Stair lifts?

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rcharlton

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Anyone had any experience with stair lifts?

Any tips? Recommendations? Idea as to cost?

Thanks
 

tmasters

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Randy,

You'd better sit down. Oh, yeah. You already are. :)

I was investigating a stair lift back in December '08 as a way to keep using my master bedroom upstairs. We ended up remodeling the downstairs instead and I use a $3000 platform lift to carry me 30 inches vertically. It's a MAC's Lift PL-50. Got it on craigslist for $1500.

First of all, don't get a chair lift. These are the things where a small chair folds out of the wall. These things are fine for some people, but not for ALS. Our progression gets to the point where our trunk muscles don't allow us to sit on the chair safely. These are nice and cheap though, compared to the stair lift.

A stair lift allows you to roll your wheelchair onto a fold-out platform, and the whole thing glides up and down the staircase. This is what you asked about, and probably what you need.

My stair lift research was mostly centered around McKinley Elevator. You can find them online easily. In my case, the finished solution was in the $40k ballpark. I have more detailed notes here somewhere. The price will vary greatly depending on your home's architecture. Is the stairway straight or curved? Is there a landing zone at the bottom of the stairway with plenty of clearance? What is the strength of the wall next to the stairway? Usually the wall needs reinforcing. Is there sufficient power (220V) in the wall (probably not)?

Take some measurements and give them a call. I hope you can find another alternative.

-Tom
 

catcaniac

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We have a a lift that we spent about $5,000 on. My husband was only able to use it twice before his progression passed it by. So we have now spent about another $8,000 installing an outdoor elevator that goes from the ground to our second floor deck. It works wonderfully and is rated up to about 3500 pounds. Plenty strong enough for the power chair and two people. In hindsight, we wish we would have skipped the stair lift and looked for something that would take his needs through the whole process. Before investing, I would just try to think about what you will get the most benefit out of for the cost.
 

abbas child

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I had a chair lift which worked great for a while...At the end of that time we moved here, where I have a real lift I roll my chair onto--but inside the house and only four feet high. The lift here was 5K, installed by my husband. It is an indoor or outdoor lift.

You do need to stand and transfer from a power chair into a chairlift. I'm not sure of the cost other than the installation was to be $2,000, which Phil did himself in a half hour. It was a British brand lift, and not high-end. (I think it cost under $2,000.)
 

BarryG

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I have a stair lift on loan from the ALS society but I can't use it any more. Too scary getting on the thing at the top of the stairs and then I would need a wheelchair and help at each end.

What really does work is my porch lift, also a loaner, that takes me and my chair the 4 feet from my living level to the ground.
 

rcharlton

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thanks everyone for your replies
 
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