At an advanced age, however, climbing the stairs every day takes a toll on your body, possibly warranting a need for a stairlift. Investing on it opens the possibility to tap a reverse mortgage as part of home modifications.
Types of stairlifts
Many houses in Australia stand at least two storeys. Depending on the design, they may be seen as a representation of the life you’ve worked so hard to build for you and your family.
Stairlifts are generally classified into two types:
- Straight. Straight stairlifts are set up for a direct flight of stairs.
- Curved. Curved stairlifts are installed for staircases with notable turns up to 180 degrees.
A stairlift can either be a chair-based or perch design. The latter is often geared towards people of limited flexibility as it channels their weight onto the seat, limiting the stress on the legs while retaining an upright posture. Some stairlifts are also designed for wheelchair-bound patients.
Price and requirements
Your chosen stairlift should satisfy a number of key requirements. They include rating to Australian Standard AS1735.7, have seatbelts integrated into the design, are capable of stopping upon detecting obstructions, and have battery backups attached so they can remain active during a power outage. Make sure that the stairlift’s critical parts — gearbox, motor, and rail are covered by extended or lifetime warranty, in addition to after-sales and maintenance support. You may also consider stairlifts with a special switch that keeps usage limited to you.
The final quote for your stairlift depends on the model and location, and the material setup. This includes the seating assembly, length of rail, the number of steps in the staircase, and the availability of powerpoints. Some stairlift vendors peg the price for straight stairlifts as much as $4k while curved stairlifts can go as high as $20k.
Choosing the stairlift requires assessing the needs of the individuals expected to use it. The Department of Veterans Affairs, in particular, recommends enlisting an occupational therapist to conduct an in-home assessment to gauge the potential stairlift design and aid in completing all required documentation before selecting a contractor for the project. They will also evaluate if the resident senior and a carer (if any) are capable of operating the machine, plus detail the final report on the project, attesting that everything was installed to the recommended specifications.
Some seniors seeking to have a stairlift at home may be covered under the NDIS, as prescribed under the agency’s Access Checklist. Many contractors are capable of helping you apply for NDIS funding for the base product itself, while your reverse mortgage may pay for additional features. Your OT will evaluate your status to remain in-home and use the stairlift as part of a submission for NDIS to assist with funding.
Installing a stairlift at home lends itself to a raft of advantages for a senior household.
- Independent mobility. The loss of mobility can seriously affect an elderly person’s mental and emotional state, especially if they still want to go around the house. A stairlift aids in their freedom of movement.
- Economy. The AIHW stated that as of 30 June 2020, there are 4.2m Australians at least 65 years old, and that number might double in the coming years. Adding a stairlift to a home may avoid spending thousands of dollars in booking at assisted-living facilities or to build a more-accessible room.
- Comfort. A stairlift will have foldable armrests to ease strain on the elderly who have control issues with upper limbs. Seat belts will ensure they remain stable on the lift during movement and may help avoid common accidents traversing the stairs.
- Noise. Stairlift technology has become advanced to run on more quiet motors and rails, lessening the stress of machine noise on the household.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Investing on a home stairlift for your Home Improvements through the ASAG Reverse Mortgage can work wonders for your movement in place. For more inquiries, email ASAG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 002 724.
You can also get started by using our tool below to assess your available equity.