Stiffness, joint pain, and muscle weakness are things that have long prevented seniors from enjoying full independence and freedom in their own homes.
Now that stairlifts are available for home installation, you have the opportunity to get up and down stairs without injury or risk of falling.
Most staircases in homes are straight up-and-down, but what if you have a staircase built on a curve?
Luckily, advances in lift technology have made it possible for even the curviest stairs to accommodate a stairlift.
So don’t despair of having a lift installed if you have an unusual set of stairs.
What is a Custom Curved Stair Lift?
A curved stairlift is manufactured to fit your unique staircase curves and landings. Stairlifts are fixed onto the stair treads, and don’t affect the walls or railings of your staircase. You get to choose whichever side of the staircase you prefer to have your lift installed.
Curved stairlifts are powered by a battery that is recharged from a basic 110v outlet. Even if you have a power outage, your stairlift will continue to run for at least a few hours up to a few days, if it’s fully charged.
Curved stairlifts can be customized to fit almost any staircase length. Manufacturers will generally send a professional installer to take exact measurements of your staircase. They use a special camera to ensure that you get the right product for your home.
Stairlifts are positioned facing the stairs, and only need about 29″ of space. When you’re not using the lift, you can fold up the seat, armrests, and footrest to sit flat against the wall. You’ll find that a curved stairlift won’t be nearly as obtrusive on the stairs as you might imagine. Other household members won’t be inconvenienced by the lift.
Curved Stair Lift Features
Curved stairlifts have a number of unique features that make them easy to operate and safe to use.
Stairlifts are generally controlled by a button or switch which is situated in the lift seat’s armrest. You can decide which armrest you prefer to have the button placed on. The controls are designed to move the lift smoothly and slowly up and down the stairs.
This switch is mounted on the wall at the bottom of the staircase, and often on the top of the staircase as well. If you live in a household where more than one person uses the stairlift, it might be at the opposite end of the staircase from where you are, when you need it. The call/send switch will bring it to you for you to use.
This switch is also useful to move the lift to a different floor of the house and out of the way, if you need to.
Rail overruns are a part of the stair lift’s railings that extends longer than the actual staircase. Overruns on a curved stairlift rail extend some feet away from the staircase’s top landing, which helps the user to get in and out of the seat at a safe distance away from the steps.
Rail overruns at the bottom of the staircase curve around a corner, so that the lift can stand out of the way of people passing by in this area. The need for rail overruns will depend entirely on your type of staircase, your mobility level, and your personal preferences.
Stairlift seats have the ability to swivel. This helps users to get in and out of the stairlift easily from any angle. Some seats operate under power, so users don’t have to turn the seat manually.
Curved stairlifts can be supplied with a hinged track that extends when you travel downstairs, and folds up when you travel back upstairs, or if you want to park the lift out of the way. If there is a door or passageway at the bottom of your staircase, the motorized bottom section of the rail can fold out of the way when the lift is not being used.
Style and color
Many stairlift models let you choose your style of seat and fabric. You can even choose the type and color of lift rails. Style-conscious homeowners don’t have to worry that their curved stairlift will be an eyesore in an otherwise well-designed home!
Curved Stair Lift Prices
Curved stairlifts are custom-built for individual staircases. This means they cost somewhat more than standard straight rail stairlifts.
Prices for indoor curved stairlifts usually start at around $8,000 and can go up to over $14,000. This is the price range you can expect for most models. Brands that supply custom curved stairlifts in this range are Acorn, Bruno, Handicare, Harmar, Hawle, and Stannah.
Here is a brief price comparison of the various types of stairlifts:
$ 2,000 - $ 5,000
from $ 10,000
$ 3,500 - $ 6,000
from $ 12,000
Stairlifts are not currently covered by Medicare, but you can approach senior organizations in your state to find out if there are financing options.
Here are some questions you should consider, that will affect the price of a curved stairlift:
- How long is the staircase?
- What weight capacity is needed?
- What style of seat and rails do you like?
- How many landings does the staircase have?
- Do you want power options or other upgrades for the lift?
- Does your state require you to have a stairlift permit?
Many seniors need help in some form or another, to continue living at home well into their golden years. Not everyone has family that is able to take on the role of carer. The cost of employing professional home carers, or moving into a new home or care facility can be very high.
Although a custom curved stairlift can be pricey to install, bear in mind that it will essentially pay for itself in a few months. If you use a stairlift for just five years, the average cost would be under $200 per month. This is a very small price to pay for the ability to age at home in comfort and independence, for as long as possible.