Awhile back I was curious about stair lifts, stair chair lifts, and your basic accessibility solutions on the market. With the increased interest of aging in place, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so I conducted a little experiment.
I called sixty businesses who sold equipment that could help people with MS, ALS or the challenges that come with aging. I asked these businesses if they provided stair lifts. Fifty-eight of them said no and they had no idea where I could find one. Two of them started typing frantically while I was on the phone with them and said, “Oh yes, here’s one I just found for you online. I can have it shipped to you tomorrow”!
I hung up as quickly as possible and was shocked that someone who had never met me, who had never asked about my abilities or disabilities, who had never seen or discussed whether my stair case was straight or curved, indoor or outdoor was now willing to sell me a product just to make a buck and had no care in the world over my safety!
Buying a stair lift online is very risky business. It’s worth a few minutes of your time to discuss the health of the user. When a stair lift is being considered, the width of the staircase is just as important. The user will be riding the stair lift sideways, so if they are extra-long from knee to hip and the staircase is not wide enough, it would be dangerous to install such equipment. Professionals who offer to come to your home to access the situation free of charge know this. Websites that offer to sell a stair lift online don’t care about the accuracy of the installation, nor do they show much consideration for the safety of the user.
Personally, I would choose safety over slick online sales. I would decide on a company that had at least 10-15 years of experience and who had teams of professionals who could make a house call to service the unit when needed and answer any questions I may have in the future. When buying a stair lift the cost is important, but the quality is more important. If I go with the cheapest online unit, I should know that I am probably getting matched with an overseas company. If my stair lift has a faulty part, then I better be prepared to wait at least eight weeks for delivery rather than same day or next day if I had chosen a USA manufactured product from a local stair lift provider.
While the convenience of buying online may be enticing, the repercussions are simply not worth it. If you are in the market to give your life a lift, go with Gamburd – where every client is treated like family.