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Thread: Stair Lift

  1. #1

    Stair Lift

    I need your ideas/thoughts. My daughter T12 - functional level L1 just turned 11 years old (63 lbs). Her injury was Nov '08, ASIA A complete, but has some return in her left leg. We have been planning to put in a stair lift. We had a vendor come out and quoted us about $4,000 for a standard lift. The issue is that the chair ends at the top of the stairs and I'm concerned that while transferring she might fall down the stairs. Is this a something I should be concerned about? The other option is to put in a different type of stair lift that will turn around the railing so she could transfer away from the top of the stair case that would cost around $13,000.

    Our options:
    1. Purchase the standard lift for $4,000, appeal with insurance but buy if insurance pays or not. (spot her while transferring)
    2. Have the vendor submit the lift for $13,000 to insurance and then plan to appeal, telling the vendor that we won't be able to get the lift if insurance doesn't pay. (We just can't afford $13,000)
    3. Don't put in a lift at all and let her skoot upstairs. (good therapy, but hard on the skin). We might not be able to help ourselves from carring her up and down the stairs, because of time constraints.
    4. ?
    5. ?

    Keep in mind my daughter insists on going up stairs and skoots up even if we aren't willing to carry her. I'm concerned about skin sores, our backs and the safety issues carrying her up and down the stairs. She wants to sleep upstairs in her own bedroom. We have a guest bedroom, but we really want to keep it for guests. We are planning to setup a gym in the loft. On top of all that it really isn't fair to restrict her from going upstairs. Moving isn't an option as we are upside down in our house.

    Also, if we get a stair lift we will also have to look into another wheelchair for upstairs. With her small size and that she is still growing it might have to be custom. I hoping to find something used, but so far having a difficult time.

    We have a letter of medical necessity and I think we might have a chance to get this through insurance as an exception if we push hard enough. It might be a big fight.

    We want her to be independent as much as possible. We just aren't sure what to do with her getting upstairs.

  2. #2
    My husband is T12/L1 and we lived in a two story house for two years after he fell. We used a bruno electra-ride LT stair lift. It turned to 45 and 90 degrees in either direction from the sideways ride up or down the stairs. So when my husband was up, he would turn the chair away from the stairs and transfer into a waiting wheelchair. He was not near the edge this way. For an upstairs chair, we used a cheap folding chair like people get when they have surgery or whatever. It had armrests that lifted up and removable footrests. Our bedroom was upstairs and my husband learned to get in an out of the shower and bed using that chair independently. It was too difficult to find a regular chair for up there. www.fodac.org can help with wheelchairs to people in need.

  3. #3
    are the stairs wide enough for a platform lift? we looked into one, and it was going to be easier to push it through our insurance as a medical necessity becsuse it was actually a platform for my wheelchair, no transfer or other wheelchair involved - but our insurance system is different to yours (ireland). in the end, our stairway was not wide enough. but i use several of these lifts, made by vimec which i think is an italian company - daily at college.

  4. #4
    The platform lift is too wide for the stairs.

    I don't understand why they don't have something that can pickup the wheelchair with the occupant that is similiar to a chair lift.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tarheelandy's Avatar
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    I am a T6 living in a 3 story home. I use an Acorn lift to get upstairs. It cost 2500 1 1/2 yrs ago. I was a little concerned about falling down the stairs at first, but after a while, you learn how to lean away from them. Mine was installed by my husband and a friend. They do charge to install, but my husband says it is easy to install. I really like mine. Oh, and I did get an extra chair off ebay to put upstairs.

  6. #6
    alber makes a portable lifter that clips on tothe back of wheelchairs to go upstairs. someone has to stand there and drag it, but its battery-assisted, and i saw a skinny kid using it on a big man at an exhibition once. the best part is that you can staash it in your car to take somewhere else...

    i think the us dealer is frank mobility

  7. #7
    Thanks all for the suggestions. I think we will see about getting a used one. I have a couple of leads. I suppose I could still try submitting a used one to insurance. I would think they would be more willing to pay if it wasn't too expensive.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcblarsen View Post
    I need your ideas/thoughts. My daughter T12 - functional level L1 just turned 11 years old (63 lbs). Her injury was Nov '08, ASIA A complete, but has some return in her left leg. We have been planning to put in a stair lift. We had a vendor come out and quoted us about $4,000 for a standard lift. The issue is that the chair ends at the top of the stairs and I'm concerned that while transferring she might fall down the stairs. Is this a something I should be concerned about? The other option is to put in a different type of stair lift that will turn around the railing so she could transfer away from the top of the stair case that would cost around $13,000.

