Stairlifts for Seniors

Mobility problems increase among seniors as their ages advance, and climbing stairs all the time can be challenging. A higher percentage of older adults have balance issues, which increases the risk of falls, leading to injuries or death. Stairlift chairs improve the accessibility and safety of seniors in their homes. So stairlift chairs are a great solution for reducing injuries and deaths that come as a result of falls when climbing stairs.

What Are These Stairlifts?

Stairlifts are motorized chairs that move up and down. It is a simple and one of the most affordable means of making seniors’ homes accessible and safe. A simple stairlift can work on two floors, but others serve more than two floors. After installing the chair, operating it is easy. All one needs to do is sit in the chair, tighten the safety belt, and control it to move up and down by simply pressing a button. Older adults will find many types of stairlift chairs that they can choose from, depending on their needs. Stairlift chairs are not a great solution for elderly persons in wheelchairs.

Types of Stairlift

Straight Stairlifts: As the name suggests, straight stairlift chairs are installed on straight stairs that don’t have any landings or curves. It is a perfect choice for older adults who can still walk, and only face challenges when it comes to climbing the stairs, maybe because of balance issues. Older adults have seat options, including swivel, stationery, or fold-up.

Curved Stairlifts: These stairlift chairs operate the same as straight stairlifts, except they are used on curved staircases. Just like straight stairlifts, curved ones can be folded up, stationery, or swivel.

 Standing Stairlifts: Standing stairlifts are a great choice for seniors who’d rather stand than sit when climbing stairs. These stairlifts may also be used when the staircases are too narrow for a chair to fit.

Platform Stairlifts: Platform stairlifts are perfect for seniors using wheelchairs who’d love to go up and down the stairs. The space should be large enough for this chair to fit well.

Installing Stairlifts for Seniors

Many reputable companies deal with stairlifts for senior work with installation professionals that serve their customers. Some seniors or their loved ones choose to purchase these machines online, usually to save some cash, and most of the retailers’ stairlifts come with DIY (do it yourself) installation. The problem, many elderly persons end up stuck with these machines, and sometimes they don’t work as expected. After all, seniors wouldn’t want to risk facing faulty installations. The best thing to do is to opt for expert installation.

Older adults or their loved ones should ensure that the staircase allows for the installation of a stairlift. They must see if all the electrical requirements are met, how to test if the installation is done properly, and exactly what to do if there is a problem with the machine within six months of doing the installation. Also, as you also ensure they have proper permitting if required.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Stairlift

Seniors need to put certain things into consideration when purchasing stairlifts for themselves:

  • Whether the machine uses a battery to work or is electrically operated. Seniors should choose whether they want to use electrically or battery-operated stairlifts, and while electrically-operated seem to be the best option, one can’t use them when the power cuts off. Opting for battery-operated stairlifts are the best option because they are more reliable, and can be used with or without electricity.
  • Consider the weight capacity of the stairlifts. Standard/straight stairlifts can withstand up to 300 pounds. If looking for a stairlift that would hold more weight, opt for heavy-duty lifts.
  • Seat Options. Depending on their circumstances, seniors should choose a stairlift with the best position that makes them feel comfortable as they move up and down the stairs. Some stairlifts come with fold-up seats, which can be the perfect choice if stairs are always busy with other people climbing up and down. One can opt for stairlifts that with come stationary or swivel chairs.
  • Consider the cost of the stairlift. Seniors or their loved ones should consider the cost of the machine they’d like to buy and whether they can afford it. Stairlifts typically cost between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the type of machine one is looking to buy.

Does Medicare Cover Stairlifts for Seniors?

There is a lower chance that insurance would help cover stairlifts. Let’s start with Medicare. The program doesn’t cover any expenses related to stairlifts, not even the Medicare supplemental policies. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover some or all of the expenses associated with senior stairlifts. Medicare Advantage Plans are provided by private health insurance companies approved by the Medicare Program, and each of them must follow Medicare rules. Please note that not all Medicare Advantage Plans offer this type of coverage, and these plans also vary from one provider to another.

Medicaid on the other hand may cover these expenses, but not all states’ regulations allow it. Other states’ Medicaid program cover, while others don’t. So, seniors can check to see if their state covers stairlifts in their Medicaid programs. Senior veterans may use the Veterans’ benefits to cover stairlifts, and the disabled ones use wheelchairs.

Best Stairlifts for Seniors

  • Handicare: Handicare was founded by three paralyzed men from Sweden whose mission was to create better solutions for people suffering from mobility issues. It is one of the biggest stairlift dealers in the U.S. and currently offers nine models, all coming with improved features that enhance the safety of older adults. Read more at
  • Lifeway Mobility: Lifeway Mobility works to create lasting accessibility solutions for seniors with mobility issues by understanding the customers’ needs and offering appropriate recommendations to enhance their mobility, comfort, independence, and quality of life. More information is available at
  • Savaria: Savaria’s K2 Straight Stairlifts have some of the smallest profiles in the market. They are flexible and come with seat belts and safety sensors that tell if some items in the machine have loosened up and need to be tightened or replaced. Read more at