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Why I Took 5 Years to Buy a Stair Lift

Why I Took 5 Years to Buy a Stair Lift |

…the best 3 grand I ever spent

When I was young, I played any sport I could get my hands on. Hockey, rugby, soccer, basketball, tennis—you name it, I loved them all. But not so much for my knees. So when I hit the big 6-0, I found myself waking in bed with painful knees, and the last thing I felt like doing was walking down the stairs to the kitchen. Even worse was knowing I needed to walk back up. I’m not old yet!

So when I saw those cheesy TV ads for stair lifts, I scoffed at the old men and women who needed these. I continued to wince in pain every day as I climbed my stairs, which seemed to get longer and steeper overnight. I found myself planning my day to limit my trips up and down. And my wife got used to me hollering from the bottom to bring down my reading glasses, my laptop, or whatever it was that I had forgotten.

At 65, visiting a neighbor, I was surprised to see that he had a stair lift. I immediately cracked a joke about him watching late night TV and buying a stair lift in a weak moment. But he looked me straight in the eye and said “Bob, I’ve seen you hobble on your stairs. You’re in denial. You’re not old, you’re like thousands of us. You’ve got bum knees and you’re telling yourself you don’t need some medical equipment to make you old. But I can tell you from experience, this is the best three grand I ever spent.” 

That was a turning point for me. For five years, I had put it off and I guess I just needed validation from someone I trusted that having a stair lift didn’t make me old. Not having one when I clearly needed one, well, that just made me silly. The following week I visited my local stair lift dealer and incredibly, the thing was installed 24 hours later. I rode it up and down right away, smiling in great delight. I don’t miss any opportunity to show off my new ride to my “old” friends. After all, we played hard together years ago, there are a few more weak knees that need a lift.