Looking at eldercare means looking at accessibility, compassion and independence. Most elderly people who are 65 and older wish to live independently in their home for as long as they care. This means that eldercare needs to look at how to empower seniors and maintain their independence. Increasing safety in the home can minimize the dangers of falling.
Unfortunately, 1 in every 4 seniors will fall each year and after that first fall, the chances double for that person to fall again. Navigating up and down stairs can be increasingly difficult with age, physical disability, or injury. elderly individuals and people with disabilities may experience fatigue, shortness of breath and muscle soreness. This risk of falling and injury can minimize Independence and make Elders feel disempowered. therefore accessibility in movement especially around dangerous areas like stairs can increase Independence end feelings of empowerment.
One way to make your home more accessible and Senior-friendly is to install and Implement safety mobility devices that allows elderly individuals to live in their home while minimizing their risk of falling. stairlifts are one Mobility device that increases senior independence by making their home and stairway more accessible and safer. As every individual and home is different there is no one-size-fits-all for a Mobility device, there are many aspects to consider before purchasing a stairlift to effectively meet the needs of your elderly loved one.
Stairlifts can be an expense to be mindful of, however, it is also one of the most cost-effective options to address necessary safety and mobility concerns. It is valuable to start with a realistic budget as straight stairlifts typically cost between $2,500 – $3000 and curved stairlifts can start around $10,000 due to them being custom-designed to your home and staircase. If you are looking for a cost-effective option, consider asking your stairlift company if there are ‘used’ reconditioned stairlifts that can be within budget and installed directly in your home.
Right Stairlift for your Home
As previously mentioned, there are two main styles of stairlift: straight and curved.
Straight Stairlifts: are effective for straight staircases.
Curved Stairlifts: are effective for curved stairs or staircases that require custom-fit.
The type of stairlift you require will depend on the shape of your staircase within your home. Stairlifts are attached directly to the stair treads thus, they only require minimal construction. Stairlifts are energy friendly as they use minimal power. For convenience, they can fold up when not in use. The best stairlift will depend on the design of your home and the options available by your preferred stairlift company.
Weight Limit and Seat Size
Depending on your circumstances, you will need to account for the weight limit and seat size. Typically the weight capacity of stairlifts is 300 lbs., however, some stairlifts may have a weight capacity of 350-400 lbs. If you require more, you will need to discuss options with your stairlift consultant. Another customization option available is seat size and armrest distance to ensure comfort for your body type and preference.
Stairlifts come with a variety of mobility features that can address safety concerns and increase comfort. Some optional features include:
- Power Fold Footrest: this option can be helpful if you often use a walker because it allows you to back up directly to a seat without the obstruction of a footrest which makes it easier to sit down and get up.
- Oversized Footrest: can allow you to extend your legs further out which makes it easier if you have difficulty when bending your legs.
- Retractable Rail: allows for a clear walkway and can prevent tripping at the base of the stairs.
- Power Swivel: allows for the chair to automatically swivel to a position where you can get safely off the lift. This can be especially helpful for users who have limited hand and leg strength and dexterity.
- Safety Harness: can benefit users with limited mobility who are not able to remain in a seated position.
While stairlifts require minimal construction, it is safer and more effective if installed by a professional stairlift company. Not all online dealers of stairlifts offer installations or maintenance services, this can make installation a hassle and may create challenges in the future if there are operational issues. It is beneficial to choose a stairlift company that offers full service and are professionally trained to install, fix and maintain the stairlift you purchase from them. A good way to check their validity is to see if the company has ‘factory-trained’ technicians.
Choosing the right stairlift will require careful research and consultation before purchase. However, this time investment will be well worth the price for a mobility device that will create safer accessibility and foster independence for your elderly loved one at their own home.