When did the upstairs become a distant, far-off land? For seniors with mobility issues, stair lifts have become a life-saver.
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? Let’s take deeper look at stair lifts and understand if it’s a viable option for your household.
According to Population Reference Bureau, 16 million adults age 60 and older are living alone in the United States. A stairlift enables people to stay in their home and remain independent.
The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University (JCHS) reported in 2011:
“60 % of households aged 80 and older and 47% of those aged 65-79 had lived in the same residence for 20 or more years.”
2014 data from JCHS confirms: “In the next 10 years, the U.S. population, aged 50 and over will increase to 132 million. In this time, the number of adults aged 65-74 will nearly double from 21.7 million in 2020 to 38.6 million in 2030. “
As the U.S. population grows older, more people live with issues of mobility. A stair lift allows individuals to remain active, live independently and live happily in their own 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.
Prices depend on the make and model of the stair lift. Straight stairways run around $2,500 to $5,000. Curved ones require customization and may run from $10,000 on up.
Depending on specific mobility needs, experts recommend an exploratory approach. In addition to online research, use these 7 tips to be a skillful shopper.
Visit a Showroom
Many cities offer showrooms to try out items for personal comfort, ease and visual appeal.
Talk to Owners
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.
New, Refurbished or Used
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 Stair Lifts in 2021: Handicare, Bruno, Stannah, Harmar, Acorn and AmeriGlideHandicare
Maintaining your mobility, living independently and being able to live in your own home are top priorities. As we age, stair lifts 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.