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Considerations Before Putting a Stairlift Into Your Home

Considerations Before Putting a Stairlift Into Your Home

As you get older it’s possible that you’ll develop difficulties with your mobility. This change in mobility can make you feel worried about getting around your home safely and independently.

When physical access to your home becomes problematic, there are a few ways that you can get around this. Many Australians feels forced to leave their family home each year because they have stairs. Some homes have the capacity to turn downstairs into a completely liveable home environment. Other homes are able to accommodate a stairlift, and for others, an actual lift may have to be installed in order to continue living in your home.

Moving Downstairs

Many houses have the kitchen, dining, lounge, bathroom and laundry downstairs, and the bedrooms upstairs. If this is the layout of your home, you might not need a stairlift, or lift after all. You could consider building in a bedroom to your downstairs area instead. But obviously this will only work if you can cook, shower etc. downstairs.  Unfortunately for many people, they live in a highset home or a home where much of the living is done upstairs. If this is your situation, you might need to consider installing a stairlift or lift.

Installing a Stairlift

Stairlifts are affordable for many people and they’re typically a safe option when you need support to get up and down the stairs. They have three major parts including the rail which is fixed to the staircase. They also have the carriage which houses the motor & batteries. And finally, they have a seat which fixes onto the carriage.

Will a Stairlift Fit in My House?

Determining whether your home can accommodate a stairlift will depend on a few factors. Firstly your staircase will need to be wide enough to fit a stair chair in. And the shape of your staircase will impact on whether you can have one installed. Although stairlifts can be custom-made for curved stairs, it’s far more affordable to install a straight stairlift.

Is a Stairlift Suitable for Me?

Stairlifts are suitable for many people and come in various shapes and sizes. But, another factor to consider when installing a stairlift is weight capacity. Some stairlifts will only take up to 125kg, but there are others that’ll take up to 150kg. The main thing is to shop around and find a company that accommodates a greater capacity.

Moving on, being able to get in and out of the stairlift comfortably and with ease has to be a consideration. If you’re going to struggle from a standing to sitting position, and vice versa, a stairlift might not be for you.

Your safety must always be the primary consideration. Before you invest in a stairlift, it’s a good idea to have an assessment by an Occupational Therapist who’ll be able to determine whether a stairlift will be suitable for you.

Seeking Advice From Health Professionals

If you have a chronic condition or complex care needs, you can visit your G.P. to discuss going on a G.P. management plan. Under this plan you’ll be eligible for Medicare rebates for certain allied health services, including Occupational Therapy (OT). You could potentially use this service to have an assessment from an OT in your home to find out what home modifications you’ll require (e.g. a stairlift) in order to remain in your home.

Also, if you’ve had an assessment from ACAT and you’re eligible to receive short-term restorative care, you could access Occupational Therapy via the short-term restorative care program. This program is designed to prevent/ reduce difficulties with activities of daily living, by helping to improve health and wellbeing and maintain independence. For further information regarding short-term restorative care, contact My Aged Care.

Can I Afford a Stairlift

Last but not least, whether you can install a stairlift will depend on your budget. You could be looking at anywhere from $5000 upwards. While it seems like a lot of money, it could be more cost effective than moving house. And it also means that you won’t have to move out of your house because of changes to your mobility.

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