Whether it's due to your age or a disability, getting up and down the stairs may be difficult, but that doesn't mean you have to give up your multiple-story home. A stair lift allows you to sit comfortably and ride up or down the stairs with ease. If you are considering getting a stair lift, check out these six must-know facts.
Most Stair Lifts Should Be Professionally Installed
Most stair lifts are complicated to install, so it's best to have a professional and licensed technician install yours. There are some models that are designed for self-installation. However, if you have a narrow stairway, a curved stairway or you are petite, these stair lifts won't be sufficient. On top of that, a stair lift is designed to support you when you can't support yourself as you climb the stairs. A self-installation is more likely to fail, causing you serious injury.
You Have the Option to Rent a Stair Lift
A standard straight stair lift costs between $3000 and $5000 to purchase. If you plan on requiring one for the rest of your life due to advanced age or long-term disability, it's definitely worth the money to purchase; however, you do have the option to rent a stair lift. This is a great idea for people who have short-term mobility problems, such as limited movement after a surgery or before a surgery. Some companies also allow you to rent a stair lift for a few months, and if you decide to purchase it, the money is put toward the purchase price. This is a great way to try it out and see if it's the right stair lift for you.
Used Stair Lifts Are Available
Used stair lifts are also a possibility to help you save money. Most leading brands build durable stair lifts that last, so you can trust the used stair lift will continue to support you and provide quality assistance. If you are purchasing a used one, don't buy one that is too old. It may be difficult to find replacement parts on these older models, and they won't have the same safety features as modern stair lifts. Used models are also more likely to require repairs, and the warranties are limited.
Modern Stair Lifts Focus on Safety
When looking for a stair lift, check the safety features. Most modern stair lifts have advanced features to keep you safe. An over-speed governor is a common feature that prevents the stair lift from quickly gliding back down the stairs if the system fails. Most modern stair lifts also come with DC power to prevent the need for an exposed cable and reduce the risk of shock. Safety edges protect you and the lift if there is something on the steps. If an object is detected, the chair stops and moves away from the object.
Medicare Probably Won't Pay for Your Stair Lift
If you're on Medicare, don't expect it to cover your stair lift. Medicare Part B does cover the cost of many patient lifts as durable medical equipment. However, a stair lift isn't considered durable medical equipment. Medicare considers it a home modification, so they don't cover it. On the other hand, if you have Medicaid and purchase a stair lift from a provider who accepts Medicaid, the chair lift is usually covered. Aging programs are another possible solution. They may be able to help fund your stair lift from the Older Americans Act.
Private Insurance May Cover Some Costs
If you are covered under private insurance, your carrier may cover at least some of the costs associated with a stair lift and the installation. Unfortunately, any necessary repairs or maintenance costs are not generally covered. If you eventually need to completely replace the system, it may be difficult to get the insurance to pay for a new one.
A stair lift is a lifesaver for individuals with limited mobility. Whether you get a new one, used one or rented stair lift, make sure to inspect the safety features and have it professionally installed. If you are ready to get back up the stairs with ease, contact a stair lift provider in your area today.
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