    Our options:
    1. Purchase the standard lift for $4,000, appeal with insurance but buy if insurance pays or not. (spot her while transferring)
    2. Have the vendor submit the lift for $13,000 to insurance and then plan to appeal, telling the vendor that we won't be able to get the lift if insurance doesn't pay. (We just can't afford $13,000)
    3. Don't put in a lift at all and let her skoot upstairs. (good therapy, but hard on the skin). We might not be able to help ourselves from carring her up and down the stairs, because of time constraints.
    4. ?
    5. ?

    Keep in mind my daughter insists on going up stairs and skoots up even if we aren't willing to carry her. I'm concerned about skin sores, our backs and the safety issues carrying her up and down the stairs. She wants to sleep upstairs in her own bedroom. We have a guest bedroom, but we really want to keep it for guests. We are planning to setup a gym in the loft. On top of all that it really isn't fair to restrict her from going upstairs. Moving isn't an option as we are upside down in our house.

    Also, if we get a stair lift we will also have to look into another wheelchair for upstairs. With her small size and that she is still growing it might have to be custom. I hoping to find something used, but so far having a difficult time.

    We have a letter of medical necessity and I think we might have a chance to get this through insurance as an exception if we push hard enough. It might be a big fight.

    We want her to be independent as much as possible. We just aren't sure what to do with her getting upstairs.
    Does your state have a Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Program that might help you get the appropriate device so your daughter can sleep in her own bedroom or have you thought about making the guest room her bedroom & her current bedroom making it the guest room instead then you wouldn't have to put in a lift of any kind. If your state has a brain n spinal cord injury program maybe they would pay to have an elevator put in your house. My state has such a program what they do besides home modifications I don't know. I just know that it exists.
    Ever thought of doing any fund raisers to help raise money to help your daughter? Maybe a fund could be set up in a local financial institution that people could send money to help fund the appropriate device that you need for your daughter. Also put donation cans in local restaurants etc. to help raise some money to help your daughter.
    I wish you the best in your endeavor to help your cute little girl.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gcblarsen View Post
    Thanks all for the suggestions. I think we will see about getting a used one. I have a couple of leads. I suppose I could still try submitting a used one to insurance. I would think they would be more willing to pay if it wasn't too expensive.
    My insurance company won't pay for anything used. liability issues.
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RAFS View Post
    Does your state have a Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Program that might help you get the appropriate device so your daughter can sleep in her own bedroom or have you thought about making the guest room her bedroom & her current bedroom making it the guest room instead then you wouldn't have to put in a lift of any kind. If your state has a brain n spinal cord injury program maybe they would pay to have an elevator put in your house. My state has such a program what they do besides home modifications I don't know. I just know that it exists.
    Ever thought of doing any fund raisers to help raise money to help your daughter? Maybe a fund could be set up in a local financial institution that people could send money to help fund the appropriate device that you need for your daughter. Also put donation cans in local restaurants etc. to help raise some money to help your daughter.
    I wish you the best in your endeavor to help your cute little girl.
    We want to keep the guest room downstairs. My father has parkinsons disease and when my parents come to visit it would be hard for him to go up and down the stairs. I don't believe we have a brain n spinal cord program. She does have secondary insurance with the state, but they stated that they wouldn't cover because we have the guest bedroom downstairs. Her school did do a fundraiser and we will use the funds toward a lift. My work is offering to do a fundraiser, but if I can swing it ourselves I would feel better. They are planning to layoff people at work and I would hate to take money from someone who could be loosing their job.

    I'll call my insurance Monday to see what they say about a used one. I doubt they will cover either way. I'm probably better off getting a used one.

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