The 4 Best Stair Lifts for an Accessible Home
If you are a senior thinking about aging independently at home, at some point you may have thought about how many floors you have in your house. Stairs become more of a falling hazard the older you get, especially if they're varnished with a slippery finish or carpeted. Some seniors choose to move from a bigger to a smaller home, saving on utilities and opting for a safer and more convenient one-floor layout. But if you've decided to stay in a two-story or more home and want help navigating the staircase, consider a stair lift.
A Consumer's Guide to Best Stair Lifts
Stair lifts are simply chairs fixed to a track that runs along your staircase, and they operate via a simple electronic motor. They can allow you to remain at home while avoiding the danger of falls.
Retirement Living has produced a consumer's guide to stair lift companies, explaining what to look for and how to make the best choice. Many companies offer stair lift installation and services, so Retirement Living picked 15 to evaluate. Judging for value, warranty, installation, and customization, they narrowed the list down to 4 recommended manufacturers.
But before searching for a manufacturer, the first thing to do is determine what kind of stair lift you need. (A technician can help with this, of course, but a good look at your staircase with the Retirement Living guide in hand will be a good start.)
Types of Stair Lifts
There are many different kinds of stair lifts to suit your needs and budget, ranging from relatively cheap for a straight-line, no-frills design to quite expensive for a multi-floor curved lift designed to blend in with your decor. When shopping for a stair lift, consider these things:
- Time frame. How long will you need the lift for? Companies offer both rental and permanent installations.
- Chair Size. Most stair lifts carry up to 300 pounds and are installed at a certain height above the stair steps. If you need a wider seat, higher track, or higher seat back, make sure the manufacturer can meet these needs.
- Appearance. Are you satisfied with minimalism, or would you like something that matches the rest of your house?
- Structure of your staircase. If your staircase is straight or curved, or covers multiple levels, it will make a difference in the price.
There are additional accessories and features available for stair lifts, including flip-up seats, diff erent track options, armrests, movable seats, battery backups and more.
Interested in learning more?
You can find the full guide, including reviews of the 4 recommended stair lift manufacturers, at Retirement Living's website here.