Before you buy a stairlift, consider the points listed below:
- It is advisable to talk to a healthcare professional about your access needs. It is helpful to try a stairlift before you make a decision.
- If you have problems with balance, co ordination, dizzy spell or seizures stairlifts would not be safe to use.
- Stairs should be at least 750mm wide for stairlift installation although some companies can fit onto narrower stairs.
- Stairlifts can be bought or hired. If considering hire, check the weekly price for hire and also the installation and removal costs.
- Always get at least 2 quotes from local reputable stairlift companies who sell, fit and service stairlifts. Most offer reconditioned and some have rental stairlifts.
- All stairlifts should conform to BS5776 to meet current safety standards.
- Stairlifts are usually battery powered so that they can still operate a single up or down movement if the power supply is cut. The lift must be parked on the charging point when not in use to maintain battery power.
- Consider if you would be able to get on and off the seat safely and if you can sit safely and comfortably in a seated position. Perching seats may be available.
- When getting off the seat at the top of the stairs the seat should swivel to enable a safe transfer. Consider if the swivel could be operated manually by the person on the stair lift, or if powered swivel is required.
- If space is limited at the bottom of the stairs, the seat and the footrest and/or the track can fold to give access to doors or corridors when the stairlift is not in use. Consider if this fold mechanism should be powered or if you can manage to do this manually.
- Check that the supplier has engineers who are registered with a professional body, who can supply and fit the stairlift, can be responsible for repair, spare parts and servicing and that you can contact them easily, 24 hours a day if there are any problems. Check for any on-going maintenance costs.
- If the salesperson gets you to sign a contract, do they offer a cooling-off period in case you change your mind? Get this in writing!
Straight stairlifts from £1,500. Curved stairlifts are considerably more