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Will Your Home Accommodate a Stair Lift?

Item ID#:2454917Location:
Seller ID#:571214 Views:

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Installing a stair lift in your home is a great way to increase the
number of years you can live at home, even if you or a loved one have
health limitations that make it difficult to go up and down stairs.I
was out with an elderly woman last week who was looking to buy a new
home. She already had bad knees, and had to take the stairs slowly.
One of the things she was looking for was whether her new property would
accommodate a master on the main level (if it didn't already have one)
and a stair lift on the stairs.I thought she might just want to
look at one-level homes, but every home she looked at had a staircase in
it. One home had a lovely Y-shaped staircase featured in the living
room that split off in two directions. One home had a rickety old
staircase leading to the finished basement, and one home had a plain old
fashioned 2-level staircase that went to the upstairs. My client told
me that this wasn't exactly what she was looking for and said she would
"know it when she saw it." It had been hard for her to figure out
online whether the homes she was interested in would accommodate a stair
lift because most realtors don't feature the stairs in their MLS
photos.This client gave me a bit of an education about what it
takes to install a stair lift. Basically, she was looking for a long,
straight run of stairs from the first to the second floor. We actually
found it in one of the new construction homes we looked at, so they are
certainly out there. Stairlifts can be installed on other types of
staircases, of course, but as with everything, complication adds
expense.If you are building or buying a home that you want to
grow old in, it's a good idea to contemplate in advance how the home can
be modified to suit your needs when you are older. Some things - like
wide hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs - are nice features you
might want to have anyway.Other things, like grab bars in the
bath tub, are easy to add on later if they become necessary.What's
not as easy to plan for is if you will need wheelchair access to
upstairs rooms of the house. Even if you're not in a wheelchair, going
up and down the stairs can be a challenge for many seniors.Installing
A Stair Lift May Be The Perfect SolutionA stair lift
runs on a track that is installed on the side of the stairs and plugged
into the wall for power. Your stairs must be against the wall or have a
reinforced railing to accommodate the full weight of a person on a
seat, and the track along the wall. A stair lift can help you bring
groceries and laundry up and down the stairs, too. Pretty much anything
you can carry, provided you don't exceed the safe weight limit for the
chair lift.Although they can be pricey to install, many seniors
are so happy about the idea of having the ability to remain in their own
homes as they age, they are more than willing to pay the price to have
their home upgraded to accommodate their changing mobility needs.

Emily J. Cressey is a licensed real estate agent and investor in
Seattle, Washington. If you are in the market for housing for seniors
or disabled people, please click here to learn more about what's
involved in installing a stair
lift in your home.
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4/21/2018 11:51:21 PM UTC