually include seatbelts, armrest controls, easy-to-operate push buttons, braking systems, footrest sensors, and an emergency stop feature. You should review the safety features of the stair lift to ensure they fit your needs before you purchase it.
Some companies also offer you the choice of a battery-powered or electricity-powered stair lift. Battery-powered units must be charged at a station or on the track. They tend to be quieter and smoother than electric-powered stair lifts. They will also work during a power outage.
2. Shop for the stair lift.
A number of companies make, sell, and install stair lifts. Some of the most well-known names in the industry include Stannah, Harmar, Sterling, and Bruno. While Medicare does not cover the cost of installing a stair lift in the home, many states do offer waivers that can help you to get reimbursed if you purchase a lift that qualifies for coverage. In addition, if you’re a veteran, the Veteran’s Association offers grants to members who need home improvements to cope with disability.
Finally, you can save money by purchasing a refurbished or used stair lift model. If you only need it for a short period of time, it may be best to consider renting one. Many companies offer these options to their customers, and financing plans are also available.