Does it make sense to invest in a stairlift at this time, or is it better to rent? The answer to that question should consider factors including your medical condition, prognosis, and living situation. Another aspect to consider is cost and how insurance may defray what you pay out-of-pocket for the mobility aids that you need. Talk to a qualified mobility professional to find out more about renting versus buying when it comes to a new stairlift.
You may only need mobility aids, like stairlifts, for a short time, such as a rehabilitation period following illness, injury, or surgery. In these cases, it may make more sense to rent a stairlift to enhance your accessibility at home. However, if you have a progressive or chronic condition with the potential of getting more severe over time, buying may be the most viable option for you. When in doubt about whether it is better to rent or buy a stairlift, talk with your providers and consider the following questions:
- Think about how long you plan to use it: will it be permanent or temporary?
- Are you recovering from an injury or procedure?
- Are your mobility issues chronic and progressive, or short-term?
- Are you permanently disabled?
- Do you plan to age in place at your home?
- Are you in pain?
- How old are you? Are you a senior?
- Do you have regular caregivers?
Furthermore, there are some factors related to the home environment that must be addressed. For example, custom stair lifts for distinctive steps are typically not feasible for rentals. In this scenario, you would need to buy a customized stairlift to fit unique stairways.
Buying a Stairlift
You will probably need to buy a stairlift if you have these situations at home:
- Spiral stairs
- Curved staircases
- Very long or steep stairs
- Outdoor steps or stairs
Additionally, you will likely need a custom stairlift if you want a power, swivel seat, backup energy source, or if you require a lift that exceeds common weight capacity, usually over 300 pounds, which means buying is best. If you are an older person who wants to remain in your own home as long as possible, buying a lift seems to be a worthwhile investment to make.
Renting a Stairlift
Many consumers are surprised to learn that they can rent a stairlift for a temporary period of time. These provide accessibility during recovery, rehabilitation, or recuperation after an injury, illness, or procedure. These are also a wise option when you want to ascertain if the longer-term investment for a permanent stairlift is right for you. Talk to a mobility professional to find out more about renting a stairlift.
If you own a business or commercial property, renting a stairlift as opposed to buying one is a prudent approach if you have staff or employees that would benefit from the added accessibility. Some companies may opt to make a permanent investment and buy a stairlift for their site. Remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that public spots and workplaces are accessible for those with physical limitations. Bring your building up to code with permanent mobility aids, as needed.
Installing and Removing a Stairlift
It takes around the same amount of time to install a rental stairlift as it does a permanent one, which is between two and five hours, depending on the situation. Removal of a lift may incur a charge; talk with your mobility retailer to learn more. Depending on the complexity of the home and stairs, it can take one to several hours to uninstall your lift. Remember that there may be some small holes or slight damage left when removing a stairlift, which should be easily remedied after the uninstallation with caulk and/or paint.
Keep in mind that you should only consider renting or buying your stairlift from a qualified and reputable mobility aids company. This ensures support and service long after you make the purchase- as well as a resource to rent a high-quality stairlift, as needed. There are safety risks associated with allowing anyone other than a certified technician to install, modify, or remove a stairlift from the home, and allowing someone else to work on the aid may nullify any warranty that you may have on the equipment.
Buying second-hand from a private seller may seem like a good idea at the time, but weigh the pros and cons, first. For long-term satisfaction and safety, opt for a brand-name stairlift from an area seller that specializes in mobility aids and equipment, including stairlifts. Read customer feedback and reviews to determine who is reputable in your geographic location.
Wondering about whether to rent or buy your stairlift? Talk to the team at Pacific Mobility first. We have generations of experience serving the mobility needs of our valued clients across California- and beyond! Call or visit today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)