Believe it or not, in the United States, almost 16 million people live alone after the age of 60. While many grandmothers and grandfathers can take care of themselves, they might have issues getting up and down the stairs – and stairlifts can make it a lot easier! If you are someone you love are considering buying a stairlift, here are the things you should consider…
Choosing A Stairlift
First and foremost: what type of stairlift should you buy? Didn’t know there were different types? Well, that’s where to begin: a straight or curved stairlift. Thankfully, the decision is pretty easy! People with a helical or curved staircases will need a curved stairlift, while those with a single flight of stairs can afford a straight one. Unfortunately, curved stairlifts can run a bit more expensive, given their nature. Meanwhile, the type of stairlift will also be affected by where you’re putting it. Did you know that they can also be installed outside, making certain chores, like getting from one end of the garden to another, much easier.
Next, you’ll need to decide on a battery-powered or plugged in a stairlift. Elderly who live in areas prone to power outages should stick to a battery-powered model, if they can physically change the battery or have someone who can come over whenever they need.
Once the primary type of stairlift has been selected, there are still more features to consider. For the elderly who need more support, many manufacturers offer both safety belts on the chairs and footrests underneath. If one is looking to save some space, many companies also have the option to fold the rail up, saving some space. Meanwhile, many systems come up with a backup battery, should the main battery or power source fail.
Of course, there are also many lifestyle options that an elderly user can install, like remotes, varying speeds, adjustable seat height, safety sensors, or a powered hinge track. So, if you or a loved one are considering purchasing a stairlift, make sure to go over all the options with the manufacturer.
Pricing And Maintenance
Given the number of options and styles available, as well as stairlift companies, it makes sense that the prices can vary wildly. For better or worse, one’s height and weight also factor, as sturdier metal and seats might be used. For those under 300 lbs, they can expect a standard stairlift to cost anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500. Meanwhile, those over 300 lbs should expect costs of upwards of $5,000. Curved staircases will usually add an extra $2,000, while other features can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
Finally, there’s some stairlift costs that many do not factor in at the beginning: yearly maintenance and electricity usage. The good news is, annual stairlift maintenance usually only costs around $100 a visit. Yearly electricity costs for plug-in models come in at even less, at $15 a year. On the other hand, batteries, for battery-powered styles, cost around $45 and last 3-5 years, just about the same!
Remember that stairlifts can add some cost and value to the house where they are located. So, when selling it, include the information on the listing.