Purchasing a stairlift can improve your quality of life and help you navigate your home with ease. Stairlifts can also improve the safety of your home, as 3 million older adults require treatment from a fall every year.
However, finding out which stairlift is right for you can be a challenging task, as there are plenty of brands with various models. However, there are ways to help you in your experience by doing your research, buying through a trusted supplier, consulting a home modification consultant, and considering all of your needs before you install your new stairlift.
1. It’s Important to Do Your Research
A stairlift can improve your mental and physical health. You’ll be able to navigate stairs in your home with ease and won’t have to worry about falling. Stairlifts also improve accessibility in your home and help you remain independent for longer.
However, it’s also to consider the various features of a stairlift to ensure it’s the right fit for you. Some stairlifts won’t fit your staircase and others are designed to fit on larger, commercial staircases. Before buying, consider the following:
- Cost: In an ideal world, cost wouldn’t be a factor in your decision for a stairlift, but since most can range from $3,250 to $7,500, it’s important to establish your budget before proceeding in the purchasing process.
- Adjustability: Will multiple users be utilizing the stairlift? Will they need to adjust the seat to fit their body?
- Staircare dimensions: Some stairlifts require stairwells that are straight with high-ceilings, although that may not be the case for all stairlifts. Before purchasing, be sure to measure the space you have on hand for the stairlift.
- Size: You should also ensure your stairlift fits your comfort and safety you desire. This should include evaluating the weight capacity and leg room you’d like on a stairlift.
- Timeline: It may take some time to deliver and install the stairlift, so if you need your stairlift imemadiatly, it’s important to factor in the time for shipping before buying.
When looking at each model, be sure to look at customer review to gain a better idea about what previous customers may have gone through. In addition, the company that supplies the stairlift will be able to install it, too. This will give you peace of mind when you make your final decision.
2. Be Careful With Buying Second Hand
The second-hand staircase market is filled with great offers and cheap deals. However, buying second-hand can be risky, as you cannot know what condition the stairlift is in and may accidentally purchase a faulty stairlift.
Try to buy through a licensed dealer when buying secondhand. Licensed dealers have a duty to ensure the lifts they sell are in good working order and will ensure that any refurbished or used stairlifts actually work.
If you do buy second-hand, try to buy a model that is still in production and comes with service support. You may need to repair the stairlift on occasion and should be able to call a specialist in your area.
3. Buy From a Good Supplier
Most stairlift suppliers are reputable and care about improving the health and well-being of their clientele. However, as in every industry, there are some businesses that sell sub-par lifts that will not last and jeopardize your safety and independence.
When looking for a new stairlift, try to buy from a major supplier in your area. Trusted suppliers should provide a warranty period and may offer extended services to repair and test your stairlift if needed. You can also do this by doing your research beforehand, looking through the dealer’s website to find reviews, reading reviews on Google, and more.
A good supplier will also help you decide which stairlift is right for you.
4. Consider Your Future
It’s hard to know what the future will look like when you are aging. However, you can make your home safer by considering the future and buying a stairlift that will serve you as your mobility decreases.
You may be able to fly up the stairs today, but how mobile can you expect to be in five or ten years' time? What will your eyesight be like then?
Considering age-related factors will ensure that your stairlift continues to serve you even when you’re less independent. A good stairlift should be easy to use, and shouldn’t require you to do any more than sit, strap yourself in, and press the relevant buttons needed to ascend or descend the stairs.
5. Plan Out Installation and Placement
Most people will rush through a stairlift purchase once they find the right one online, as it’s often a purchase made out of necessity they need immediately. However, it’s important to make sure your stairlift will work well for your needs and your home.
Take measurements and use tape to help you envision what the stairlift will look like when it arrives. A three-inch gap from wall to rail might not sound like much at first, but when the stairlift arrives, you may be frustrated by the new look of your stairs.
Stairlifts give you greater mobility and independence but it’s still crucial to prioritize safety when using them. You can improve the safety of your home by installing extra lighting around the stairlift and putting down non-slip floors around the area where you enter and exit the lift. Install extra handrails if needed and keep the space around the stairlift clutter-free.
If you’re keen to get outside and enjoy your garden, you may want to install an additional stairlift in outdoor spaces. A stairlift can make outdoor activities more accessible and grant you full access to your garden even if you struggle to navigate slippery steps. You can also consider options like scooter lifts and ramps if an outdoor stairlift isn’t available in your area.
Stairlifts can be an excellent addition to your home. They give you greater independence and alleviate your fears of falling. You can avoid a bad experience when choosing a stairlift by working with a licensed, reputable supplier in your area. They’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision on which stairlift is best for you and your home.