When did the upstairs become a distant, far-off land? For seniors with mobility issues, stair lifts have become a lifesaver.
Stair lifts, aka chairlifts, are motorized seats mounted directly to your staircase, designed to get you up and down with. They are crafted to produce gentle movement, allowing wise seniors with mobility issues the ability reclaim the upstairs of their house.
But every piece of technology has its pros and cons, right? In today’s Senior Assistance Club guide, we’re taking a deeper look at stairlifts and chairlifts for seniors and understand if it’s a viable option for your household.
There are three types of stair lifts for seniors available on the market today:
According to Population Reference Bureau, 16 million adults aged 60 and older are living alone in the United States. A stairlift enables seniors to stay in their home and remain independent.
The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University (JCHS) reported in 2020:
“Households age 65 and over are increasing faster than any other age group”
2020 data from JCHS confirms: “Over the next decade, the population age 75 and over is expected to grow from 23 to over 34 million people, an increase of 48 percent.“
As the U.S. population grows older, more people live with issues of mobility. A stairlift allows seniors to remain active, live independently, and live happily in their own home. Seniors with arthritis and other joint issues will be able to move around their home once again without any assistance.
And because stairlifts allow seniors to no longer go up and down the stairs themselves, it is also a good way to fall-proof your home.
Depending on individual physical needs, stairlifts may be useful for internal as well as external staircases.
Costs vary with the least expensive being for straight staircases. Curved staircases are more costly because they need customization to create a track that follows the curve. Outdoor stairlifts can be useful for ensuring easy movement from a driveway to a porch, to and from a garage or boat dock.
The cost of a stairlift for seniors varies depending on the type of stairlift, the size and layout of your staircase, and any custom features you may want. A straight stairlift typically starts at around $2,000, while a curved stairlift can cost upwards of $5,000. Portable stairlifts are less expensive, starting at around $1,000.
Depending on specific mobility needs, experts recommend an exploratory approach. In addition to online research, use these 7 tips to be a skillful shopper.
Many cities offer showrooms to try out items for personal comfort, ease, and visual appeal.
If you or someone in your family and friends circle knows a person with a Chairlift, reach out. Most people are happy to help. They know the ins-and-outs of making the best decision, evaluating local sellers, and choosing the model that fits specific requirements.
To shop and make a confident decision, it helps to get full estimates and compare prices. Test different models, if possible, in person. Keep a record of your ‘try-before-you-buy’ experiences.
Many manufacturers and resellers offer in-home consultations. Your specific home, garage, or driveway may have unique features, which could affect overall costs.
Additionally, decide if a new, refurbished or used model is appealing. This decision can also dramatically impact the total cost of a Stairlift installation.
Special features vary across different makes and models. Some have seat belts. Stairlift seats may be more comfortable to different people. Some feature armrests, others are open on the sides. Some have footrests. Operating options include push buttons, pressure sensors and joysticks. Find the special features that match your comfort, needs and preferences.
In reviewing the options, compare marketing descriptions with your personal experience of comfort and safety. This is a new part of your home. Make sure it matches your personal standards for comfort, ease and functionality.
Experts in home mobility highlight 5 of the top brands for Stairlifts: Handicare, Bruno, Stannah, Harmar, Acorn and AmeriGlide
If you have difficulty climbing stairs, a stairlift for seniors may be a good solution for you. A stairlift allows you to safely and easily travel up and down your staircase without having to worry about falling or losing your balance. If you are considering a stairlift, we recommend that you consult with a stairlift dealer to get the advice on the best stairlift for seniors for you.
It typically takes around 4-6 hours to install a straight stairlift and 8-10 hours to install a curved stair lift. Portable stair lifts can be installed in as little as an hour.
Medicare does not cover the cost of a stairlift, but some private insurance plans may offer coverage. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any coverage for stairlifts for seniors.
Most stairlifts have a weight capacity of around 300 pounds. As for height, most stairlifts are designed to accommodate people up to 6 feet tall. If you are taller than 6 feet or weigh more than 300 pounds, you may need to purchase a custom stairlift.
Maintaining your mobility, living independently and being able to live in your own home are top priorities. As we age, stairlifts can help individuals navigate different levels of their home, stay active, and recover from medical procedures.
In addition, outdoor models can help people stay active. Whether the driveway is steep, or steps are slippery, a stairlift helps easy movement in and out of the house.