Stairs pose a significant hazard for seniors and people with mobility issues. Installing a stair lift will be an ideal option as it will allow them to negotiate the stairs and access all parts of their home easily and independently. However, there are both pros and cons to installing these accessibility devices and it’s crucial that you know about them if you are considering installing a stair chair lift in your home.
- Stay at home – As people age, they may suffer from progressive conditions such as spinal issues, arthritis, osteoporosis or other age-related issues that can restrict their ability to navigate stairs. This may force them to consider moving from independent to assisted living. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates, about 90 percent of people would like to stay in their home for as long as possible. Installing a stair lift would allow them to stay in their home longer. A stair chair lift can help people resolve such issues by providing easy access to all the floors of their home.
- Prevent falls – Slips and falls are a leading cause of disability among people of all ages, especially older adults. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 25,000 older adults die each year from a fall in the US. It is estimated that an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall-related injury every 13 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 seconds. Having a stair lift in your home can help to prevent such serious and even fatal falls relating to stairways.
- Helps transport items – Often, seniors suffer falls while carrying things up and down the stairs. With a lift for the stairs, users can hold and carry such items with them as they use the lift to go up and down.
- Space – Installing this lift requires space on the stairs as it is fitted to the stairs and not the wall. While most homes today have stairs that are wide enough to accommodate a stair lift without any issues, some older homes may have narrow stairs. If the staircase happens to be narrow, installing the device can make it difficult for others who use the stairs.
- Creates a sense of dependence – Depending on assistive devices is not advisable for healthy seniors who don’t have any specific mobility issues. Physical activity helps prevent disease, and promotes stress relief and strength. Over-dependence on mobility devices by healthy people may decrease their physicality to a certain point wherein they can no longer take the stairs even if they want.
- Cost – This is a key factor to be considered while installing these devices. Typically, the cost of the device would depend on the brand, model, features, the type of stairs in the home, and so on. When it comes to paying for the device, mortgage insurance programs and bank loans can help.
So before you purchase a stairlift for your home, weigh these pros and cons to make the right decision.