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How To Buy A Stairlift

Posted by Mike Phipps on June 19, 2018

A picture of a stair lift

This article was updated on 22/04/2024.

Stairlifts provide many people with a great level of independence in their own home and, in many cases, allow them to stay in and continue to enjoy their own surroundings.

Use our handy guide to help you decide if a stairlift is the right choice for you or a loved one.

What Is A Stairlift?

A stairlift (also called a chairlift) is a useful addition to many people's homes, providing easy access to upper floors when the stairs themselves become too much.

Stairlifts are usually powered by electricity and have a control on the lift itself which the user presses to operate.

Stairlifts are available for both curved and straight staircases.

When To Get A Stairlift Installed

The majority of people who have a stairlift installed are able to walk, although they usually need to use a walking aid to do so and find stairs difficult.

Installing a stairlift is an ideal solution for those that find stairs have become too difficult but want to stay in their own home and/or do not have the option to move into single story accommodation.

If you or a loved one are finding that stairs are becoming increasingly difficult to manage, it might be time to consider having a stairlift installed.

Top Tip: Small walking aids, such as a walking stick or crutch, can easily be carried on the stairlift. However, if a walking frame is used it will not be able to fit on the stairlift. In this case, it’s a good idea to have two walking frames in the house: one at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom.

How To Buy the Right Stairlift

Modern stairlifts are quick to install and easy to use. They are not as bulky as they used to be either and can fit the majority of staircases.

There's a wide choice of stairlift companies throughout the UK, many of them advertising in the national and local press, but it's important to do your research and find a company that you can trust.

It’s also vital that you use a company which provides a comprehensive stairlift backup service. Stairlifts are mechanical objects and sometimes they can go wrong, so it’s essential to have someone you can call should you encounter any issues.

Things To Consider When Buying A Stairlift Company

When you shortlist companies to approach for your new stairlift, there are a number of things to take into consideration:

1) The length of time the company supplying the stairlift has been in business - Are they a well-established business or are they brand new?

2) Their reputation - Have they got positive customer reviews online? Do you know anyone that has used them already? Ask your friends and neighbours for their recommendations.

3) Their service backup - Do they provide regular stairlift servicing? Do they provide emergency backup if something goes wrong?

4) The price - Stairlift companies usually provide an approximate price to start with and then an accurate quote once they have measured up, as there's no such thing as a standard staircase!

Top Tip: Look for companies that are members of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) as they have signed up to certain codes of practice. Most companies that are members will display the BHTA logo on their website and adverts.

If you are thinking of having a stairlift installed in your own home or a loved one’s home, please get in touch - we are always happy to help.

Kate Makin, OT

Kate Makin, Ability Superstore's Occupational Therapist

Kate Makin qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

As a registered occupational therapist (OT), Kate is a science degree-based, health and social care professional, taking a “whole person” approach to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. This enables individuals, of all ages, to achieve their full potential and lead as independent life as possible.

Click here for Kate’s registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Throughout her career, Kate has worked in many different clinical settings, in both the public and private sector. Kate has been running her own independent occupational therapist business since 2009. She is passionate about disability aids and adaptations, with a specialist interest in postural management and seating.

As Ability Superstore’s resident OT, Kate is on hand to offer professional advice and answer any queries.