Is one of your loved ones growing older and starting to experience mobility issues? Are you aging and now have mobility issues preventing you from accessing the second floor of your beloved home but don’t want to sell it or move out? You’re not alone.
In fact, nearly 90% of Americans would like to age in their own home, according to AARP reports. Yet, going up and down the stairs every day might be challenging and dangerous for you or your loved ones. One in four Americans aged over 65 suffers a fall at some point in time, and falls are actually the leading cause of death among those who are older than 65. The good news is that accessible technology is constantly improving, and there are now easy and affordable options to help you resume your routine despite your mobility issues.
In this post, we’ll review the different types of stair and chair lifts, and the main questions to ask before purchasing one. We’ll also outline why these mobility aids are an affordable way to age in place.
Mobility Issues in the USA for Older People
Unfortunately, mobility issues are not uncommon. In fact, according to reports, 26% of adults have a disability, with 13.7% experiencing serious difficulties going up and down the stairs. And even though mobility issues also affect children and younger adults, it is the most common disability among the elderly in the US, impacting 2 in 5 people aged 65 years and over.
Now, mobility problems can sometimes imply a loss of independence and can significantly impact your mental health, or the mental health of your loved one. That’s why accessibility integrations in your home, such as lifts, are an excellent choice.
Different Types of Lifts for Your Home
Regardless of the disability or the type of staircase you have, there is a lift for you. To help you better understand your options, we’ve listed below the different types of residential lifts for mobility issues.
A chair lift (also referred to as a vertical lift or platform lift) is a platform specifically engineered to help wheelchairs travel up and down the stairs. Chair lifts are fully automatic and provide wheelchair users with a flexible and customizable way to overcome their limited mobility at home.
A stair lift refers to a motorized chair securely bolted to the steps that gently travels along a rail to take you one level up or down. Stairlifts, in general, are very easy to operate. They always come with a seat belt that you must wear every time you travel up and down the stairs for your safety. They also usually have a button or joystick that you can push or press to start going up or down. Once you’ve reached the top or bottom of the stairs, the stair lift will automatically stop.
There are a few different types of stairlifts:
Straight Stair Lift
The most basic and therefore most affordable type of stairlift is a straight stairlift mounted on a straight rail.
Curved Stair Lift
You’ll need a curved stairlift if your stairs make a turn or include multiple flights. A curved stairlift is more expensive than a straight one because, in most cases, the rail needs to be customized to your specific stairs. Depending on your staircase, the lift can be installed on either side of the stairs.
Outdoor Stair Lift
Most outdoor stairs are straight, so outdoor stair rails are often straight, although you can find curved outdoor stair rail providers, too. The main difference with an indoor straight stair lift is that they are designed to withstand changing weather conditions, including snow, extreme heat, and heavy rain.
Standing Stair Lift
Standing stairlifts are the perfect option for homes where the staircase is too narrow to accommodate a traditional stairlift or if you have hip or knee issues making sitting difficult. With a standing stairlift, the seat is perched to provide you with strong back support while you’re traveling up or down your stairs.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Chair or Stair Lift
Some of the key things you need to consider when buying a chair or stairlift include:
– Whether there is enough space in your staircase.
– The design; does the lift match your home decor?
– Is it easy to control and ergonomic?
– Does it have light touch control to accommodate arthritis?
– Is it comfortable?
– Does it feature cushioned seats?
– Can you rest your arms on the armrest comfortably?
– Is it large enough for your wheelchair?
– Is the seat belt on the stairlift easy to fasten and unfasten?
– What happens in case an object is on the stairs?
– Does the chair or stairlift come with safety sensors?
Affordable Alternative to Remodeling or Moving Home
Prices of chairs and stairlifts vary greatly depending on a few factors, including whether your staircase is straight or curved. For instance, a stairlift starts at around $2,500 and can go up in price based on the options you want to add. And as far as curved stairlifts are concerned, their price usually starts at around $9,000. These systems are a wise investment to your home for the comfort of yourself and your family.
The great thing about these types of mobility aids is that they are construction-free, making them an easy and affordable piece of equipment to install. Besides, as mentioned above, purchasing a chair or stairlift can help you regain your independence and enjoy your entire space. It can also allow you to remain in the house you love so much, where all your treasured memories are preserved. And if you ask us, that is priceless.
At Rise Above Elevator, we’re committed to enhancing our client’s lives and helping them stay in their homes as long as possible. That’s why we design and manufacture high-quality and custom-designed residential lifts. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.