I searched the old and the new message boards, and I did not find much about stair lifts. I do realize that they aren't very practical for our more advanced children who had difficulty transferring to the lift chair and balancing while on it. However, Alex is 10 and in relatively good shape with some years of walking left - hopefully much more as the improved meds come on line. We have a downstairs bed for him, but his brother sleeps upstairs, and there's more room for them to play up there. Max also likes to play in his own room, not just his brother's room. Currently, we carry Alex up and down the stairs, though he sneaks up and down on his own when we're not looking. I was thinking that a stairlift would be easier on his ego, more convenient for him and his brother, and easier on my back as he continues to grow. I called a company that installed thyssen krupp products, and the estimator told me that for a curved stairway like ours it would run $15-20,000 installed with all permits. Does that seem right? Also, I have heard of stairlifts that will transport a wheelchair with its occupant, but I can't find any products like that online. Has anyone else heard of such?

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Hey Paul:

I met a father at Special Equestrians who helps people with disabilites redo their homes. He said not to do anything till we talk to him because alot of times people spend alot of money on things and unfortunately it takes away from the value of the homes and is not always necessary so I've left a message for Heather because I gave her is card and when I get the information I will post it for you so you can give him a call and talk to him.

He has two boys with cerebral palsy and really seems to care.
Okay here is the information from my previous post.

His name is Andrew Borislow and his company is Accessall. Phone number is 215-628-2300 and his website is www.assessall.com. I hope he can help:)
Hi Paul,

My son is 5 and we had a Bruno stairlift installed about 6 weeks ago. We love it. We don't have to carry him up and down anymore and we don't have to make a decision about buying a home or building for quite a few years. Our staircase is just a basic straight staircase. When I was getting estimates for ours, I found a very wide variation in prices. Some companies' lowest prices started several thousand $ higher than what we paid in the end. Ours was just over $3,000 installed. So keep getting estimates you may have called the most expensive company first. Good luck!
Lisa
Hi Paul
For $20,000 you could probably put a one chair elevator in your house. The stairlifts that I have seen that transport a person and a chair had a weight limit that wouldn't cover a power chair, but keep looking, they may have changed over the years. I think you also need to look at the big picture. Do you plan to move in the next 5 years? Or is this the house Alex will grow up in. If you are planning to move when/if he needs a power chair, then the stairlift may work well, but devalue your house. If this house is permanent, maybe you need to look at the floor plan to see if there is a place to put an elevator. It seems to me that the stairlift will be a short term, but nice fix for now. When Alex is in a power chair, having a manual at the top of the stairs will put a damper on independence. This opinion doesn't even take economics into consideration. Sometimes every decision is a struggle. Best wishes for your struggle.
Karen
Paul, My son just installed a stair lift in his home for our grandson. He has a straight set of stairs. For several weeks I searched Craigslist and e-bay for used ones. We found a used one for $500 that he helped dismantle from the previous owner's home and then put in his home by himself. He hauled it in the family vehicle.

My grandson is 6 and still walks.

Since getting the stair lift, he noticed that my Grandson has more freedom to where he plays. Before, he would decide upstairs or downstairs. Then he would stay there. Their only bathroom is upstairs and my grandson would wait until the last minute to go because of the stairs. Now, he just gets up and goes by himself. There are no more piggy back rides up and down the stairs. This purchase will allow them to stay in there home a few more years if they choose. They are very happy with it.

In doing the research on the stair lift, we found that if my son would have needed a curved one, that they would have to be very careful to match the curve of the existing stairs with the one they bought. There are a few curved stair lifts on e-bay and Craigslist. It will be a longer search to find the right dimensions. I agree that for $20,000, you can get a home elevator instead of a chair lift.

Best wishes on your search.

Rosie
I have to agree with checking out Criagslist and ebay. About 6 months ago I saw a used wheelchair elevator on Craigslist for only $1500!!
Thanks for all the fantastic info. I will plow onwards; it seems that I may need to get over my reservations about having a forklift in my living room.
I just had one installed on Tuesday this week - and it came from MDA. It was used in another patient's house and they no longer needed it, it was in great shape and you couldn't beat the price - FREE. It's only for 1 person and no wheelchair, my son is 9 and it's a great thing. I know those pains from hauling him upstairs - and then going back because he forgot something. Good luck!
I was searching on the subject before we changed house. For $18000 you can have elevator.About$ 3 000 stair lift. More for curved stairs.I option to change the house because my stair lift would end up on the middle of the living room , just in the passage from front door, on the way to the kitchen. I could picture myself tripping over with shopping bags .In my old house I would need 2 lifts or limited access to the whole house for my son. Instead of devalue the house , we decided to add value to the new one.No lifts,instead we created ( in the process) handicapped suite on the main level. In case of resale the house (to move to warmer state in the future, I am still dreaming about it even with our great economy) suite can be used as master suite or transferred easily back to the Family room.I feel relived since I know that we will not end up with son loosing ambulatory and house to which I couldn't fit wheelchair .
Fortunately, I've got the space. Also, here in inland southern california, selling an exisiting home would be a financial disaster for anyone except those who have been in their homes for at least ten years. With closing costs running at about 8% of the sale price, for any home worth more than $250,000, spending $20,000 is less than the cost of moving. That calculation would change if the installation were irreversible and would damage resale value, but that doesn't seem to be the case with either a stair lift or a stand alone chairlift.

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