Many families feel forced to move their parents
to an Assisted Living facility because the current home is on two or three levels. A better solution may be the installation
of a stair chairlift.
We met with Tony Cardarelli of Stannah Chairlifts to discuss how a chairlift may solve the
real issue of two stories. Tony has been with Stannah in the Boston area for over 10 years. Tony is an excellent
resource. He even has a chairlift fully installed in his van that people can try out!
According to Tony, virtually
any single or two family home can be equipped with a chairlift. There is a very wide spectrum of models available which
can be tailored to meet various needs. For example, some models will automatically pivot at the top of the stairs to
face a hallway. This significantly reduces the risk of falling down the stairs.
There is a wide range of costs
and options to purchase or rent. A basic used model may be available to purchase for around $4000-$5000. If the
perceived need is short term these can even be rented for an initial upfront fee of around $1,500 for the first 3 months.
Fancier new models designed to fit curved stairways can cost $10,000 or more.
Installation is anywhere from 1 to 6
weeks from the date of order with longer time frames for custom installations on complex stairways. The installation
is very low impact on the home. Brackets are mounted to the stair tread in 4-5 places. Nothing is attached to
the wall except for a wireless control box.
Many people are concerned about removal of the unit when there is no longer
a need for it. Stannah offers free removal and, in the case of owned equipment, will even repurchase it since they have
extremely strong demand for used units. Tony mentioned that many times he will go to install a chairlift and find evidence
that a previous owner also had one installed. Without exception, he said the current owner was always surprised when
he showed them the tiny screwholes from a previous installation.
Another surprising fact we learned from our visit
with Tony is that frequently the heaviest user of the chairlift is the Caregiver. If the spouse is in a bedroom it is
the Caregiver that is faced with multiple trips up the stairs carrying food trays etc. A chairlift can substantially
ease the burdan on the Caregiver.
Stannah has been manufacturing chairlifts since 1975 and has over 250,000 installed
worldwide. A number of our homecare clients have installed them and found them to be reliable and troublefree.
Stannah's corporate website can be found at http://www.stannah.com
but we recommend you contact Tony directly.
If you'd like more information on Chairlifts we have brochures in our
office at Home Instead. Tony also left us with a video showing the various models. You can reach Tony directly