If you or a relative are starting to experience increasingly restrictive mobility issues and starting to look at various solutions, you might be considering having a stairlift installed in your home. Although it can be a timely and costly choice, the benefits that come with Stairlifts can be positively life changing. In this article, we look at the benefits that stairlifts can offer, and why makes them the top mobility solution in the UK.
Safety is perhaps the number one reason why you might be considering a stairlift. Staircases can be dangerous, with research from the Safety and Health Practitioner estimating there is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds across the UK. Research also states that the largest proportion of accidents among older people are from stairs or steps.If you’re worried about yourself or a relative having a trip or fall on the stairs, installing a stairlift can significantly reduce the risk of this happening, and restore your peace of mind. Not only do they remove the possibility of a misstep causing a serious, or even potentially fatal accident, Stairlifts also come with a range of safety features for a secure and comfortable ride. Dependant on the make and model, they may include features like seatbelts and safety sensors that detect obstructions.
Freedom & Independence
People with disabilities and mobility problems can find going up and down the stairs a painful or anxiety inducing experience. Some people may become more dependant on family members to help them navigate the stairs. Over time, they may begin to worry about becoming a burden, and feel bad or embarrassed about asking for assistance, which could take a toll on their mental health. A stairlift can help remove this barrier, as they can comfortably and easily strap themselves into the stairlift by themselves to get where they need to go, whenever they want. The ability to have freedom getting around the house without assistance is empowering and great for self esteem and efficacy.
If you or a relative becomes reluctant to use the stairs, it may restrict access to other areas of the home, even entire floors! This is quite often a big issue for those whose only bathroom is located on a different floor to the main living area, as it forces multiple uncomfortable journeys to use the bathroom and maintain hygiene. Alternatively, another common scenario is those who avoid sleeping in a comfortable bed in an upstairs bedroom, and opts to sleep on the sofa downstairs in order to avoid navigating the stairs, but over time could cause further discomfort such as low-quality sleep and painful back issues. It can also be disheartening or even claustrophobic to not have access to your full home, especially if existing mobility issues limit time exploring outside. Having a stairlift provides easy and pain free way to access all areas and floors of your home and retain as much living space as possible.
Don’t have to move house
A lot of people consider moving out of their home when they can no longer use the stairs confidently. This could be either downsizing to a smaller home with one floor, or, relocating to an assisted living facility. This is not always the right emotional choice for many, however, and a survey has found that that 80% of homeowners aged 65 and over are wishing to stay where they are rather than move house. And it’s not surprising, when you consider they associate their current home with memories and comforts they have built over the years. Plus, a move to a new place can be stressful, especially if you find comfort in the surrounding community that you’ve been apart of for a long time. Therefore, a stairlift is a perfect solution, as it can be used to adapt the home to the needs of the occupants, and not the other way around.
Cost Effective Option
Although the initial outlay and installation of a stairlift can look expensive, it can actually be a cost effective option when compared to other solutions. For instance if we take the scenario above of potentially moving home, you would have all of the cost (and hassle!) associated with selling your home, and prices can be unpredictable with the housing market. Another option could be to hire live-in assistance, but again, wages can be expensive in the long term.
Easy to Use
Stairlifts come with a variety of features that make them extremely straightforward to use and most people adapt to operating them very easily. Controls are very intuitive, they are found in the arm rest. Plus some stairlifts have an additional handset remote control which can move the stairlift up and down the stairs, which is very useful for instance, if 2 or more occupants in the house use the stairlift. Stairlifts also start charging when they are parked, and this charge can be used in the event of a power cut which is very useful.
Adaptable and Customizable
Nowadays there are so many different variants of stairlifts, you can easily choose one to suit you and your home. For instance, you may be concerned that your narrow staircase was unsuitable for a stairlift but nowadays there are plenty of narrow stairlift solutions. Likewise curved stair lifts can be easily installed if needed too. We also know that you might have been decorating and styling your home over many years, and might be worried about a stairlift looking out of place in your home. But over the years stairlifts have definitely started to look more sleek and unobtrusive, with many operating on a single, smooth and discreet rail. Also the majority of stairlifts come in a variety of upholstery colours and rail colour options to match your existing decor.
Seriously considering a stairlift? Why not take a look at our Stairlift buying guide for more information on the process of choosing your stairlift. Or alternatively, give our friendly team on 0808 239 8096 and we’d be happy to help you with any further advice.