Electric Stair Lifts

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Electric Stair Lifts

Postby John_K9JGS » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:13 am

Hi!

I am wondering about which electric stair lift to purchase. I am not sure where this query should be posted, but what I would like to know is what experiences others have had with various brands and models of stair lifts, good and bad.

We of course want to buy one that will continue to work over a long time period.

Any help will be much appreciated!

Thanks,

John :D
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Postby robbie » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:17 am

Hi John, i have only had this for 6 months but it seems really great.
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Postby TwistedHelix » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:54 am

Hi John,
I don't know if it's a global brand, but I've had a Stannah stairlift since about 1992. It wasn't new when I bought it but it's been completely reliable. I think most of them can cope with complicated stair, corner and landing arrangements, and I'd quite like it if you could extend the track so that I could take a trip around my garden!
The only downside is that the track, which is a heavy steel girder, lays directly on my stairs and it's going to be a nightmare to get a new carpet fitted. I think most new models don't have this problem because the girder is raised up off the stairs,
Dom
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Postby gwa » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:26 pm

Dom,

How will you wear out the carpet going up the stairs with your butt on a stairlift and no feet on the ground?

robbie,

Does the stairlift bother you as far as with balance issues or make you dizzy going up it?

Also, do these lifts have battery backup in case of power outages?

gwa
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Postby John_K9JGS » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:50 pm

Thanks, Robbie and Twistie, for your kind replies! I'll look around and see if that brand is available in the states.

And to gwa, Most of the stair lifts that I have read about are available in AC only or battery, where the battery actually drives the lift and the charger is plugged into the wall to keep the battery full. Some models have to be parked at one end in order to charge, while some others will charge if the chair is anywhere on the track.

We seldom have power outages here so the battery is not as important to us as it would be to some, plus we can still negotiate the stairs - it's just getting harder to do.

One dealer told me that he had given up on the Acorn brand because he had so many service calls on them. So I guess we wouldn't want to buy one of them!

With kind regards,

John
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Postby robbie » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:29 pm

Hi GWA, no balance problems with it, when the arms are down you feel pretty secure, the battery is always charging like John says when it's at the top or bottom. Not sure but a fully charged battery must last a long time, longer than any power outage i hope. It folds up nice so people can pass by also.
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Postby gwa » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:26 pm

The stairlifts look easy to operate and they are certainly cheaper than having to spend the money to find and buy a single level house.

Seems like most houses these days are two level except for the smaller ones.

I have been hunting for places to retire for months and it is getting really frustrating because so many places are only building two level houses. I guess the big problem in larger single levels is the cost of land.

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Postby John_K9JGS » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:00 pm

Yeah, that's what we finally concluded. We like our house but have to find ways to negotiate upstairs to the bedroom and then I have to go into the basement where my shop is.

I hope lots of people chime in with their feedback about various stair lifts! We are ready to buy but want to try to make sure we get a good durable one and one that is a good value.

John
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Postby Lyon » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:51 pm

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Postby TwistedHelix » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:37 am

gwa,
You're right: my feet no longer touch the ground any more, and I hover majestically above the steps like some kind of evil spirit. However, no carpet could withstand the sheer tonnage of carers I have traipsing up and down every single day – if you can imagine a herd of wildebeest wearing spiked running shoes, that should give you some idea.
I would always advise going for a model with battery backup, because even if power cuts are rare in your area, if you've become more dependent on the lift and there is a cut, it is GUARANTEED to come at the most awkward time.
I've always felt completely secure on mine, and there is a seatbelt if you need it. Also, you usually get options on positioning and style of control buttons: by sheer luck I went for a joystick on the left arm, so I can still operate it with my wrist. In any case, there are buttons top and bottom so that other people can work it, and there are safety bumpers all around which immediately cut the power if anything becomes trapped while moving.
Bob, I think I've seen other stair climbing models which have a strange, three wheels in a triangle kind of arrangement. They're expensive, though not as much as the Segway, but I can't imagine how terrifying they must be to use!
Dom
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Postby Loobie » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:17 am

I am going to have to buy two of the things. We decided just yesterday that we aren't going to move. We have a really cute story and half that we turned the entire second floor into a master suite. We also have a basement where I do a lot of work in and where I work out. Since it's a story and a half, my bedroom stairs are very steep and they are taking a toll on me. It's heartening to hear feedback about these. I've been putting off even looking into them. If I take a header on those steep ass stairs, I'm probably going to really not enjoy it. I'm going to research costs today!
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Postby gwa » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:49 am

loobie,

I have researched the lifts several times because we were having a terrible time finding a house for us that was on one level. We have moved on average every 3 years for the past 20 years. Fortunately, we were always able to find a one story place to live.

The lifts that are used for straight staircases (no landings) were about $3000.

For stairs that require custom builds for curved or stairs with landings, the prices jumped to over $10,000.

I think the lifts are a good investment if a person can't find a single story home.

Good luck with your hunt.

gwa
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Postby Loobie » Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:38 pm

Thanks for the info. GWA. We have literally tons of ranches in the Dayton area, so acceptable one story housing would not be a problem. However, we bought this house to "flip" eleven years ago, but have had our child here, completely (and I mean everything) renovated the place and we just can't bear the thought of leaving it. It is truly home. However, my family said they would make the sacrifice if it came to that. But having seen the pricetag (I expected a much higher price :D ) I am very heartened. Our entire second story master suite is literally our sanctuary. It turned out way better than we had it drawn up and it is just so unique and comforting that I want to do everything in my power to stay. The house has a real steep roofline with dormers and all the angles play together for some very good "fung shooey" for my wife and I. I want to stay so bad. The only other thing that could come into play eventually is our property. We have an acre and quarter and so many trees I've never bothered to count. You know what that means; leaves out the butt! Oh well, I am just so pleased to see people not intimidated by the thought of having to install these, and also very pleasantly surprised at the price (my staricases are all straight as an arrow).
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Postby robbie » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:01 pm

Have the stairlift and now our downstairs bathroom is having a roll in shower to replace the bathtub which i can no longer lift my feet over. Getting already for the full time wheelchair chapter of my life. :D
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Postby gwa » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:47 pm

Good for you, robbie. It is a lot easier with a walk in shower. We always rip the bathtub out of our houses and have a walk in shower built for me and it makes life a lot easier. Don't forget to add grab bars around the shower too.

If you have a tile shower built, have them caulk the corners where the walls meet instead of grouting them. Grout cracks. We had to dig out the grout and caulk my shower. My husband is no handy man and he whined during the process.

Another thing we do is rip out the carpet and install ceramic tile throughout which makes it a lot easier to walk. Of course where you live, ceramic tile would probably be too cold on your feet.

Life is fun. Enjoy.

gwa :)
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