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Anyone has a stair lift at home ? (Moving, part II)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Dechi, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve been trying to decide between renovating my bungalow (too big for me to maintain, I live alone, my kids are gone) or buying a new (second hand) house.

    Here is part I of the story, if you want to read it. https://www.s4me.info/threads/house-built-on-old-golf-course-yes-or-no.2731/

    Since I can’t find anything smaller within my budget, I am now reconsidering semi-detached house or town houses, that all have 2 floors and that were eliminated because climbing that many stairs would be too much for me. I would only need one to go upstairs where the bedrooms are. I don’t go much in the basement, only to do laundry about every 2 weeks.

    I think I could find a completely renovated one within my budget, and I could install a chair lift to bring me up the stairs. There about 5000$-6000$ brand new but there are a lot ofmused ones around and you can also rent them.

    Does anyone have one and how do you like it ? Would you buy another one if you had to do it over again ?
     
  2. Louie41

    Louie41 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    We have 2 stairlifts, one going to the upstairs, and one to the basement. We bought them new, and together they were about $6000 USD, if I recall correctly. This is one of the best decisions we've ever made. I wouldn't be able to use stairs any more, and my husband uses them to bring laundry up and down.

    As a product, I think they're often not used for very long, so a well-constructed used one might be a good buy, especially if reconditioned. Good luck, @Dechi!
     
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  3. Rosie

    Rosie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was talking to my mother about this a few weeks ago. I would get one if I had my own home with a second story. I would use it and so would my elderly mother. All the best with it all.
     
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  4. Starlight

    Starlight Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    We have a stair lift, it has made a huge difference to us, it is so good to go upstairs at will. I wouldn' t hesitate to go with this option. I should have done it years ago. Best of luck with your decision.
     
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  5. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've been advised (in the UK) that it's possible to rent them. I assume that would be more expensive, but it also means you can ask the people to come and take them away should you find they're inappropriate.
     
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  6. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    I am considering this for the house I’m in the process of buying. I have a downstairs loo there so won’t necessarily need to use the stairs more than a couple of times a day so my plan is
    1 see how I get on without a stair lift for a couple of months
    2 rent a stairlift for a few months trial if I still think it will help
    3 if I get on ok with stair lift buy one
    4 if I don’t like the stair lift consider a domestic lift like this https://www.stiltz.co.uk/ other companies also do them.
     
  7. Forestvon

    Forestvon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I got a stairlift 8 years after I was mainly bedbound and needed one, as had asked one company how long to go up my stairs as can only sit upright about a minute or less and he said (wrongly) it wd take a minute and a half.
    I also envisaged sitting bolt upright with feet down. However thankfully a fellow pwme said you can bend over to sit like Rodin,s Thinker, and I have also found I can sit with feet raised up too.

    I regret the 8 years I spent very rarely able to go up to have a bath. Also now I can sleep in my bedroom as opposed to downstairs bed! I was able to buy it thankfully.
     
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  8. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I live in a 2-storey semi-detached council house and the stairs are getting increasingly difficult for me to manage without extreme pain, even without the energy problems. My house is rural which is perfect for my sensory and social problems. However, it is a rarity for social housing - I was very lucky to get it via an exchange (14 years ago). It would be equally rare to find a rural bungalow and even harder to find one that isn't a rabbit hutch in size and has a reasonable size garden - and a tenant wanting my location to exchange with!

    I've been thinking about a through floor lift as an alternative to trying to get a suitable bungalow exchange. The design of my small(ish) house means a stairlift would be impractical (due to lack of wall space at the bottom and top of the stairs), but there would be room for a small lift to go through the corner of the front room into the small spare room.

    I'd need to get it through the major adaptation grant scheme though as I'd never be able to afford to pay for one myself. The council does sometimes agree to that as a solution for disabled tenants, although it is rare. I'll probably have to use my autism as a reason why I can't move to 'just any' bungalow on an estate - I'm pretty sure they wouldn't understand the sensory problems that go with severe M.E.

    If I decide to try obtaining a Local Authority adapations grant in the coming years I'll write a thread on my experiences.
     
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  9. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    NelliePledge, if you get to that stage before us, would you mind letting me know how it works out, please? We're supposed to be buying somewhere, but it currently doesn't have a downstairs loo (there's just about room for one under the stairs), so I fear a stair lift is going to be essential, at least at the start.

    I soooooo regret that we weren't able to put a bid in on the smaller house with both a downstairs and upstairs bathroom which I viewed. That would have solved the problem nicely, not to mention allowing the option of turning the downstairs front room into a bedroom if necessary.
     
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  10. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Will do @Wits_End im hoping to be able to set a move date next week. So it’s going to be December probably before I would be getting a rented stair lift sorted. Meanwhile this age U.K. article seems useful. https://www.ageukmobility.co.uk/stairlift-advice/renting-a-stairlift

    ETA. I’ve got an integral garage at the new place which shares an internal wall with the downstairs loo so I reckon I can get that converted to a bedroom with wet room in due course if needs be. So i won’t need to move again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  11. Forestvon

    Forestvon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The stairlift chap advised me that if I was planning to get a new carpet, to do so before the stairlift.
    Then I realised that best to paint the walls before the new carpet.
    Then realised new storage heaters are smaller than old ones so best get that before the walls done!
    Aaaargh
    Had planned to get all these done as all badly needed, just not all at once!
    Still very glad upheaval over as stairlift been a godsend.
     
