Anybody know anything about stairlifts?

I am currently pricing stair lifts for my mother’s house. She has a simple straight staircase (there’s a landing at the bottom but I think if she can walk at all she can make it up those bottom two steps and the rest is a straight shot). However, knowing absolutely nothing about these critters I of course fear being rooked.

Has anybody ever had one of these installed? If so, do you have any advice regarding brand name (either for or against), features to look for, size, etc.? (My mother weighs well under 200 lbs. and is the only person likely to ever use it so it doesn’t need to be maximum capacity or anything.)

I’ve also wondered if it’s possible to buy them used. Since there are people who buy them for terminally ill relatives or for temporary disabilities and then no longer need them it would seem to be logical. For that matter, how easy is it to remove them when they are no longer required?

Also, I know that Medicare doesn’t cover them but does anybody know if any insurance policies do? (I won’t hold you accountable if my mother’s does not, obviously, but I don’t have access to her specific Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy or Mutual of Omaha supplemental policies and was curious if it’s worth pursuing diligently whether insurance ever pays for such a critter.)

Thanks for any info (and if you can’t stop, wave).

::waves:: Ebay listings. I didn’t look closely, but they’ve got 'em.

My neighbor-down-the-hill has one (she’s an amputee due to diabetes) but I’ve never seen her use one.

I also have a friend who’s in the medical machinery business. I’ll see if she deals in those.

Just heard back from my friend…she doesn’t do stair lifts; only body hoists.

Hi Sampiro. I’ve been following the saga about your mama - please accept my sympathy and best wishes during these difficult times.

It’s been a couple decades since I researched these, and never could talk my mother into getting one, so I’m afraid I don’t have any specific help.

My suggestion is to talk to eldercare and disability resource groups. I know that some of the local Progressive Independence and Independent Living organizations here provide help in finding/acquiring expensive equipment, including listings for used equipment from people that no longer need it.

Here’s some links I found that may help.±+stair

As far as insurance, you’d really have to look at the policies. A lot of Medicare supplement policies won’t cover anything that Medicare doesn’t, but it depends on what policy was purchased. My mom’s BCBS switched her to a Medicare supplement when she went on Medicare (she may have gotten notice or agreed to it, or maybe not, all that stuff’s a little confused right now), and stopped paying for things that they’d paid for previously (like some types of medical equipment).

I’m not sure I’d count on the two steps being OK if she can walk; brains do funny things. However, a lift would be good even if you had to help her get to it. Again, talking to resource groups that have some experience in these areas can help. Since you’re not paying them, they don’t generally have a vested interested in persuading you to any particular item or setup.

[on preview] Dagnabit, are you in Georgia or Alabama? I thought Alabama and started looking up links for there, but then remembered you living in Jawja so I switched, but now I seem to recall something about moving to Montgomery or Birmingham or some such? The links above are for Georgia but if you’re in Alabama, I’ll try again.

I think they are fabulous ideas regardless of ones mobility. You might be able to warm your mom up to it by thinking of them as I do, ways to transport heavy/awkward stuff up the stairs. I hate carrying laundry baskets up or down a flight of stairs. Every time I carry my daughter (10 mos) up and down I am nervous as a kitten.

I had a friend that bought a house with one installed. I don’t think they are too detachable and are made to be fairly unobtrusive, so the cost of getting one uninstalled, I believe, would limit the post-neccessity market for them. The chair was pretty slow, you would have to be really lazy to be an able bodied person and choose the chair over walking, however, being lifted up it couldn’t be a speedy thing for safetys sake.

I follow your threads as much as I can, deeply sympathize with the Southern Family Syndrome.

Think of this as an extended wave. (And a hug if you need one)