Aging In Place: Stairlifts

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Aging In Place: Stairlifts

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons By Stannah Stairlift

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons By Stannah Stairlift

It was not all that long ago that once you reached a certain age and you could no longer handle climbing stairs you moved to a ranch style house that had no stairs. You maintained your independence, but you had to move from what may have been the only home you have ever lived in. This also meant the sale of the old home, and with it all those precious memories.

Today there are options available that enable people to ‘age in place’. One of those options is stairlifts. A stairlift is like an elevator for your staircase. Sit down on the nice comfy chair and the stairlift does the rest! When I was researching these I found quite a variety including home curved stairlifts. This means that your staircase can be curved (round the corner or spiral) and still utilize a stairlift. Almost any home staircase can accommodate a stairlift.

Examples of types of stairlifts:

  • Straight Rail
  • Curved Rail
  • Outdoor
  • Pre-owned

The most important thing to do before making any kind of major decision like this is to have discussions with professionals about your individual needs. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of solution. It is also a financial investment. Before the final decision is made you will want someone from the stairlift company you choose to come to your home and inspect the proposed location. This will ensure it is possible to install at that location and you will know what the total costs will be for the project.

Although this post is about aging in place the uses for these stairlifts are not limited to that section of the population. Think about those who may be physically limited and climbing stairs is not possible. Those families with members who have those limitations may be able to stay in their current home by installing a stairlift.

I am also thinking about adult children whose parents come to visit for lengthy periods of time. Installation of a stairlift may be something to consider depending on the configuration of the home and where the parent’s room is located.

Here in the USA there are firms that offer these stairlifts as well. Do your research and compare costs, service, warranties, etc.

When the times comes that the stairlift you own is no longer required there are buy back programs.

If you live in the UK and choose to purchase from Age UK, they are a registered charity so you would be helping fund their work.

Aging in place is becoming more of a realistic reality with each passing day. Stairlifts is one option helping to make it happen.

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Comments (3)

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  1. JeriWB says:

    My parents would really use one of these, but I wonder if weather-worthy ones can be installed outdoors? Their house sits up off the ground with 15 or more steps leading to the main living area.

  2. It's so wonderful that there are now these options for people, and that they're now much more affordable than we ever would have thought. Plus, often these home improvements are tax deductible, which makes them even more affordable!

  3. Larry Crane says:

    I'm coming to this post a little late, like seven months or so! Nevertheless, it's an interesting topic and one of the good things about blogging is that the posts have a long life. We installed a chairlift about a year ago. I did a lot of shopping round on the internet and Craig's List, etc, but it seems that with used chairlifts, you need to be careful that the lift you're contemplating addresses all the issues you may have at your location, such as number of stairs you're climbing, width of the stairwell, etc. It's advisable to visit the site of the used lift you're interested in. We bought a new chairlift because it fit our narrow staircase and steep climb perfectly, and was reasonably priced (less than $3500). A bonus to having the chairllft includes using it to get our aged dog upstairs too, on my lap. She appreciates it.