Aging In Place: Take a Ride on the Stair Chair

When my client first called asked for one of these, a Stair Chair, I gave her a ballpark price on a new one. It’s a good thing I was talking with the Executor not the heart patient we  are working for! She couldn’t believe that the simplest, well made stair chair would cost a minimum of  $3-5K, that was just for the chair lift installation. Modifications that had to be made to the stairway, including installing a new power source for the chair battery, would be extra. If we needed the chair to take  a curve of any sort coming down, the cost could have doubled. AND, we are talking about a reconditioned stair lift! It’s not even new to you. Those prices are $10-15k!

Our other challenge in this home was to be able to get in out of the garage. With the chair at the bottom of the stairs, that wouldn’t work. So, we built a bigger ling for turning around, the client uses the remote to send the chair up the stairs out of the way of the garage door! We also had to remove half the grab bars hrails we had just installed 3 months ago once the chair took over the space. Plus rewire some very challenging electrical work. We selected a Stannah stair chair, as their reputation seemed quite good overall. There are many other companies that sell chairlifts, but the best thing is to find the company in your area that sells, reconditions, installs warrantees the work. And DO get the insurance annual maintenance. It is worth it for this type of investment.

But the reward is the freedom it give our lovely lady so she can finally do her own laundry, carrying it on her lap as she glides downstairs to her lower level, which houses the laundry room. That step forward is huge, as it means another step toward independence, a move toward freedom from having a 24 hour caregiver living with her. 

We have done a lot of small jobs here, we’ll be putting up some hooks working on getting the client to put in a better bathroom. We have also seen progress with the client, as she becomes more active social. You have to really believe in what you do if you work in the field of Aging. Seniors, or people with mobility issues. It did take two visits sting over the installer asking a lot of questions to get things perfect!