Here are some common questions that our customers ask. If you have a question that’s not listed or would like to discuss it further, please contact us and we will help!
Can I have a stair lift installed in my basement?
In most cases, the answer is simply - yes! With basement stairways, there can sometimes be more variables to consider (i.e. a doorway at the top, or hallway/walkway at the bottom landing), but we can usually provide options for either a straight or curved rail stair lift. The best way for us to evaluate your layout and determine which model and features would work for you or a loved one is to have us stop out for a free, in-home survey of your stairs.
What are some stair lift safety features?
Most stair lifts are equipped with numerous safety features to help prevent accidents or misuse, and to protect the chair from unwanted obstructions. These generally include sensor switches on the sides of the footrest and carriage, barrier arm safeties and swivel position safeties. In some models, weight sensors in the seat and special seat belts can be added that prevent usage if the user is not secured. Other types of safety features include leg restraints, multi-point harness seat belts and key lockout. Arrow Lift encourages you to make us aware of special circumstances where additional safety may be needed.
What are the weight capacities of stair lifts?
Stair lifts typically have weight capacity of 300 lbs. and many have capacities of 350 lbs. to 400 lbs. Weight capacities are set for safe performance levels, but they also indicate other important factors such as arm width and rail strength. For example, a person weighing less than 300 lbs. may not fit between the arms of a chair rated for a higher capacity. It’s important to discuss any specific needs with our stair lift consultant, so we can identify which model will work best. If possible, it also may help to try several models at our showroom to determine which chair best fits your physical needs.
How easy are stair lifts to use?
Stair lifts are designed to be used by people with limited mobility. However, some features differ between models. If the user is uncomfortable bending to touch their toes, then a powered footrest fold would be beneficial. If the user suffers from arthritis in their hands, a slim-line or joystick control is easier to operate than a button. For users with lower body weakness or cognitive challenges it can be helpful to incorporate a powered swivel feature that eliminates manually swiveling the chair at the upper landing.
Will stair lifts work on narrow stairs?
In most cases a stair lift can be fitted to stairs as narrow as 28 – 30”. Special equipment may be required depending on the stairway layout and user’s height. For practical access, most lifts fit better when installed in stairways with widths of 32” or more, but don’t let that measurement prevent you from inquiring. Curved rail designs that allow the chair to park out of the stairway or standing model stair lifts help fit the equipment and user through tighter spaces.
What if I need to move or the user no longer needs the lift?
Arrow Lift recognizes that eventually, the lift may not be needed in your home. At a minimum, we’ll provide a free service to remove and haul away the stair lift, so long as we were the original installer. Depending on the model and age of the stairlift, we may also pay a portion of the original purchase price back as a buyback. You also have the option of asking Arrow Lift to relocate your lift to another home. We can work with you to determine if this is feasible.
Does insurance cover stair lifts?
Generally speaking, no, private insurance and Medicare do not have provisions to cover stair lifts. Some states offer medical equipment assistance, and some organizations or foundations may offer grant funds for their patients. In most cases this will be private-pay. Remember that if you itemize your tax returns, stair lifts may be eligible as out-of-pocket medical expenses. Talk to your tax preparer to see if you qualify.
Can a stair lift be installed outdoors?
Several manufacturers offer stair lifts made for outdoor use. Straight and curved rail stair lift systems are available and may be used in places such as your deck, patio or waterfront access. Most states will only allow outdoor stairlift installations on private residential properties. Outdoor stair lifts will even work in cold weather climates.
What if mom or dad objects to a stair lift?
In our line of work, we are used to working with multiple family members and it is not uncommon to run into differing opinions. Our job is to help present information and identify options that will allow your loved one to safely access their entire home, while at the same time addressing some common concerns. Thankfully, stair lifts don’t require any structural modifications and can be removed when no longer needed. In addition, they fold away when not in use, leaving access for others to use the stairs. Often, when there are several people involved, an appointment at one of our showrooms can be a huge help. Understanding what options are available, as well as what will and won’t work for the family member in need, allows you to make a well-informed decision when it comes to a stair lift.
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