Stair lift for elderly mother needed

BenNevis Posts: 60 Forumite
edited 6 November 2012 at 11:33AM in Over 50s MoneySaving
My elderly mother is beginning to have difficulty walking up and down her stairs, she’s fine walking around generally but the stairs are the problem, also her bathroom and the only toilet are upstairs. She wants to stay in her house and be independent so I’ve suggested a stair lift to enable her to do so.

I’ve phoned up various companies for advice and I’ve been told that she can have a reconditioned, ex-demo or a brand new stair lift. Information packs are on the way but has anyone experience of the good and bad companies out there? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
    First Post Combo Breaker
    If I had to buy one I'd go for a recon model from a very local supplier with a good record on emergency repairs.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • muskoka
    muskoka Posts: 1,124 Forumite
    Phone social care - local. Not sure if this still applies, but your mum may be able to get a grant for a stair-lift or even a downstairs extension for bedroom/showeroom/ However this can take a long time to go through and she has to have assessment by people such as (sorry, cant remember who), but somebody like physiotherapist or similar who will assess - may be finance tested also?
  • tich2
    tich2 Posts: 186 Forumite
    I work in an Occupational Therapy team for social services in the south east. There are a few guidelines that you should follow before making your mind up on the stair lift.
    If your mother has a substantial permanent disability (Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis etc etc) then I would advise you to contact your local social services and request an OT assessment for your mother.
    They will then assess your mother in the home for all activities of daily living (chair transfers, bed mobility etc) as if the stairs are a problem there are normally other items that are difficult even if you don't realise it. Social services will also install an extra bannister rail if needed. Any small pieces of equipment will be installed with no charge.
    If it is then decided that a stair lift is required they will help you with a disabled facilities grant, this is a means tested grant. This process can take some time but you will receive guidance from an OT.
    Even if this does take some time your mum having the extra bannister rail may help until the stair lift is installed.
    The grant can't be applied for retrospectively.
    If you don't fancy this option contact your local Age concern/Help the aged and they will be able to help point you in the right direction. In East Sussex there is also a place called the East Sussex Disability Association and they are a charity that supply information and have all the equipment on show. If you have something similar it will be well worth contacting them.
    Please be careful if buying second hand as there are lots of different kinds of stairlifts and you don't want to buy one with just a straight track if your mum has a fan at the top or bottom of the stairs as she will then have to negotiate the most dangerous part.
    Anyway I will stop rambling on now and the last thing I will say is just be VERY careful if dealing direct with stair lift dealers the price may be hugely over priced.
  • muskoka
    muskoka Posts: 1,124 Forumite
    thanks for clarifying that to the OP. I wasn't too sure of the details :o
  • john1
    john1 Posts: 403
    First Post First Anniversary
    Have a look at young company exciting device
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
    First Post Combo Breaker
    john1 wrote: »
    Have a look at young company exciting device

    I can't see how it can help anyone who has difficulty with stairs because their hips or knees can't weight bear on stairs.

    Talking to a local Age Concern is excellent advice, and some districts have a demonstration centre where people can try out a good range of equipment and bits and bobs which may help them around the house.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • retiredlady
    retiredlady Posts: 2,187
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    john1 wrote: »
    Have a look at young company exciting device

    I think this looks like a good idea. I have arthritis in my knees and do find going up and down the stairs both difficult and painful. Having this extra support would help. I have sent for an information pack - I see the prices on the website are from 2008 - I wonder if they are still in business?
    When life hands you lemons, ask for tequilla and salt and give me a call!!!
  • xmaslolly76
    xmaslolly76 Posts: 3,974 Forumite
    Bennevis I work for a stairlift company called minivator they hold alot of council contracts across the country for stairlift installations and repairs. If you go for a second hand lift make sure you get a new track as every track we install is cut and measured exactly to the staircase in question it horrifies us when we see them being sold on ebay privately as 9/10 will not fit any other staircase and could potentially be dangerous. If your mother has a curved staircase or one with a fan at the top then a straight lift could be more dangerous than no lift at all.

    I must second tich's advice and say contact your local OT who can advise you on the best option for your mother :-)
    :jFriends are like fabric you can never have enough:j
  • Listening to lots of talk on stairlifts here and i found a useful stairlift comparison chart that may help when you are assessing stairlifts at caremorstairlifts it simply lets you compare stairlift features to help you make the right decision. It is true what the OT's are saying you have to buy a stairlift that suits your needs. Get quotes and assess wisely.
  • Quiet_Life
    Quiet_Life Posts: 2,498
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Whatever price a chair lift company quotes you, offer them 30-40% LESS. Stick to your guns, you'd be amazed how much they can reduce their price. Whether it is new, recon or ex-demo you still get the same guarantee.
    In giving
    you are throwing a bridge
    across the chasm of your solitude.
    The Wisdom of the Sands. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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