As you get older, it may be hard to let go of some habits that you’ve gotten used to all your life. You may not be able to maneuver as easily as you once did. But making the decision to make your home more accessible can be a difficult one to make. Many people want to try to push themselves to do the things their younger selves had no trouble doing. One of those daily activities is walking up and down the stairs. It seems a simple and menial task to get around in your home, but it can be very dangerous as you age.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. According to the Centers for Disease control, 1 in 4 Americans 65 and older will experience a fall. For some seniors, mobility can become extremely difficult and many may consider eliminating stairs from their homes to avoid the issue altogether, however a stairlift can provide a fast and more affordable option than finding an entirely new home. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to make this adjustment to your home, check out these benefits.
Prevents Falls and Injuries
This is the most obvious benefit of a stairlift. Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact. Two very common household normalities are the leading causes of falls: the stairs and the shower (check out this list of walk-in tubs.) With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense to try to eliminate stair use as you age. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up your home if it has stairs or avoid the upper level of a home.
The installation of a stairlift can give you the mobility that you need to be comfortable with a multi-level home. By eliminating having to go up the stairs the usual way, you can safely get to multiple levels in your home. Seniors may use the stairs for exercise. However, that can be very dangerous if muscles have weakened and mobility has become limited. Adding a stair lift to a home does not mean that you will lose that ability to exercise. Gyms offer safer stair-stepper options so you can still exercise with that motion.
Fear of falling can seriously impeded a person’s ability to feel free in their own home. For seniors, this feeling can lead to avoidance of daily activities or even giving up a home they own and love. Other older Americans may need physical assistance up the stairs – which requires a friend, family member or medical assistant to be present just to go upstairs or downstairs. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Stairlifts can restore that independence that a senior needs to feel in their own home.
This is a safe and easy way to take back the freedom to get around your home. It’s easy to use and won’t require supervision from friends or family members. It will also give your loved ones peace of mind when it comes to thinking of you being home alone. The independence and peace of mind are likely enough to seal the deal on installing a stair lift.
Quickest & Most Affordable Aging in Place Option
While it may seem like the installation of a stair lift would be a costly investment, it’s actually the most affordable. If you think about the other options available to you in this situation, you would either need to find a home that would be one level. This would likely cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. That would be debt accumulated later in life that you shouldn’t have to think about. Another option would be transitioning into an assisted living facility which comes with considerable costs and loss of freedom. A stair lift would be a much quicker and substantially more affordable option between the two.
Prices for the stair lift and installation vary, but an average range can cost anywhere between $2,000 to $5,500. This price can go up depending on what features you decide on. Most stair lift companies also offer financing options. This means if you don’t have the means to buy it in one payment, you can break this down into smaller monthly payments.
Easy to Use
Sometimes new technology in the home can seem daunting. Stairlifts are obviously a new mechanical aspect to your home that can intimidate some users. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Stairlifts are extremely easy to use and requires little knowledge to use it effectively. And most companies that offer the installation will also take time to make sure you know how to use it.
According to one stairlift company, the directions are pretty simple and seem to be universal: “To use a stair lift, sit on the seat, put on the seatbelt, press and hold the rocker switch, which is located on the armrest of the chair, and you’ll be on your way up/down the stairs. To stop the stair lift, release the switch and the lift will stop moving. The rocker switch can be put on the armrest that is most convenient for you. Two keyed remotes come with the product, which is helpful if more than one person needs to use the lift. If you are at the top landing of the staircase and the lift is at the bottom, push the “up” arrow button on the remote to send the chair to the top landing.”