Like any other thing in life, aging has its pros and cons. On one hand, you get wiser as you get older. However, aging can make moving around more difficult, especially for seniors with aches and pains. This is where a good home stair lift comes in as it provides a great solution for the elderly who have troubles accessing the second story or the basement of their homes. Reading stair lift reviews is a must for any senior with mobility issues and it is important to understand the benefits of stair lifts as well as the pros and cons.
A stair lift is a mechanical device designed to lift seniors up and down stairs. It is also known by various names like stair gliders and chair lifts. History suggests that English monarch King Henry VIII was the first to have used a stair lift. In modern times, however, a Pennsylvania entrepreneur C.C. Crispen is credited for building the first prototype of the said device.
Stairlift reviews won’t be complete without mentioning the various types of stair lifts. After all, seniors and any buyer for that matter have to know first the different kinds of chair lifts before making a decision as to which device to buy. If you’re thinking of having one at home, then you should familiarize yourself with the types of stair gliders.
There are two common types of chair lifts— straight and curved.
The straight stair lift is undeniably the most common type used in homes that have straight stairs. It has a straight rail that is attached to the steps of the staircase. It can be installed within days, and because of the relatively easy installation, is also the least expensive.
Installation of this stair lift type will only be problematic if the stairs of your house are narrow, or if there is a door at the top of the staircase which can cause an obstruction. One consideration you’ll have to watch out for in having a straight stairlift installed is where to park it— at the top or at the bottom of the staircase.
Curved stair lifts are modified to fit around the shape of the stairs. Because it is custom made, a curved chair lift is obviously a lot more expensive than the straight stair lift.
There are other less common types of chair lifts, like the standing or perching type. It is more appropriate for homes with a narrow staircase, where a seated lift won’t fit. But the staircase should have headroom that is high enough to fit the whole standing body of the user. This type of chair lift is also more suited for seniors who have difficulties bending their knees.
Then there are vertical lifts that can take an elderly person from one floor to another by vertically moving him or her through a hole in the ceiling or floor. The track of the stairlift is attached to the wall. It is commonly installed for the use of wheelchair-bound users. But the fact that the alterations in the building are needed makes this type the most expensive chair lift to install.
Outdoor stairlifts, as the name indicates, are installed on the outdoor steps. These are usually made of weather-resistant materials.
Once an occupational therapist has assessed and recommended the need for a stairlift at home, then the next step would be to find out how much installing one at home would cost.
While stairlifts are pretty expensive the prices of these devices and the costs of installation have remained stable through the years. A simple straight chairlift would cost you around $3,000. But the prices can go as high as $9,000 for a curved chair lift, especially for long stairs. Also, you will have to deposit for the installation of a curved one which is not the case for straight stairlifts.
You’ll also learn from reading chair lift for stairs reviews that every corner in the staircase would cost you double of the initial price of the stair lift.
To get a more accurate quote, you will have to contact a stairlift company which would then send a team to visit your quote and carry out a feasibility study. Don’t worry as the visit is usually free of charge. The personnel would check things like, whether the stairs are wide enough for the type of stairlift that you want, or if there are doors or other obstructions to the chair lift.
As the case is in buying any product or availing any service, it is a good idea to get quotes from two or more stairlift companies. This way, you can get the best price.
It is also a good idea to ask your therapist to show up during the conduct of the feasibility study. Or perhaps ask your OT to specify features of the stairlift, like whether you need a seated or standing type, or if the seated type needs to be height-adjustable, for example.
Once the study has been completed, you can expect a cost estimate in the following days.
There are also chair lift companies that sell and install reconditioned stairlifts, usually straight type chairlifts that can be connected to other staircases. However, curved stairlifts are not normally available as second-hand.