Best Stair Assist Devices For Your Home

Man sitting on stairlift with wife and grandchild

As a senior, your home likely holds a treasure trove of memories. Many seniors have raised families, cared for grandchildren, celebrated birthdays and special occasions, and enjoyed time with their families and friends in their homes. It’s understandable why so many seniors want to remain in their homes and age in place instead of moving in with relatives or into assisted living facilities as they get older.

For some seniors, remaining at home brings concerns that need to be addressed to ensure their safety at home. This is especially important for seniors who have multi-level homes with staircases. Accidents on stairways cause more than one million injuries and 12,000 deaths per year. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in adults who are 65 and older, and according to CDC data, three million senior adults receive emergency room treatment for falls each year.

If you struggle with mobility issues and navigating the stairs is difficult, there are a variety of devices that can assist you. Whether you need a little or a lot of support, below are some options that may make using the stairs easier and safer for you.                                                                                                                        

Stairlifts

Installing a stairlift is a great option for many seniors who want to remain in their own homes as they get older. A stairlift can provide convenient access to the second floor of your home, your basement, or even your deck outside. Today’s stairlifts have enhanced safety features, including seat belt systems and sensors that stop the device if there is an obstruction. Other features available include stairlift chairs that swivel, footrests, and folding rails.  Weight capacity varies by model. There are many high-quality straight stairlifts, curved stairlifts, and outdoor stairlift options, so they can also be designed to fit any staircase regardless of any landings or curves.

Price Range

Stairlifts can cost between $3,000 and $14,000, depending on which type of stairlift you choose and the configuration of your staircase. This cost includes professional installation by trained installers.

Pros

  • Stairlifts are available for straight and curved staircases, and outdoor stairlifts are also available, so your stairlift can be customized to work with staircases that have curves or landings.
  • Stairlifts run on battery power with a backup system, so you don’t have to worry about power outages interrupting its use.

Cons

  • Installing a stairlift requires modifications to your home.

Wheelchair Lifts

wheel chair Stairlift

Wheelchair lifts are a great solution for wheelchair users who have stairs in their homes. There are inclined wheelchair lifts, which work similar to the way traditional stairlifts work, and there are vertical platform lifts, which raise the wheelchair straight up.

Price Range

Wheelchair lifts range in price from $1,000 to $15,000, depending on the types of lift chosen and what home modifications are required.                                                                                         

Pros

  • Wheelchair lifts provide wheelchair users with access to all areas of their homes.
  • Wheelchair lifts cost less than home elevators.

Cons

  • Wheelchair lifts can require a lot of space.

EZ-Step Stair Climbing Cane

EZ-Step Stair Climbing Cane

The EZ-Step Stair Climbing Cane is designed to reduce the range of motion required by the knees when climbing stairs. It has a nonslip step attached to the bottom to reduce the height of each step you take.

Price Range

This device costs between $89 and $99.

Pros

  • This is a lightweight, portable device with a non-skid surface and nonslip rubber feet, so it can be used almost anywhere.

Cons

  • While this device provides support and stability for those who may have some mobility limitations, someone with impaired balance or severely limited mobility may need a different device for more substantial support.

StairAide Kit

StairAide Kit

StairAide is a stair assistance system that includes nine-inch-wide half-steps that are installed on each step. These small steps reduce the height of your steps and the range of motion your knees must use to climb up and down the stairs. Taking smaller steps is easier for people who need help navigating the stairs. While this works in a way that is similar to the cane mentioned above, it is different because these steps are affixed to your stairs, so they are not portable.

Price Range

The cost varies according to how many steps you need. One single StairAide step is $45, and a set of 14 is $629.95.

Pros

  • This product provides an easy, affordable way to improve the accessibility of your home.
  • The half-step height creates less stress on your knees and less pain on your joints.
  • This is an economical alternative to other more costly options.

Cons

  • You will need to attach these half-steps to each of your stairs, so if you’re not up for a DIY project, you may want to have someone help you.

Aress B52 Aluminum Handrail Stair Kit

Aress B52 Aluminum Handrail Stair Kit

This sturdy, anodized aluminum handrail has a sleek, European design and is fingerprint-resistant. It comes in 6, 7, and 8 ft. sizes, so it can be installed along most indoor and outdoor staircases. This is a complete kit that includes the handrail, end covers, brackets, and screws.

Price Range

This handrail ranges from $125 to $167, depending on the length.

Pros

  • The anodized aluminum material eliminates the possibility of corrosion.
  • This handrail is simple to install, and you can connect two or more of them together if needed, but you will need to purchase additional connectors to do this.

Cons

  • It’s not available in any additional styles or colors.                                                                                            

StairSteady

Stair steady

The StairSteady support handle system is comprised of a movable handrail that slides on a supporting rail that is mounted onto the wall along your stairs. This system is compact, and the handle folds out of the way when not in use, so it’s a good space-saving option.

Price Range

This handrail system costs around $750. You should check with your local product dealer for current pricing.

Pros

  • This system has a locking mechanism that allows the handle to slide when pushed and prevents it from moving when you don’t want it to.

Cons

  • This may not provide enough support for those with more complex mobility limitations.

Home Elevators

Home Elevators

Home elevators provide access for seniors to move between levels of their homes quickly and easily while avoiding the stairs altogether. Home elevators are excellent options for seniors who have both minor and more complex mobility limitations.

Price Range

The cost of having a home elevator installed varies greatly according to the type of elevator and the home modification required. Hydraulic elevators range from $40,000 – $50,000, and pneumatic elevators range from $35,000 – $50,000, including installation costs.

Pros

  • Home elevators have auto-stop sensors that will stop the unit if there is an obstruction in its path.
  • These elevators allow you to conveniently carry laundry, luggage, and other items from one level of your home to another.

Cons

  • Installing a home elevator can be expensive.
  • A home elevator can require a lot of space.

Having stairs in your home doesn’t necessarily mean that you should leave your home when you get older. With so many stair assist options available, living in a multi-story has never been easier or safer. So if navigating the stairs becomes challenging for you, keep these options in mind. They may make the difference between being able to stay at home and needing to move.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK305246/
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/older-adult-falls
https://www.stiltzlifts.com/

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