The Truth About Stairlifts (And How To Save Money On Them)

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With age, what seems extremely easy today can turn sometimes into an impassable obstacle tomorrow.

If climbing stairs is more challenging for you than ever, one of your options is a stairlift. Stairlifts are amazing in that they are a simple solution to a complex problem, and it’s no surprise that so many seniors end up taking advantage of them. If you want to stay in your own home, but are worried about navigating it’s staircases as you grow older, it’s possible that looking into stairlifts could be exactly what you need.

A fully set-up stairlift with the rail system visible.

What Are Stairlifts And Who Needs Them?

A stairlift is a mechanical device that assists the user with going up or downstairs. Stairlifts consist of a chair attached to a rail system that runs along the stairs. With a push of a button, stairlifts allow you to go up or down stories with minimal effort.

Stairlifts are most popular among seniors – they let people with significantly impaired mobility access different levels of their homes with relative ease. However, even for seniors that have sufficient mobility and strength to use stairs without assistance, stairlifts could literally be a life-saving purchase.

To demonstrate how useful a stairlift could be for seniors, here are a few interesting stats [1]:

  • One-third of healthy adults aged 65 years and older fall at least once a year. Half of these people also experience falls multiple times per year.
  • In adults aged 85 years and older, annual fall rates increase to around 50%.
  • About 25% of all falls result in injuries ranging from bruising to hip fracture.
  • After hip fractures, 25% of people die within a year.

Typically, seniors fall due to poor vision, loss of balance, dizziness, fainting, or seizures.

There seems to be no research on the impact of stairlifts on injury or mortality rates, but it’s safe to say that a stairlift would dramatically decrease the risk of falling and injury in seniors.

Although stairlifts are typically used by the elderly, they can be useful for people of any age. They can be of great help for younger individuals who have been seriously injured and cannot use stairs on their own.

What Options Do You Have Other Than Stairlifts?

Stairlifts can be a considerable investment, and even though they are perfectly worth it for many people, some seniors may be apprehensive about buying them.

If you also don’t like the idea of becoming dependent on a stairlift, then you may be wondering what options you have.

Well, here is what you may do instead:

  • Avoid areas of your home located on upper stories. The simplest option would be avoiding the upper stories in your home. This may be perfectly achievable if the first story has everything you need – otherwise, access to second or third stories would be highly desirable.
  • Rely on someone else’s assistance. If you are living with someone, then you could ask them for help with going up or downstairs. With that said, some seniors may feel uncomfortable asking someone for help every time. Besides, seniors who live alone obviously can’t use this option.
  • Move to a one-story house. You may sell your current property and move to a one-story house, eliminating the problem altogether. However, this option is associated with considerable investment, and it also requires plenty of actions to make the move.
  • Move to a senior-living community. Finally, you could move to a senior-living community where the layout is specifically designed for seniors. Not everybody wants to do this though, and in many cases it is logistically unfeasible if you need to stay close to family.

As you can see, you do have options. However, for many seniors, a stairlift is going to be the best choice. On one hand, stairlifts require less investment than a new home, and on the other, they allow you to continue living independently in the comfort of your current property.

The most important thing is to thoroughly research available options and try to figure out whether a stairlift would be a good fit for you.

How To Save Money On Stairlifts?

Stairlifts are an important investment, and some stairlift models cost less than others. If you are considering buying a stairlift, you may be wondering if there are any ways to save money.

Well, we can list two:

  • Purchasing a used stairlift. You could buy a used stairlift. Stairlifts live pretty long, so you may be able to buy a stairlift in good condition for half its original price.
  • See if your insurance will cover it. This is uncommon, but depending on what insurance you have, and the reason for your limited mobility, it is possible your insurance may be able to help. Make sure to thoroughly research this question beforehand.
  • Apply for a tax deduction. Medical expenses are eligible for tax deductions [2]. With that said, medical tax deductions require some prerequisites.

These three are primary ways to efficiently manage your budget. But you may have other options in your area too. If you are lucky, you might be able to find discounted stairlifts on sale.

So Do You Need A Stairlift?

So what do you think – would a stairlift be a reasonable addition to your home? In our opinion, stairlifts are great for many seniors, but you will have to decide for yourself.

As always, we suggest that you have a good look at available stairlifts yourself. Consider their price, features, and what other options you have.

 

Related Posts:

The Truth About Senior Dating Websites – Do They Work?

The Truth About Senior Apartments Everyone Over 55 Should Know

The Truth About Reverse Mortgage Every Senior Needs To Know

 

Sources:
  1. “Falls and stair negotiation in older people and their relationship with vision”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK305246/.
  2. “Publication 502 (2019), Medical and Dental Expenses”, https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502.
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