Before installing a stairlift in your home, you need to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of a number of factors. Not least the upfront purchase price!
For example, installation may require structural changes to your staircase, while the cost of ongoing maintenance can tax even the most healthy of budgets. All of these issues can come at an overwhelming time when emotions are heightened, particularly if a person is recently or temporarily disabled.
Potential roadblocks associated with installing stairlifts
For people with disabilities and their caregivers, a stairlift can return normalcy to daily life by providing flexibility and freedom of movement between the floors of a home. That said, potential roadblocks can hold up the process of installing a stairlift in your home:
- Certain staircases, such as curved variants, may need to be altered for stairlift suitability. As this requires the talents of a qualified technician, it will take more time and cost more to install.
- A straight-seated stairlift typically requires 27 to 29 inches of space, so if you have a narrow staircase you may need to make structural changes. You could opt for a perched/standing stairlift instead, but this is not an option for people who cannot bear their standing weight and need to be seated while transported.
- Installing a stairlift can be costly. Curved-seated stairlift, for instance, can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000 because more development time is needed.
- Even the most cost-efficient of stairlifts can be heavy on the wallet A perched/standing stairlift can set you back between $2,000 and $5,000 for a straight staircase of 12–14 steps. If you have more steps, the stairlift rail will need to be adapted, which adds to the costs.
Related: In ‘Are the costs of stairlift installation worth the pain?’, we examine the costs associated with installing different stairlifts on a variety of staircases, as well as the alternatives that you can explore.
Tax benefits available to people with disabilities
While the mentioned numbers and considerations can seem frightening, there are safe, viable options that can offset the costs of purchasing and installing the ideal stairlift for your unique living circumstances.
Tax credit for dependents: The AARP states that the ‘the 2017 federal tax law expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to allow taxpayers to claim up to $500 as a nonrefundable “Credit for Other Dependents,” including elderly parents. Under this provision ... the Internal Revenue Service allows family caregivers to claim some individuals related by adoption, blood or marriage — and even some friends — as “other dependents” on their federal tax return’. Both parties must meet the following IRS requirements to qualify:
- Low income: A loved one's gross income must be under that tax year's cutoff amount (which was $4,200 for the 2019 tax year).
- Dependence: You pay at least 50 percent of your loved one’s living expenses. They must live with you and your payments have to include clothing, food, lodging, medical, and dental care, as well as recreation, transport and other necessities. In a multiple support agreement, these expenses can be taken on by two or more people, but only one can claim the person as a dependent, and that person must pay at least 10 percent of the support costs.
Medical expense deductions: Medical expenses can be deducted if you paid to cover your loved one's unreimbursed medical costs. Stipulations: the qualified medical expenses of everyone claimed on your taxes must total more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income for that year, and total itemized deductions must be more than your standard deduction.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Housing Grants: Veterans and service members with specific service-connected disabilities can apply for a grant to buy or change a property to suit their needs and live more independently. To see if you qualify, visit this page.
Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Reverse Mortgage Program: Homeowners who are 62 years and older can withdraw a portion of their home’s equity. They can also choose how they want to withdraw funds, whether as a line of credit, fixed monthly amount or a combination.
Related: You may be wondering if Medicare offers stairlift cover or helps to offset any stairlift costs. We explore this subject in our recent blog post ‘What stairlift cover can you expect from Medicare?’.
Mobile stairlifts — the lightweight, versatile and cost-efficient option
For people who are temporarily disabled or who require more freedom and spontaneity in their daily lives, a mobile stairlift may be the ideal option. Mobile stairlifts are typically lightweight, portable devices that offer more flexibility and maneuverability on a variety of indoor and outdoor staircases. Mobile stairlifts are also cost-efficient alternatives to fixed stairlifts, requiring no installation or staircase alterations.
Our safe, adaptable, and affordable mobile stairlift device offers the following:
- Lightweight, portable frame for simple navigation that goes easy on the caregiver’s body.
- Comfortable, retractable belt for security and stability.
- Anti-slide tread for a superior grip on staircases of all shapes and sizes.
- Battery and charger.
- 1 year limited warranty.
- Compact and transportable.
Whether it’s a standing/perching stairlift or one of our own mobile stairlifts, we want to help you finance the device that will give you the freedom and flexibility you need. For advice and guidance, the team at Mobile Stairlift has compiled a comprehensive resource to aid you on your stairlift journey.
Read ‘How to Finance Your Stairlift In 2021’ here.