Going Up and Down the Stairs Made Easier for Seniors

In this article, we will discuss how a Stairlift can make going up and down the stairs easier for seniors.

According to CorryLaw.com, falls can affect people young or old. The two most common groups for staircase falls are adults over age 85 and children under three years old. Staircase falls injure over 1 million people per day in the U.S., posing a significant concern for all age groups.

Falls are a common and very serious problem for older adults, with approximately one-third of community-dwelling, healthy adults aged 65 years and over falling at least once per year, and with up to half of these people experiencing multiple falls. See, How often do old people fall down the stairs?

Why do older people fall down the stairs?

Seniors fall on stairs for a variety of reasons, but health, environmental, and behavioral reasons are the most common. Health factors include reduced vision, weakness, drowsiness, loss of balance, and an inactive lifestyle. Also, nonexistent or defective handrails, poor lighting, and substandard tread surfaces are all environmental factors that can lead to a fall.

Stairlift: A Safe Alternative To Stairs for the Elderly

There are several ways to provide access between residential floor levels for both the elderly and the handicapped. There are wheelchair lifts, residential elevators, platform lifts, ramps, stairlifts, etc. So far, the common and widely used method is the stairlift.

A stair lift can be installed in any home, normally at the edge of your already existing staircase. This transportation system includes a chair (with a footrest and armrests) and a motor. The person can simply sit on the chair while the stairlift gently takes both the chair and the one who occupies it up and down the floor levels. This is a convenient and safe alternative for tiresome ascending and descending using the typical stairways.

Stairlifts come in a variety of lengths to suit different staircases. However, it must be remembered that a qualified and reliable technician must personally get the necessary measurements (angle and length) of your stairs at home. This “examination” process may involve asking the user some relevant questions such as the individual’s mobility limitations, whether the eventual user is right or left-handed, and the like.

Stairlifts today are reliable, quiet, and easily controlled with a joystick. Such joystick may be set on the armrest, depending on the individual needs and on the model and make of the stairlift. A stair lift can also be controlled with remote control. This is helpful, especially when more than one user is present in the home. By using the remote, the lift can be summoned from either bottom or top of the stairways.

In a stairlift, there is a park point where the stairlift gets to be recharged. The device also starts or stops gently, eradicating the possibility of bumping or jerking. The footrest is also well-appointed, as well as the swiveling seat of the lift.

When the electrical power supply is not available, the battery takes over which will ensure uninterrupted movement downwards or upwards of the stairs. Also, it has a troubleshooting display so the engineer can easily and rapidly resolve a malfunction.

A more sophisticated stairlift ensures safety by not operating whenever the carriage bumps into any barrier, or whenever the armrests, footrest, and seat are not in their right position. This system has also a switch to lock it up when necessary, particularly to keep the kids from unattended use of the stairlift.

Stairlifts intended for outdoor uses are made available to surmount the steps towards the garden or the door in front of the house. This can provide an easy ride for some sun exposure in the early morning. The outdoor stairlifts are as comfortable and quiet as those used indoors and can provide the same convenience and safety measures too.

If you are one of those individuals who have trouble going up and moving down the staircase, you will eventually think of constructing a bathroom or bedroom downstairs just to avoid the stairs. But you don’t need to make this home refurbishment if you have a stairlift installed in your home.

Are Stair Lifts for Seniors Covered by Medicare?

The short, uncomplicated answer is, for all practical purposes, original Medicare does not pay for stairlifts. But Medicare Advantage plans may cover the cost. See, Medicare’s Policy on Stairlifts

Are Stair Lifts for Seniors Covered by Medicaid?

As Medicaid policies are different in every state, it is difficult to make a general statement about Medicaid’s coverage of stairlifts. Furthermore, Medicaid offers multiple programs in each state, making the answer still more complicated.

If Medicaid in your state covers stair lifts, it will do so through your state’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Waivers are Medicaid non-entitlement programs that help individuals who require a nursing home level of care to remain living at home.

What is the average cost of a stair lift?

According to 101 Mobility, if your home has a straight staircase with about 12-14 steps, you should budget anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to purchase a new stairlift. The average cost usually ends up in the middle of this range, between about $3,000 and $4,000. These prices include installation as well as a one-year service warranty.

Conclusion

Stairlifts are an effective way of helping seniors maintain that vital independence without forcing them to sacrifice any upstairs space, and can be a much less stressful alternative to finding a new home or making a major remodel to the house. The benefits of a stairlift include: Increased freedom, safety, comfort, full access to the staircase, ease of use and they are customizable.