He’s as blind as a bat, bald as a badger and drunk as a skunk. No, it’s not a description of your great-uncle Leo. It’s an example of the misconceptions we continue to use despite their inaccuracies. The truth is bats are not blind, badgers have hair and skunks, for the most part, lead a pretty sober existence.
Stair lift myths we can debunk
Myth 1. Only little old granny-types use stair lifts
Do you have a trick knee from an old sports injury? A bad back from a motorcycle accident? People of all ages who struggle with stairs are stair lift users, not just tiny grandmas. Pain doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone. A stair lift is an easy way to increase your mobility, and enjoy all of your house.
Myth 2. A stair lift won’t fit my stairs
No matter the length, curve or width, there is a stair lift to fit virtually any set of stairs. There are two basic types of stairways: straight and curved. This determines what stair lift applies to you. If your stairs are a single flight of straight stairs, you can use a straight stair lift. Any other configuration including stairs with an intermediate landing will require a curved stair lift. For narrow, straight staircases, Savaria offers the new K2 model: at under 11″ in folded depth it’s the slimmest stair lift on the market and ideal for older homes with often quaint but narrow staircases.
Myth 3. A stair lift will get in the way when not in use
A parking option is available for curved stair lifts. The rail can be extended and wrapped around a bannister or corner at the bottom or top of the stairs, so the stairs are completely free to access when the chair is parked. Adding a flip-up rail to a straight stair lift solves the problem of getting the rail out of the way at the bottom of the stairs where this is often a doorway.
Myth 4. The stair lift installation will be a problem
A straight stair lift can usually be installed in less than two hours, and the unit mounts on the stairs, not on the wall so it’s quite simple for a professional. A curved stair lift is more complex but still takes no more than one day in most cases.
Myth 5. I’m too big for a stair lift
On the weight side, there are stair lifts that carry up to 400 lb. If you’re tall, sit in a standard dining chair and have someone measure the distance you need for your knees (back of chair to where your knees bend).
Myth 6. A stair lift is expensive
Like many things, it is about the alternatives. A straight stair lift costs between $3,000 and $5,000 including the installation; a curved stair lift will double that or up to $25,000. But when compared to moving, or renovating the home to live on one level, a stairlift is often less expensive. Reducing the risk of falls means avoiding hospital stays and costly services to assist with recovery. It’s good to consider the alternatives to make the decision best for you.