While most people want to continue to live in their homes as long as possible, the majority have yet to take action to ensure they can. Cost can be a factor in that delay. Fortunately, stair lifts, also known as stairway chairlifts or stair chairs, are an affordable way to age in place.
Stair lifts operate using a rail fastened directly to the stair treads. The rail supports a motorized seat that glides up and down the stairs. Because they require no additional construction, stair lifts can be an economical mobility choice.
Often, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $6,000 for a stair lift. But one common question we encounter when helping our clients decide how to stay in the homes they love is: How do you pay for a stair lift?
How to Pay for a Stair Lift
There’s no “wrong” way to pay for a stair lift. However, some avenues take longer than others, and not everyone qualifies for every method. Here are some of the most common ways to pay for a stair lift.
1. Write a Check
Pay for your stair lift the old-fashioned way: Write a check. This tried-and-true method remains a popular way to pay for a stair lift. Payment terms vary, but paying a 50-60% deposit is not uncommon. This is because there is usually irreversible work to be done on the equipment, specifically the stair lift rail, before the installation technician arrives at your home.
2. Use a Credit Card
Using a credit card to pay for your stairway chairlift lift is quick, easy, and hassle-free. The convenience factor makes credit card use a very common way to purchase a stair lift. In addition, choosing a company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and visiting the stair lift installation company’s nearest physical location can provide extra peace of mind when providing your credit card number to pay for a stair lift.
3. Receive a Gift
Purchasing a stair lift is often a family affair. If Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa have several children or grandchildren, what better way to show love and support than by coming together to help loved ones stay in the home they love? The memories, the familiarity, and the favorable financial trade-offs — especially when compared to assisted living or moving — are all good reasons to purchase a stairway chairlift. Other times, we have seen neighbors and caring friends help in the buying process. Arrow Lift welcomes this team approach!
4. Finance It
Often, affording a stair lift isn’t the problem; it’s affording a stair lift right now. Whether you are on a fixed income, waiting for your tax refund, or dealing with several financial priorities, spreading out the purchase of your stair chair over the coming months can be a big help. Arrow Lift offers qualified homeowners financing through the top consumer finance company in the U.S.
5. Take Out a Loan or Line of Credit
If you own your home and you already have a relationship with a local bank or credit union that you like, it may make sense to use a home equity loan or line of credit through your financial institution to pay for your stair lift.
6. Ask the VA
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs pays for stair lifts for veterans of the United States military in certain situations. As a VA-certified Veteran-Owned Small Business, Arrow Lift always takes to heart the opportunity to serve those who have served our nation. If you are eligible for healthcare through your local VA medical center, consider asking if the VA will cover the cost of a stair lift. The answer will depend on your specific situation.
7. Use Medicaid (Not Medicare)
Medicaid and Medicare are different public healthcare programs. Medicare is a federally run program primarily for people over 65 years of age, while Medicaid is a state-run program for people with low income regardless of age.
While Medicare sometimes subsidizes the purchase of lift chairs (a stationary chair that helps you stand up), unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for stair lifts or even subsidize the purchase of stairway chairlifts.
In contrast, Medicaid does pay for stair lifts in certain situations. If you receive benefits through Medicaid, consult your caseworker or medical provider. Arrow Lift works with many different funding sources, and if you are eligible to receive Medicaid funding, we may be able to help with a lift that improves accessibility in your home.
8. Apply for a Grant
Although receiving stair lift funding from a charity or non-profit foundation is less common than many think, it happens from time to time. If you are familiar with a charity or foundation that assists people with disabilities or seniors with accessibility challenges, it could pay off to ask about eligibility for stairway lift funding programs.
9. Take Advantage of Tax Savings
Are stair lifts tax deductible? According to page six of IRS Publication 502, the answer is yes. This is because stair lifts and porch lifts are considered capital expenses that you include in itemized deductions for medical expenses. That said, we are accessibility professionals and not tax professionals. Please consult your CPA or tax preparer for more specific information on this topic.
10. Initiate a Fundraiser
If you are still looking for help with buying a stair chair lift, consider a fundraiser. One popular online platform for fundraising is GoFundMe, but many are available. However, we only recommend contributing to causes after personally confirming the legitimacy of the funding campaign. Additionally, keep in mind that online funding platforms typically include a fee to process credit card transactions.
An old-fashioned fundraiser may be a good option. For example, would a garage or yard sale help pay for your stair lift? How about a bake sale? One Ohio church held a “raise the chair” fundraiser and kept the campaign visible to its parishioners with a chart showing the chair lift going up the stairs as the campaign raised money.
The Right Stair Lift at the Right Price
There are several different ways to pay for a stair lift. One thing is for sure, though: However you pay for it, ensure you get a high-quality stair lift that does not cut corners on safety, reliability, or ease of use. In other words, not all stair lifts are created equal. In our 35+ years of experience, we have learned that it matters a great deal who manufactures it, who installs it, and who does maintenance and repairs when needed.
From traditional methods like checks and credit cards to unique options such as Arrow Lift’s financing program or holding a fundraiser, there are many ways to help pay for a stair lift. As a family business since 1985, we regularly help our clients make wise purchase decisions, and we would be honored if you allow us to help you, too.