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Yet also as we age, there is an increased desire to remain in our homes. One AARP study showed that 90% of seniors hope to age in place, so for anyone feeling this way, know you’re not alone. The problem is, the architectural decisions we make in our 40s and 50s may not be suitable for mobility limitations in our 80s. Stairs, in particular, present a source of risk and can turn a fall into something potentially deadly. Many older adults explore stair lifts to make their home more livable as mobility becomes an issue. In this article, I’ll look at the ins and outs of stair lifts and give some helpful tips on what older adults should look for in the buying process.
There is no set price when it comes to stair lifts since everyone’s homes and requirements are different. Broadly speaking, a stair lift will cost somewhere between $2,500 and $15,000. That’s a wide price range, but there are certain factors to keep in mind when making an estimate for yourself. Longer stair lifts are more expensive than short ones, for example, and curved stair lifts are more expensive than straight rail ones. If you anticipate needing a stair lift to cover a long, curved staircase, the price could be on the higher end.
There are also certain add-on features that may add to the price of a stair lift. Let’s take a minute to explore some of these additional features.
Stair lifts can be a big expense, especially for an older adult on a fixed income. Before deciding on a stair lift, it can be valuable to consult an elder law professional who can offer an overall picture of your financial health and help determine what options may be available to you. There are some Medicare Advantage plans that can help defray the cost of installing a stair lift, as well. Additionally, there are assistive technology programs available through Veterans Affairs associations as well as non-profits like the United Cerebral Palsy Association. While everybody’s financial picture is different, it’s important to know that options are available.
While stair lifts can be a big investment, they can also be a major tool for retaining independence as we look to stay in our homes as we get older. There are a number of ways to help assist our mobility as we go about our days, but mobility scooters aren’t equipped to handle stairs. Stair lifts provide a safe way to enjoy every square foot of our homes for as long as we can.
More often than not, the installation price will be factored into the purchase of a stair lift. For those looking to install a stair lift, depending on the specifications, the budget should be around $2,000 to $5,000.
Much like installation, removal of a stair lift is best left to professionals. Attempting to remove a stair lift yourself could wind up damaging fixtures, walls, or the stairs themselves.
Generally speaking, stair lifts can be designed to accommodate most types of stairs, even curved staircases. The biggest threat to installation is the width of the staircase, since it needs to be able to accommodate a person sitting sideways, which is a minimum of 30 inches. Beyond that, if a staircase is wide enough, odds are a stair lift can be made to fit.
Some of the most reputable names in the stair lift industry are Harmar, AmeriGlide, Improvement Center, Handicare, Stannah, 101 Mobility, Ascent, Acorn, Bruno, and EHLS.
Stair lifts are relatively low usage when it comes to energy consumption because they’re used so infrequently. Generally speaking, they use a few pennies a day in energy costs.