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Thread: Stair lift

  1. #1

    Stair lift

    I was wondering if anyone has a stair lift in their house? Not an elevator, but a lift that actually goes up the stairs. We're considering buying a 2 story house and the stair lift option is much more affordable. If someone does have a stair lift, could you give me an idea of how well it works for you? Is it time consuming with the transfering on and off? I grew up in a 2 story house (pre SCI!) and remember constantly running up and down the stairs. We're planning on having kids so I don't want the stairs to become another SCI frustration. Thanks for your help!

    Keep hope alive.

  2. #2
    There are two types of stair lifts. One type is a platform lift. This takes much more room, and is more expensive, but it takes you in your chair up/down the stairs.

    The other type requires you to transfer into a seat that travels up and down the stairs. Downside for this is you must transfer at least twice for each trip, and you must have an upstairs and a downstairs wheelchair.

    Another consideration is fires...the lift does not move quickly, and while most have a battery back-up for power outages, you could end up trapped on the second floor in the case of a fire.

    As with any equipment, mechanical problems can occur, and it may take days to get repairs accomplished. Something to think about that you don't have to deal with in a single level home.


  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member krajaxa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New Castle, PA
    Have two for about year and half now. Hubby has a hospital w/c upstairs (bedrooms and bathroom) and one in the basement (his hobby room, laudry room and better accessible w/c bathroom w/shower). Works well for hubby. Takes time to get used to and figure out the tranfers, but a few months later we are laughing at it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Hi Phillis,
    We installed a stair lift in our 2 story home to accomodate my husbands injury. Though it allowed the master bed and bath to be accessible, it was hardly ideal. It creates the need for additional transfers, an extra wheelchair, gates for protecting future toddlers and overall more energy expelled by you and yours. You will be far more independent in a single story home and your caregiver will thank you for that! With interest rates so low a 1 story home is more affordable than ever. There is also a growing need for this type home to accomodate the aging baby boomers. Better get one now! Kath

  6. #6
    If you have the choice you need to get a rambler.

    Things to think about.
    Hauling your stuff up the lift. I have a duffle bag that I put things into haul up and down.

    My little girl is 10 months so I have a harness that I put her.

    The fire thing is a bit of a concern but I have put up a good fight so far what the hell as long as my family gets out.

    My lift is very relible but when it does brake down you have to hop out and ape crawl around.

    Laundry sucks to.
    And the worst thing is if you get out to your truck hop in and relize you forgot something up stairs..

    My take on this

  7. #7
    KDK, I agree. Btw, ranch style home (property) being unique tends to hold and increase in value more than two-story.

    I used to have stair-lifts (two were required because of off-setting staircases) and it was 5 transfers up and down. Just some food for thought.

    However Phillis, here is another stair-lift vendor site @

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    for my basement i got a used mast from an old forklift. welded a metal cage on then added a hydraulic unit.

    cost about $350 for hyd unit $0 for mast & about $600 steel installing welding etc.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the input everyone! We're still in the process of looking and are hoping to find a one story house that works for us. But at least now I have a better idea of the day to day issues with a stair lift. Thanks again!

    Keep hope alive.

  10. #10
    Phillis - which chair system did you finally go with ? We are just making the decision right now for my wife who was in an accident 3 months ago. I am so glad to have found this forum.

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