Home Stair Chair Lifts for Seniors
Answers to Common Purchasing Questions
If your home has multiple floors, and you or one of your family members is struggling with mobility, a staircase chair lift can be a lifesaver. Remain in the comfort of your home without worrying about falls or injuries.
Most people have lots of questions when they’re first considering having a chair lift installed, and it’s important to understand exactly what you’re buying before making a decision. We’ve covered some of the most frequently asked questions here, from average costs to which type of chair lift is best for your home.
How Much Do Staircase Chair Lifts Cost?
A straight stair lift (for a non-curved staircase) usually costs $3,000 to $4,000. There are several factors that influence whether the lift falls on the low or high end, including seat options (plastic to plush), the length of the staircase, and any add-on features you choose, including remote controls, swivel seats and power footrests.
Some manufacturers include installation in the total cost. If not, budget an extra $500 to $750 in most cases. When you inquire about pricing, always find out if the price you’re quoted includes installation.
Should I Choose Electric or Battery Powered?
Electric stair lifts are plugged directly into a regular household plug, and they tend to be more reliable than battery-powered lifts. Battery-powered lifts require replacement batteries at least every two years, and you never know when the battery will die. If it happens in the middle of the staircase, that can be dangerous. However, if you live in an area with frequent power outages, battery-powered is something to consider. Ideally, look for an electric model with a backup battery.
What If My Stairs Are Curved?
Chair lifts for curved staircases usually have to be custom made, making them far more expensive. The wait time to have one made can be one to three months. The good news: A lift can be designed for just about any type of staircase.
If your staircase turns at a 90-degree angle, you can have two separate straight chair lifts installed on each straightaway. However, that does require the person using the lift to be able to transfer from one chair to another where the stairs turn.
Which Manufacturer Is Best?
We don’t endorse any specific manufacturers. We believe it’s up to the consumer to do the research and comparisons, and then decide. We recommend reading online reviews, talking to friends and acquaintances who have installed chair lifts, consulting medical professionals and checking the Better Business Bureau. Keep in mind that a few bad reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, but an overwhelming number of bad reviews should give you pause.
Can I Buy a Used Staircase Chair Lift?
Chair lifts have a lifespan of about 10 years, but many are only used for a few years before being sold or discarded. People move and don’t take the lift with them in some cases. Or, sometimes the person’s physical condition changes. There are many used lifts on the market that are affordable and reliable, but use caution when purchasing one. Always have the lift inspected by an independent appliance expert.
Can My Staircase Support a Lift?
If your staircase is structurally sound, there should be no problem. The lift should not require any extra support.
What If I’m Near the Weight Limit?
Heavy-duty models are available for people who exceed the chair’s weight limit, but those who are close to the weight limit should also consider upgrading. Greater weight will put more strain on the lift and likely shorten its lifespan. And the smaller seat may not be as comfortable for the person using the lift.