Choosing the right Stairlift

Many people find themselves in a situation where it becomes difficult to walk up and down stairs. We get older and our joints become stiff or we get weaker and a little more frail and living in a house that has multiple stories becomes fairly taxing, especially if you have to walk up and down stairs to get to the bathroom or bedroom. For a lot of people, this is a time in their lives when they consider moving to a bungalow, but that seems ridiculous, especially if you are living in your family home that you know and love. A stairlif is a more practical and cost effective solution than moving in these circumstances and allows us to maintain our freedom of movement through our home.

There are so many companies producing, supplying and installing stairway chair lifts these days that sometimes the options become overwhelming. Choice is a good thing - competition means we get the best prices, but choosing what to go with can be a befuddling. Is it best to get a new stairlift, a reconditioned stairlift, curved stairlift or straight stairlift and would it be better to buy your stairlift or just rent your chair lift?

These are all very important questions to answer before you actually decide on what to go for. Each has its advantages and disadvantages but at the end of the day, what is most important is that you are mobile in your own home and that you can get up and down the stairs safely and quickly whenever you need to.

So here are my top hints to choosing the perfect chair lift for your stairs:
  • First, is a stairlift the right solution for you? I'm assuming it is, otherwise you wouldn't be here.
  • Do your research - do you know anyone else who has a stairlift - talk to them find out how it affected their lives to get one installed, find out what model they have and if they are happy with it, what are the good and bad points of the stairlift they have. If you know them well, ask if you can try it. Also find out if they bought it from an independent supplier of stairlifts or if they purchased it from the manufacturer and if they were happy with the installation and after sales service.
  • Find a number of reputable stairlift companies and start getting quotes for their products. Compare prices of competing products and the services that the companies offer. Try out a few different stairlifts in a local showroom.
  • Get brochures for all products that interest you and seek out independent reviews for the products you are most interested in.
  • When you are actually looking at products or talking to a sales person, it's a good idea to do some preparation. Have the questions you want to ask written down before hand so you don't forget to ask them all and if you can, have a friend or family member with you when you are test driving or talking to a stairlift sales person; that way they can ask questions and bring an impartial eye to the various products.
  • Keep notes of your first impressions of any stairlifts that you try. It's a good idea to jot down your thoughts just after trying out a product or chatting with a sales person so they are still fresh in your mind. When you come to compare various different models and makes, you might find it helpful to list the pros and cons of each one to help you make a good decision.
Your stairlift will be with you for a long time, so you should take your time to get the right stairlift for you; compare various different products and don't feel pressurised at any point. At the same time, keep in mind that it will be your transportation up and down the various floors in your house and you want something that is both safe and reliable, as well as something that is practical.

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