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Top 10 Ways to Get Upstairs

By Catalog Editor Staff

Getting up and down the stairs is often taken for granted. But it remains difficult for many elderly people and those with disabilities.

In the following sections, we provide ten suggestions to help you or a loved one make it easier to get around at home.  

1. Stair Rails

If you don’t want to invest in new gadgets or the elderly aren’t comfortable with them, installing rails on stairs can easily solve the problem.

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With these, they will be able to have something to hold on to as they pull themselves upstairs.

This is generally the cheapest option, but it does require that the user can walk and has enough strength in the hands and arms to maintain a secure grip.

2. Stair Steady

Stair Steady
Stair steady devices are a budget-friendly option for climbing up or down the stairs. This device is essentially a bar that attaches to the railings of the stairs for someone to learn on. It slides along as one ascends or descends the stairs, providing much more support than a banister. Stair steadies are a practical option due to their low cost and ease of installation. However, the still require that one can walk, so it is not the ideal option for someone in a wheelchair.  

3. Stair Climbers

Stair climbers provide an easy and mobile option. They are basically wheelchairs that are customized for traversing staircases. Like wheelchairs, they require that an additional person assist from behind. 

4. Careful Technique

Although this is not a tool or something that can be purchased, technique for climbing and descending the stairs should not be overlooked. If you’re on a budget, and all you have to work with is a handrail, the best option for an elderly person may be to practice keeping a strong grip with both hands, only moving one limb at a time, and maintaining a very slow pace whenever ascending or descending the stairs.

5. Chair lifts

Chair lifts allow the user to sit, press a button, and be transported up and down staircases with virtually no effort or risk of falling. They’re one of the safest options available and are a decent compromise when it comes to price. They usually cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but higher end models are as high as $10,000.

6. Modular Ramps

Modular ramps provide a feasible option for tackling the staircase problem. Moreover, they are easy to install and come at nominal costs. Yet, they also can achieve the goal of making your home wheelchair friendly.

7. Elevator

Elevator upstairs
Elevators can be one of the better options, especially if you live in a multi-story residence. Elevators allow you to traverse three or four stories with little to no effort.

The price range for purchasing the equipment and having them installed varies greatly. However, for more basic models, it may cost less than $20,000 in total.  

When an elderly or handicapped person can move around, they feel independent, happier and healthier. 

Being restricted to an area all the time leads to depression and frustration. If you have the resources to get an elevator, it can be worth it.

8. Mobile Scissor Platforms

Mobile scissor platforms provide an easy way to climb up the stairs. Although they can a bit expensive, they provide one of the easiest options when it comes to climbing stairs.

Elders just have to stand on these, and they will rise to the height of the next floor. Moreover, these are mobile so you can easily tuck them in the corner when they are not in use.

9. Automated Emergency Stair Climbing Chair

Automated emergency stair climbing chairs are common for those who have wheelchairs at home. However, you can now make a smart investment and go for this smart automated emergency stair climbing chair.

The cherry on the cake is that not only does it help you climb the stairs but also lets you choose the right speed from the three available options.

10. Assistance

It has been found that elders who live with their families tend to be happier and live longer. So, if the elders at your home are having problem climbing up or down the stairs, lending them a helping hand is great way to deal with it.

What is a Stair Chair Lift? 

These modern devices justify their name and do exactly what they are made for – lift people up and down the stairs. Therefore, they are perfect for those with mobility issues for medical reasons or due to old age.

They give people the confidence to live independently and are likely to become another everyday home appliance. So, if you are a caretaker of an elderly person or someone with mobility issues, stair chair lifts can be a great investment.

WHAT COMES STANDARDWHAT TO
LOOK FOR
RARE,
BUT USEFUL
Tracks• Metal material
• Space-conscious design
• Hinged tracks
• Automated folding tracks
• Sliding tracks
Seats• Battery power
• 20 FPM speed
• Armrests and footrests
• Color and upholstery choices
• Swivel seat
• Collapsible seat
• Powered seat features and footrests
Safety• Seatbelts• Key locks
• Obstruction detection
• Full torso harnesses
Hardware• Chair-based controls
• 300 lb capacity

• Easy-grip seatbelts
• Calling systems
• Easy-to-use controls
• Handheld remote calling systems
• 400+ lb capacity
How do They Work?

