Experience of stairlifts please

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by BeckyJan, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    From previous threads you may realise that I am preparing for my husband's loss of mobility. We have frames in the house and a wheelchair awaiting the time in the garage! I am not sure what to do about a stairlift. We have been postponing a decision on the basis that whilst climbing the stairs, however slowly, he is getting some exercise. However as it seems his legs are getting weaker I have to be prepared. I will welcome advice from anyone who has experiences of stairlifts. Thanks Beckjan
  2. suem

    suem Registered User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Hi Beckyjan
    We had a stair lift installed just after Christmas, mainly as my husband as poor mobility due to Parkinsons, he also has Lewybody dementia. I would say think about it very carefully. As you say no matter how slow your husband is, at least he gets a little exercise. These are a great invention but for someone with mental agility for someone with dementia I'm not so sure. We have a basic straight stairs with a lever on the seat that you push in the direction you wish to move. Then there is a remote control so you can call the lift down should it be left upstairs or vice versa, quite simple. However my husband can't always make out which direction he is going in and often points the control in the wrong direction causing the alarm to activate, a piercing bleep. Or he removes the remote control and leaves it 'somewhere', this means if the lift is at the top of the stairs no one can get up or down the stairs as there is not enough room to get past the seat and you have to hunt for the remote control. We have a fairly wide staircase so narrows one's are even worse.
    Sometimes he forgets it's there and struggles past it.
    We had ours supllied free under a disability grant and I can say I'm glad we did'nt pay for it.
    If you can get it without paying it's not so much of a problem. I would make sure that you get a wired remote so it cannot be moved. I would also think about making sleeping arrangements downstairs if that is an option.
    All this depends on your husbands ability to control it.
    If you know anyone with one, get your husband to try it.
  3. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006

    My Mum had a stairlift fitted when her rheumatoid arthritis made it difficult for her to climb the stairs. She had a special lever which she could manage with her arthritic hands. Firstly, she tried a cheap company, but they let her down so she went for the brand leader, which was dearer, but they fitted it really quickly. It cost over £2000, four or more years ago. It was ideal. Mum would have needed to move without it, so it was a cheaper option. The service agreement is expensive and the call-out fee high, even if it is something minor (like a child switching off the power supply).
    It did take a certain amount of concentration and skill to operate, and when Mum became unsteady on her feet, I was worried that she might fall downstairs. They needed to drill holes through the carpet to fit it, so that could be an issue. When Mum went into a care home we had the stairlift taken out. If it had been in less than three years, Mum would have got half her money back. As the chair was still in good condition, they refunded £400. It took half an hour or so to remove it and fortunately, the carpet fitter had enough oddments of carpet to replace the bits with holes in, so the staircarpet looked as good as new.
    As a stairlift is an expensive piece of equipment, it might be a good idea for a professional person to make an assessent first.
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    We live in a bungalow so the need does not arise, however.................
    Had to discontinue taking Lionel to his old dentist as they had a chair lift to the first floor, and his spatial awareness made this impossible to use.

    Visited a very dear elderly friend last month, same problem with Lionel.
    We managed to get upstairs, for the toilet, but did we have problems getting him into the seat to come down. Felt like we were marooned forever.

    They are wonderful, but feel that learning anything new is very uncertain as the illness progresses.

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