Stair Lifts - a world of indendence

buy smart and buy simple.

stair lifts can make things better or worse for home health patients - make sure you need this piece of medical equipment

Stair Lifts can change your life for the better or the worse. While these units can make your house a home again, allowing access to upper or lower levels, they can also enable weakness to continue. Understanding your options and why you need one will help you make an informed decision about this expensive unit.

Weak legs - Do-It-Yourself in cost effective ways.

Climbing steps requires strong legs and a strong heart. But only strong enough to get the task done. A few simple exercises to strengthen your legs is sometimes all you may need to answer the problem that stair lifts seem to solve. Strengthening your legs is the most natural, most economical and healthiest way to independence - and you don't spend a dime!

Beyond weak legs - taking inventory.

The most basic but most overlooked question - Can you or your loved one actually transfer from a wheelchair to a lift unit? That's the key issue in realistically determining if purchase is an option. The seat height becomes a key issue if this transfer is difficult.

Most stair units, like wheelchairs don't have adjustable seats for height. Weight and height can be factors depending on the amount of assistance needed to get from point A to point B. And some stair lifts have weight limits.

A stroke patient will have been taught and likely be transferring to his stronger side. This should correspond with what side the chair lift goes on in the stair well.

Back pain will require a softer residential DC powered system for a softer start and stop.

Arthritic hands may prefer a joystick control instead of a push button control panel.

Stand-on or perching lifts can be more comfortable for those who can't bend their knees very well.

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How much can you spend? - discovering your options.

Many situations may require the solution of stair lifts. Just like the excitement of buying a scooter or power wheelchair is gone when you realize you can't actually get the thing in your car, buying a home unit lift for your stairwell needs to be thought out.

If you fall into this category, you are wise to look at your options. These include

  • purchasing brand new
  • purchasing recycled or refurbished
  • used
  • and renting
  • installing your own unit
  • having it installed

Purchasing a unit is much like buying your house - any headaches now become yours!

Renting a unit is becoming a sound option for those who are not wanting the headache of maintaining one.

Rental company's are more likely to have refurbished units for sale at a discounted rate. Remember that rental units will still come with an installation fee.

Used units can occasionally be found on eBay or other auction/for sale sites - proceed with caution as they likely come with NO warranty.

Research manufacturers and check out the reputation of the company you have selected to purchase and/or install your stair lift before you buy.

How is your home set up? - fitting your staircase.

Lighting is a crucial since depth perception tends to fade as we age.

Appropriate electrical outlets need to be in place for electric (vs. battery powered) units.

Older stairways can be very narrow making it impossible to accommodate a new or used stair lift. Is your stairwell straight or curved? Split level or have a landing between two flights? This will affect cost. What side does the lift need to be on. This question needs to meet the abilities of the patient. (See the stroke patient example above).


Beware of "cut and shut" safety issues. Cut and shut practice welds together several railing pieces to form one curved or straight railing with resulting high danger. These company's are not reputable and often only offer a 12 month warranty due to high risk of problems arising down the line.

Considering Intalling a Stair Lift Yourself?

Some key points to remember here:
  • You may not actually save money by installing your own home stair lift for several reasons.
  • Some manufacturers today are installing models at prices that are not much higher than you doing it yourself.
  • A good quality used unit installed by an installer may actually cost less than you installing a brand new unit.
  • What happens when your unit breaks down? It's a mechanical device... it WILL need maintenance. Can YOU offer that? You installed it, so you've got to figure out how to fix it. Less stress and a couple extra bucks can go a long way in an already stress filled society.
  • What happens when you buy one and figure out (too late) that you overlooked a minor, now major detail and it won't work? A local company can help you figure all this out ahead of time.
  • Do you have the time that it may take to install it? When I put together my home gym, it took me a couple hours just to lay out all the parts and take inventory... then a few hours beyond that to put it all together.

Think before you buy. Plan it out before you buy. Best of all, carve out time in your day to work on strengthening your legs. You will not only benefit from being able to possibly climb those steps after all, but you can save money, enjoy better health and decrease a lot of pain that comes from disuse. If you do some hard work on the front end, you'll enjoy years of floor to floor mobility in the Golden Years!


Keep Your Money - Strengthen Your Legs!

Your Home Exercise Program For Stronger Legs!

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Consider home safety before your physical therapy equipment purchase.

More Home Health Physical Therapy Equipment

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Knee Replacement Exercises and Knee Pain

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