Stair lifts are sophisticated medical devices that run on the latest technology, making them a bit costly. So, if you have been looking for a stair lift in your area, you may be wondering how they work.

These devices essentially consist of a motor that drives the chair and down the rugged track.

There are differences from model to mode. Some of them have a circular gear that spirals to get the seat moving in a rack and pinion system. Other models have a worm gear which consists of a cylindrical gear that spirals down the track.

Stairlifts are for the elderly and those with mobility issues, so safety is always kept in mind while manufacturing. Though they bring along a long list of benefits, they are easy to operate.

The good news is that the stair lifts have been around for a while now. So now get the freedom to make some choices while buying one.

Stairlifts consist of two components:

The trail

Stairlifts are installed on the trails on the side of staircases. The type of trail is generally determined by the shape of your staircase, so there is often less flexibility here. But the good news is that irrespective of the type of stairway at your home you can go ahead with your decision of buying one. These mostly consist of a rugged part in between and two recessed parts on either side.

The seat

The seat is perhaps the most important part of the stairlifts as this is where the users are seated. It needs to be both comfortable and safe for the stair lifts to achieve their purpose. 

The chair is the part of the stairlift that moves up and down while it functions. It isn’t always the most comfortable chair. However, it only takes a few moments to get up or down the stairs, so usually the user won’t need to be there long!

Some additional factors you may want to consider include the following:

Chair speed

If the chair propels down at high speed, this could both be uncomfortable and hazardous. So, the average recommended speed is 20 feet per minute.

Types of Seats

Since no one likes to compromise when it comes to comfort, stair lifts also come with an option to choose between different types of seats according to your preferences.

Swivel seats – These stair lifts ensure that users land on an even surface, facing off the stairs as it lets them swivel at the end and the start of the staircase.

Angled seats – Thanks to the angled seats, the user feels safer as it angles backwards when they sit on it. This keeps them away from the edges while the stairlift is in use for added security.

Collapsable seats – If you have limited space at home and do not want a stairlift to add to the clutter, these are the best options for you as the seats will fold up when not in use. Further, some seats also come with an option wherein only their footrests or armrests will fold to save space.

More Features

There has been an increase in the number of brands offering chairlifts. As a result, the users get more comfort and security. So, when buying a stair lift now, you can also go for the ones with additional features like:

  • Powered swivel seat where the user automatically turns towards a landing or a top step. Therefore, these often add security as the users safely land away from the stairs on an even surface.
  • A powered footrest lets people fold the footrest with the click of a button without bending over. This can save you from bumping into the footrest when the chair is not in use. It also saves time.
  • Seat boost is a helpful feature for people with difficulty getting up on their own as it assists the rider to come to a standing position after the ride is over.
  • Standing Stairlifts are for those who have difficulty sitting down and standing up. These let them climb and board downstairs without bending over, which can be painful for the elderly.
Mobile Stairlift Overview – What types of Stair Lifts Are There? 

There has been an increase in the demand for stair lifts. So now you can choose the one that suits your needs after going through numerous options. First and foremost, while buying a chair for stairs, you need to be mindful of the type of staircase at your home as a straight chair lift for stairs won’t fit on a curved staircase and vice versa. Depending on the type of staircase at your home, you can go for one of the following

  • Curved Rail – If your staircase is curved, you don’t need to worry about things like if you can get a stair lift or not. Then, the curved stair lift are the ones for you. Moreover, when you order one, a custom stair lift as per the dimensions of your needs can be fitted.
  • Straight Rail – These are the least expensive ones. You can get them if you have a straight staircase where the user can easily climb or board down the stairs using these.
  • Outdoor – If you want to say goodbye to the confinement of your home without worrying about the price you may have to pay for it, these make the perfect fit. These can help you ride to your pool in the home, patio or up the bedroom. Since these are of better and stronger material, suitable for outdoor usage, they are typically more expensive than the other two types of models.
What are the requirements to install a Stair Lift?

