What are the key things to look for in a stairlift manufacturer?
It is hard for a first time buyer to evaluate the quality of a lift, so a key guide would be a manufacturer that is willing to
submit their products to all the major approving and quality organizations.(UL , FDA, ASME, ISO).   A manufacturer that
backs up the person installing your lifts is key.  There are also numerous logistical and support advantages to having a
U.S. based manufacturer. U.S. lifts are typically sold as "Durable Medical Equipment"  and therefore FDA regulated.
Foreign lifts are often sold as "Convenience Devices"  and are not legally obligated to stock spare parts when models

What are the key things to look for in a dealer and installer?
Quality stairlifts are very reliable, but they still require service and spare parts.  A local dealer you can count on is
critical. Will the same people who recommends a product, then install it and then back it up with years of service.  In
some cases the first person you meet will be a commission based sales person from a foreign company, the second will
be an installation mechanic hired for this job - you may see neither of them if you have a problem in the future.  Does the
company do their own installations and service? What hours do they pick up the phone? Are stairlifts their main
business? Ask those questions.

Can I self install my chair lift?
Some are sold over the Internet for self installation, but you must ask yourself questions related to tools, training,
warranty, spare parts, ongoing service, as well as what happens if you make a mistake measuring or installing.  It is easy
for an individual unfamiliar with stair lift to miss wall protrusions, doorway issues, etc. that may result in an Internet
purchased lift not working in your home.  Also how can you evaluate the quality of a product purchased this way.  Many
individuals find they end up spending more to undo some error. In some location it is not even legal.
See AEMA paper

Can I rent a stairlift and save money?
Yes, but the cost of installation and then de-installation usually means a rental makes sense only if you are sure you will
need the lift for just a few months.  A better option may be a used lift if it is available.

Will Medicare or insurance cover the cost?
Unfortunately this is not likely as Medicare considers this a “home modification” and does not cover it.  Most insurance
plans also do not cover it, but you can always ask your own provider.

Is the lift Tax Deductible?
You should ask your accountant, but a lift sold a "Durable Medical Equipment"  can typically be deducted as a medical

What happens if the electricity fails?
For this reason a battery driven lift is almost standard today.  Bruno created the first such lift in 1992. These lifts plug
into a standard wall outlet for recharging, but can do multiple trips on the battery power alone. They have other
advantages of being more quiet and providing a smoother ride.

Are Stairlifts safe?
Stairlifts are built with safety in mind, and have an excellent safety and reliability record. There are many built in safety
features to stop the lift if it his an obstruction. Most come with a seat belt. You are sitting in a seat slowly gong up your
stairs on a rack and pinion gear driven track. For virtually everyone considering a starilift this is so much safer then
climbing the stairs.  

Is a stairlift the right solution in my situation?
The first person you talk to should not be simply focused on selling you a lift, but rather evaluating your options and
situation. Can the individual transfer to a chair, are the stairs wide enough, weight and mobility issues etc.  A stairlift is
not the right answer in every situation, but a free, no obligation in-home consultation usually is.

What if I have a spiral stairway, a door in the way, a short landing etc.
A straight lift is the least expensive, but there are many other options from curved rails, to rails that fold out of the way
automatically, that may work in your situation.  Do not assume you can not put in a stair-lift, because the one you saw at
a neighbors would not fit your stairs.

What do stairlifts cost?
You must look at three separate components.  The price of the lift, the cost to install it properly & safely, and the cost of
the manufacturer & dealer fully supporting your purchase over time. The least expensive option may appear to be to buy
a lift on the Internet and trying to find a handy individual to install it.  But if it fails this may then turn into the most
expensive option. A new straight stair-lift with no special options or issues - properly installed - typically range from about
$3,000  to over $4,000, with extra options, being above that. Curved lifts or double lifts of course all cost more.  Although
the cost is significant - the cost per use, or compared to the alternatives - may not be.

Should I buy a used lift to save money?
If one is available that is an option. But ask about the warranty and if replacement parts would still be available for this
model and for how long. Much of the cost of a stairlift relates to the installation and support, so quality used lifts may only
be 20% less then new lifts. It makes no sense to buy an older used lift only to discover the first time it has a problem you
cannot get it fixed.

What should I expect from the person I talk to?
Your initial discussion on the phone and in person should be focused on providing you the information you need, rather
than getting you to buy something. On the phone if you can describe your stairway and the user, normally you should be
able to be given an idea of the costs of a standard lift.  During a visit you should be given information on the best
options for your situation. You should never be pressured in any way or told there are “special prices” only if you buy
Stairlift Buyers Guide
Questions, Answers,
Research, Queries, Facts
Reviews, FAQ, Opinions,
Q & A, Comparisons,
Costs, Prices
We understand this is likely your first
and only time buying a stairlift.  Often
this decision is being made in the midst
of a health crisis of a family member.  
To help we have tried to list the most
common questions and answers (FAQ -
frequently asked questions). If we have
not addressed your question fill out the
form and send it in.

If you live in the greater NYC area
please give us a call 914 709 5438.
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Updated 2015
Westchester Stairlift LLC   914 709 5438   -   Providing sales, installation and service for all Bruno stair lifts in the New York Tri-State Region  

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