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  12. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Useful to know thanks. Although I think I will keep the existing carpet & decor which is ok at least while I rent a stairlift until I definitely know that’s the way I’m going. I reckon it might be the between floors one I go for in the end.
     
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  13. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I imagine it'd be quite difficult to buy a secondhand stair lift, wouldn't it? The most expensive part is the metal rail that the chair rides on, and the measurements for this have to be accurate to a fraction of a millimetre. Even two identical houses built next door to one another would probably differ to some extent.

    I had a stairlift fitted under a Disabled Facilities Grant (funded by the UK government), and the guy had to re-do the computer scan three times because the pile on the stair carpet had been flattened by his feet but then slowly rose again! They usually have to be fabricated individually, especially if there's any turn in the staircase or doorways at the top or bottom.

    One thing I learned through this process is that, unless your stairs are very wide, the bottom of the rail should project out beyond the lowest step far enough to allow you to walk behind it. Obviously, you can't take a vacuum cleaner or a big pile of bedding on a stairlift for safety reasons, so either you or someone else needs to be able to carry them up and down manually. When they first fitted mine the rail stopped at the bottom step, meaning that the chair was blocking more than half the width of the stairs. I'd literally have had to lift the vacuum cleaner over it! Obviously I couldn't do that, so they have to re-make that section of the rail so that it projected out further.

    My occupational therapist should have been with me when they came to measure up, but unfortunately the poor guy had fallen and broken his ankle the night before. I was on my own, and never having ordered a stairlift before, I didn't foresee the problem. You'd think the engineer would have asked, given that (a) it's literally his job to know stuff like this, and (b) he knew I lived alone, so I'd be the person trying to carry bulkier items up and down! The council agreed, and insisted they re-make the section free of charge; since the company got most of its work from them, they decided they would. :rolleyes:

    They are a godsend, but they do move veeeeery slowly. You can't get to the front door in time to take a parcel delivery, for instance, and if you need the toilet urgently and don't have one downstairs, you'll end up still having to walk. A through-floor lift might be much better if you have the space, not least because if you ever need to get a powerchair up to the first floor, you can. This is one of the reasons I ended up moving to a bungalow; I didn't really have the space for a lift in my small house, and because of either being in a hurry or having to carry things, I found I was only using the stairlift for about half of my trips upstairs.

    Another curveball I hadn't anticipated at all: my elderly Mum and disabled neighbour couldn't use my stairlift because they're scared of heights, and on my steep staircase they both felt as if they were being held over the edge of a precipice! I'd be perfectly happy to climb a 30' ladder and fix loose roofing slates if my legs were still working, so it hadn't even occurred to me to think about it. It's not uncommon for people to have this fear, though.
     
  14. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm planning on keeping the upright hoover downstairs, and the cylinder version upstairs in one of the bedrooms. Problem solved, I hope!
     
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  15. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's so useful to know - it will help my argument for a through floor lift if I can't find a bungalow I'd be happy to exchange with. My district council is both my landlord and the administrator of the LA's Disabled Facilities Grants, so they are always trying to cut their costs (even though they only spend about 50% of the council's allocated annual budget on the grants - presumably trying to shift the savings to cover other budgets).

    I only have a square metre floor at the bottom of my stairs, with doors each side of the stairs and only a metre wide landing at the top, with no wall for the chair itself to stop on (it would have to stop on the actual stairs at both the bottom and the top of them).
     
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  16. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Mine is second hand. It was 500$ or 700$ cheaper, and they really did a good cleaning job and changed the parts that needed to be. You can’t tell I didn’t buy it new.
     
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  17. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I commented to my project manager that I felt lucky to have been awarded a sizeable Disabled Facilities Grant, given the pressures on local authority funding, and he explained that they don't actually provide the money. The scheme is funded by central government; the LA project-manages the grant and installation, but they receive a fee for doing so, as well as all the costs refunded.

    Given this, I don't understand why some LAs are so flipping stingy about the number of DFGs they approve! Ours is pretty good, my grant was the second one that I'd had – the previous one, 10 years earlier, had been for a wooden wheelchair ramp, which eventually rotted and became unsafe. I only actually asked for a metal ramp, but ended up with a wet room and stair lift as well, following recommendations by the occupational therapist.
     
  18. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think the council gets given a set pot of money per annum from central government. They then get to keep any surplus left at the end of the annual DFG budget, which they use towards other council budgets. There is no other reason. I did manage to read some district council meeting notes to that effect.
     
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  19. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They are mandatory, though, if you meet the conditions. Because the safety of the occupant, and access to a bathroom, are at the core of some of the conditions, an ME sufferer with physical limitations has a good argument. If you receive mobility allowance, or have a history of dizziness that has led to falls and stumbles, it could be legally quite difficult for them to refuse.

    This was why I was awarded so much more than I asked for. I actually tried to talk them out of some of it, as I know there are people struggling even more than me, who're not getting any help at all. The OT said that she wouldn't be doing her job properly if she didn't make the recommendations, as I do struggle with balance because of my weak muscles (not to speak of the congenital bull-in-a-china shop clumsiness! :laugh:).
     
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  20. Forestvon

    Forestvon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So do I but I am able to get on it when on bottom step not floor and same at top. Wd have to think again if became unable to do it.
     
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