Do Stairlifts Help With Surgery Recovery?

Over the course of life, the majority of people experience a variety of health issues. While some of these issues are minor, others may require a type of surgery to either resolve the issue or to make living with the health problem more bearable. Two health issues that fit this type of description are hip and knee replacements. However, can using a stairlift make recovery from these types of surgery easier?

Due to advancements in medical advancements and treatments, people are living longer than ever before. In fact, seniors are choosing to live at home and remain independent instead of relocating to a long term care residential facility. Research from AARP has shown that over 90% of seniors over the age of 65 remain in the homes until they are in their mid to late 70s before they move to a retirement community. However, with this increase in independent living, there has to be a balance when it comes to in-home care assistance.

There are some aging seniors who only need minimal in-home assistance after they retire. However, there are others that may only be one fall away from requiring advanced medical care. The chance of injury for the elderly who remain in their homes increases if they are staying in homes that have steep stairs, very narrow hallways or other types of structural issues that can make getting around their home challenging.

So, if you or someone that you love is living in a home that has stairs, and you are recovering from a surgery, you may think that your only option is to temporarily relocate to an assisted living or rehabilitation facility. But, there are other options available for you to choose from. Some of these options may even allow you to remain in your home during your recovery, and one of these options may be installing a stairlift.

Who Should Use A Stair Lift? 

There are those who only view a stairlift as an assistive device for those who are in wheelchairs. The truth is, a person does not need to be either a senior or wheelchair bound in order to benefit from a stairlift. It can be used by:

    • A person who recently had surgery
    • Those with visual impairments
    • Those with issues related to aging

Anyone who fits into one of these categories may find it difficult to walk up and down the stairs, and view the stairs in their home as a risk factor.

Even if a person who has had surgery is able to live on their own during their recovery without needing assistance in other areas of their life, they will be able to find great comfort in the fact that there is a stairlift in their home. As a result, it will promote independence. This is true if it is not practical to have the person sleep and recover downstairs.

Stair lifts can also be used during surgery recovery when it is impractical to use a ramp. A ramp can easily be used outside in order to access the entrance into the home but is not the best assistive device to use for stairs that go up to the second story. In addition, other mobility devices such as walkers, cane and crutches can be difficult to use on a ramp or on stairs.

Did you know that the leading cause of accidental death for seniors are falling? In fact, seniors are one in three times as likely to fall in the home. By using a stairlift, seniors can significantly reduce that risk while they are recovering from surgery. As a result, they will feel more confident and independent living at home.

Paying For A Stair Lift 

Even if you choose to install it in your home after you have had surgery, it is important to understand that, although it may be the best choice, it is not a free choice. The process to purchase and install a stairlift can be very costly, but is there a price you can place on your independence and mobility?

When you compare the cost of installing a stairlift to the costs that are associated with living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they are not the same. So, whether you are a senior who prefers to age in place, and/or you are recovering from hip, knee or back surgery, purchasing and installing one could prove to be a good investment. However, you can always choose to rent the equipment instead.

Buying A New Stair Lift Versus Buying A Pre-Owned Stair Lift Versus Renting 

There are advantages to all of these options. Even though a stairlift is a huge purchase, a person’s situation could change and eliminate the need for them to have one.

This is especially true if you are recovering from surgery. Although your recovery period may be for several weeks or months, you do eventually plan to regain total mobility. In a scenario like this, it would not be financially wise to invest in a new stairlift.

On the other hand, if you are prepared to fix any issues with your stairlift on your own, you may prefer to purchase a new one that has warranty coverage.

If you do decide to purchase one that was previously owned, do not take the seller’s word that the lift was well maintained. Have the lift inspected by a trained professional who is experienced in servicing and installing stairlifts to ensure the stairlift is in good condition.

It is also important to have your staircase and the stairlift measured to make sure it will fit in your home. For example, if you have a straight staircase, a curved stairlift will not fit.

There is also the option of renting a stairlift. However, keep in mind that certain variations or models may not be available for lease. As in the previous example, curved stairlifts are typically customized pieces of equipment. This means that it may be impossible for you to lease or rent one.

A stair lift can help reduce surgery recovery time by preventing additional injury from walking up and downstairs. Research the different options available, decide whether to rent or buy and choose the best for your needs.

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