When mobility changes, stairs may become too difficult to manage. Whether your parents have knee or hip issues that make it hard to climb stairs or require the use of a walker or wheelchair to get around, a stairlift ensures that all of the home is accessible.
It’s not a purchase you can rush into. When you’re shopping around, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.
What’s the Preferred Power Source?
Stairlifts can run on electricity or battery. There are pros and cons to each. A battery-powered stairlift will work if the power goes out. Typically, the battery must be replaced every year or two. If you replace the battery incorrectly, it can damage the electricals.
An electrical stairlift doesn’t need recharging or battery replacement. If power outages are rare at your mom or dad’s home, electrical may be the better option. The one problem is that you will need an electrician to install wiring to the stairlift
The Stair Design
The least expensive stair lift is going to be one for a straight set of stairs. If you’re in a home where the stairs are angled or take a turn halfway up, it will cost more. If there is a door at the top or bottom of the stairs, the stairlift may make it harder to open or close the door completely. For homes where the stairs are the first thing the front door opens to, this can be a problem.
Stairlifts do take up some space on the stairs too. You need to make sure the model you choose doesn’t take up so much space that it’s unsafe. Those who don’t need the stairlift need to safely be able to walk up and down the space that’s left on the staircase.
Affording Stair Lifts
If you’re thinking your mom or dad’s health insurance policy will pay for the stairlift, don’t count on it. Even with a doctor’s recommendation, insurance may refuse to cover the cost of a stairlift. Ask before you commit to purchasing one.
Your parents could claim it as a medical expense on their taxes instead, but that’s also not a certainty. They should talk to a tax professional to see if their purchase qualifies as a medical expense.
It may be easier to move a bedroom to the main level of your parents’ home. This way, they can access important rooms like their kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom without needing to use the stairs.
Home care can also help them move around the home. Caregivers can help your parents safely get up and down the stairs. Caregivers can eliminate the need to climb stairs in order to do laundry or get something from the chest freezer. Call a home care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Coral Gables, FL please contact the caring staff at Elite Care At Home today at (305) 231-0555.