Buying a stair lift is an important decision, as they are often expensive devices. So, it is a wise move to look at all the aspects and the requirements before you actually go ahead and buy one. For starters, you need to be equipped with all the information when buying a stair chair lift. The next step is to be aware of all your requirements and an idea as to what you’ll realistically have to spend. 

Residential                                            Commercial
Indoor Stair LiftYes. This is the most common type.It depends. The building and the lift must meet regulatory codes.
Outdoor Stair LiftYes. Arrow Lift offers units made specifically for outdoor use.No. Outdoor commercial stair lifts are not approved.
Here, we have to be careful that the requirements for a chair for stairs depend on various factors that depend on person to person and home to home. Along with some obvious prerequisites, like having a staircase and a set budget, numerous other factors also play an important role. So, once you are sure about these, there are also some physical requirements to consider:

User Capability – This is perhaps the most important thing you should consider when buying a stairlift. The user should at least be able to stand and sit down, with some support, to use the stair chair lift.

Power Outlet – Home stairs lifts operate on batteries that have to be charged. So, we need a power outlet nearby – preferably within 10 feet. Be mindful that this does not create any tripping hazard as they can’t be put below the carpet for safety reasons.

Staircase Width – Though this is not something you need to be worried about, there are home stairs lift that can be custom made to fit your staircase. However, these are typically costly. Generally, the width of straight rail tracks is 28″ and of curved ones is 30.”

Head Clearance – This is rarely an issue since normally people walk on the stairs all the time. But, if you want a stair chair lift for the basement or live in an old house where you bump your head while using the stairs and have to bend down in the process, this could obstruct installation.

Space at Start & Finish – This one is the most common issues we come across as there is always some obstruction in the form of a door, furniture, or a wall. There are plenty of options in the form of retractable rails, relocating the furniture or going for suitable rails as recommended by the professionals.

Where can I buy a Mobile Stair Lift? The market for mobile chair lift for stairs has expanded. All you need is an understanding of your requirements. Some reputable brands include the following:

Further, if you are curious about the process by which you can have a stair lift at your home, you have two options – you can either buy them online or look for stair lifts in my area to get  them from the manufacturer/ stores at the local store. 

However, be mindful that while buying online, you need to take the measurements required.

When you buy from a land-based dealer, the technicians will come to your home and capture all the required details from you.

Stair Lift Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Cheap to runIt is more conspicuous than a home lift  
Quick to installYou cannot choose where you install it (it has to be on a staircase)  
Extremely quietIt can be bit expensive alternative
ComfortableStairlifts are not always covered under medicare
If you are planning on buying one, you can easily do this in the steps below:

How Can I Buy a Stairlift?

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If you are here reading this, Kudos! You may be considering buying a stairlift. Buying a chair lift for stairs is a very simple process. All you need to do is carefully think about your requirements and the needs of the person for whom you are caring. Once you are done with this, you can go ahead and initiate the process of buying one.

  • Contact – If you want to buy a chairlift, you may want to contact a dealer or a manufacturer. The good part is that this is easy as most dealers are reachable through their website or phone numbers. It helps to contact multiple dealers as you want to find the perfect one that fits your budget.
  • Requirement analysis – When you connect to the dealers, they will carefully listen to your requirements and recommend you the best home stairs lift as per your needs. Keep all your requirements in consideration so that you can discuss them with the dealers. This will enable them to guide you the right way before you take the next step.
  • Measurements – The next step is usually where the experts visit your home to take the required measurements. Sometimes it might look too early to you. However, it is mandatory for the professionals to carefully analyse your requirements and the space available, to give you will get a clear idea of the cost involved. 
  • Installation – This is the final step when the experts bring the stair chair lift and install it at your home. Installation is a small process that usually lasts for 2 to 3 hrs. When it is complete, the professionals test the chair lift for stairs before you can finally begin using it and say goodbye to the painful experience of climbing the stairs.

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