Without the assistance of a chair lift, trying to help an elderly person get up and down the stairs can be an absolute nightmare!
Speaking from experience, your heart is literally in your mouth watching them struggle, worrying they are going to topple forwards or backwards on the stairs.
The worst part is that there really isn’t much you can do, unless you are significantly bigger or stronger than the elderly person and are able to catch them if they fall back or are able to help to support some of their weight as they climb the stairs.
I can’t count the number of times I have told my my mum (who is tiny), not to stand directly behind my dad trying to help him on the stairs. – If he fell down he would fall on top on her.
After a couple of years of struggling, my parents and I decided that the best solution would be to get a chair lift fitted to help them with getting up and down the stairs.
It simply wasn’t worth the danger of falling, tripping or losing balance on the stairs and potentially falling down them.
We wanted the chairlift fitting asap and because of the continual worry about the stairs, my parents had got to the point of having to sleep downstairs. This is why we decided to buy a stair lift privately.
It was a large sum of money, but it seemed worth it to guarantee their safety and for the chair lift to be installed quickly without having to wait.
I was lucky, in that my parents had the money to pay for the chairlift outright.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for many families, but don’t fear.
There is some financial aid that you may be able to benefit from.
In order to purchase and install and stairlift in your home.
This is provided from government grants and funded from charitable organisations.
Not everyone will be eligible for a grant for a stairlift, but if you are willing to apply to be tested for eligibility you may be able to get a stairlift installed into your home for free.
Depending on the household income and any savings over £6000, this will determine whether or not you have to pay something towards to stairlift installation.
To have a stairlift installed, it needs to be approved by the council. You will be visited by an occupational therapist to assess your individual circumstances. You will also need two quotes or written estimates for the cost of the work, (if you are a disabled tenant, your landlord can do this for you on your behalf.)
It is work noting that it can take up to 6 months for the council to reach a decision on whether or not you are eligible for a stairlift grant.
The way to start the ball rolling with regards to finding out about stairlift grants in to contact your local council for more information.
Other sources of funding towards the installation of a home stairlift.
Independence at home is a charity that can offer up to £2000 toward the cost of home mobility equipment for those in financial need.
The ACT Foundation can provide small grants of up to £2500. The aim of the ACT is to improve the quality of life for people in poverty with a physical / mental disability or who are aged.
The RABI is a welfare charity that offers financial funding to farming families.
The SSAFA helps individuals of any age who have served in the armed forces. If this applies to you, they will certainly offer you help towards buying a stairlift.
There are more charitable organisations that can offer funding towards buying a stairlift, if you do a quick google search, it will bring up a lot of charities.
These are just five of the organisations that might be able to help you.
I hope this article helps you in your quest for helping the elderly with stairs.