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Thread: Stair Lifts vs. Wheelchair Lift

  1. #1

    Stair Lifts vs. Wheelchair Lift

    We are looking at putting in a wheelchair lift (i.e. telecab) or a stair lift so I can access the lower floor. I am a t-7 para and can transfer no problem.

    What do people have at their homes and what are the pro's and cons? We are leaning towards the stair lift due to cost and the least home modifications. I would use two wheelchairs. The stairway is straight up (17 steps) no curves. However I am concerned about the chair being in the way of AB people wanting to use the stairway. It would be great if they could wrap around to be out of the way without the cost of purchasing a unit that fits curved stair ways. I am also concerned about carrying items between floors.

    I am interested in any information anyone may have to offer on either type of lift. I have no experience with either.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Lois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Oak Ridge, NJ USA


    Although initially my husband built a ramp off the deck at the back of the house, it was not always convienent in bad weather. Plus it's always wise to have more than one exit. We had 2 used stairglides installed for me to gain access to the basement/garage level of our ranch home. Instead of straight down like yours, our stairs have a platform and 3 stairs at a right angle near the bottom. I leave a wheelchair either at the top (indoor chair) or bottom (outdoor chair) depending on which way I'm going and transfer 3 times each way. It's not really a problem. Both the seat and foot plate on the chairs fold up so they are somewhat out of the way for any ab using the stairs. The whole thing takes up about a third of the width of the stairs. It was the best and most economical solution for us as an elevator would have required major construction. However, if and when we move to new home with more than one level, I'd invest in an elevator.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Ive got a Telecab and have been very pleased with it..It actually doesnt take up much room..Its set up in my office and the actual hole in the floor is only 3ft long by 2.5 feet wide,i could have put it in my master bedroom closet but it all depends on whats below the spot you choose (in my case a wall)..I really like it,its only 3 pieces,low maintenace and easy to maintain..

    I'll snap a couple pics for ya..

  4. #4
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    We have a stair glider, with a chair at top & bottom. Not too big a deal to move the chairs out of the way of us AB's. We just move it over to get by.

  5. #5
    We have a Bruno stairlift so my husband can access the second floor of the house. Straight staircase with 16 stairs. The seat and foot plate fold up and take up about 1/3 of the width of the staircase. Of course, that is only at the top or at the bottom of the staircase, wherever the chair is located. The track lays along the stairs but is hardly noticeable. We have a chair on each level as well and my husband has learned to transfer on and off independently even though the chair swivels but the foot plate does not. They have stairlifts that have a foot plate that swivels as well, but they cost more. So I guess it depends on your mobility. Our staircase is 34" wide total. I never have problems carrying laundry baskets or stuff like that. Once we moved a couch up the stairs and the seat of the stairlift got in the way. But we just got an extra person to lift it up and over. The cost was about $3800 last year and it just bolts to the stairs. It also came with 2 remotes that will move it up or down and a control on the chair itself. So you will never be stranded if the remotes are on each floor. You can always bring the stairlift up or down to you.

  6. #6
    We have a Telecab installed. In our case it worked great because we have a two storie entry hall. It rides on a track attached to the wall (see photo), once I am downstairs I send it back up out of the way. We had considered the chair lift but our staircase makes a 90 degree turn so the cost was about $12,000 for the stair lift verses $20,000 for the Telecab. Also it meant more transfers for me which I didn't want and having to have two chairs, one upstairs and the other down. The Telecab is also great for when my 85 year old my mother in law visits.

    C5 incomplete

  7. #7
    Heres a few pics of my Telecab...Its in my office which is isnt very big so i couldnt fit a pic in with it all the way up.Installed it cost 15 thousand Canadian..

  8. #8
    Thanks Everyone.

    Especially for the pics. I do like that teleacab. The guy quoted us 18K. Does anyone know where I can get a better deal or a used one? I do have someone that is handy to get the permits and install it.

    Thanks Again... This site is fabulous for info.

  9. #9
    Wheelchair lifts offer greater mobility and independence to physically disabled and older people . In comparison to lift for stairs, wheelchair lifts will be more cost-effective and provide faster movement from one floor to another.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    I had two sets of stairs in my back entrance, one to get out my back door and the other to get downstairs. What I ended up doing is raising my back door, removing the one set of stairs and making a ramp and putting an incline platform lift in to access my basement.

    I thought long and hard about just getting a stair lift and transferring with two chairs, but the transferring over or by stairs was not appealing, plus the worry about the chair being in the way or being moved out of reach. The cost of the extra chair plus the stair lift is still minimum 8000 to 10000, if I wanted a comfortable chair and a reliable lift.

    For me it just made more sense, for now and in the future to get the incline platform lift.

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