1. How do stairlifts actually work?
Stairlifts are purchased with a few feet of track – enough to cover the staircase and at least a foot that runs past.
Before installation, this track can be cut to any length you need to install.
The stairlift moves along this rail with a motor powered by a battery that is continually charging. In the event of a power outage, the batteries should have enough charge to continue working for a few more trips, or at least until power is restored.
Stairlifts are fairly easy to operate with a small toggle located on the armrest. They also come with a remote for when you have 2 people using the stairlift and you have to summon it to the top or the bottom of the staircase.
2. How long do the batteries last?
In most cases, stairlift batteries should last over 4 years before they need to be replaced. However, this can also depend on where your batteries came from. Some of the top report battery lifetimes to average anywhere between 3-5 years. Replacement batteries should cost anywhere from $15 – $20.
3. Do stair lifts use a lot of electricity?
Stairlifts have come a long way over the last few decades and are now considered to be on par, if not more efficient, than many home appliances. You can expect your stairlift to use roughly .024 kWh of electricity, which should cost less than $17 per year on average.
4. Are stairlifts covered by Medicare?
Unfortunately not. It won’t matter even if prescribed by your physician. There are some ways to get financial assistance, however, in the form of programs designed to assist with necessary home modifications.
Funding will differ from region to region to it’s always advised to check with your state’s Department of Health and Human Services for more information.
If you have VA benefits, be sure to check for assistance. Additionally, some auto insurance policies, worker’s compensation programs, accident insurance plans, as well as medical trust funds are also options that could assist with the installation of a new stairlift.
5. How long do stairlifts last?
There are many factors that can lead to the demise of a stairlift, none more so than the brand you chose and frequency of use. The average stairlift can last as much as 10 years, and in some cases, as much as 20 years. Regular maintenance and upkeep will naturally extend the lifespan of your stairlift and keep it running in good shape.
6. How much do stairlifts cost installed?
When it comes to stairlifts, there are really only two big factors that affect the overall cost. That is straight versus curved rail stairlifts. Your average straight staircase stair let’s start at about the $3,000 mark installed by a factory technician. A custom-fit, curved stairlift can cost anywhere from $8,500 and up. On average, expect to pay in the region of $5,000, but on the top end of the spectrum, some stairlifts come in near $20,000.
|Type of Stairlift||Average Cost|
|Straight||$2,000 – $8,000|
|Curved||$8,000 – $20,000|
|Outdoor||$4,000 – $12,000|
7. What optional extras do stairlifts have?
Most stairlifts from top brands include added optional features such as upholstery choices, seat belts, different rail options, extra batteries, your choice of hand control, and more.
8. What are some of the best brands out there?
A stairlift is a significant investment and offers a real solution to maintaining independence for many people affected with limited mobility. There are so many companies to choose from, but if you want to be assured of quality, consider the following companies:
- Easy Climber
9. Can’t I install a stairlift myself?
Yes, it is possible to install a DIY stairlift in a few hours. However, as with any home installation, you can always benefit from a professional’s input, even when you’re a handy DIYer. Straight stairlifts are much easier to install when compared to curved stairlifts, so be sure you know what you’re getting into if you plan on doing this yourself.
Also, keep in mind that you may have to hire an electrician, not to mention that you’ll need some assistance with lifting the track, chassis, chair, and more. Moreover, when you’ve installed it yourself, it will be a lot harder to find someone to service it, while you could also void any warranties.