Stair lifts

PollyDoodle Member Posts: 2
edited 20. May 2016, 20:07 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, I'm a newbie to the forum so please bear with me. I have osteoarthritis in my hands, feet, knees and to quote my GP 'in laymans terms' severe degeneration of the lower spine, plus unexplained collapsed vertebrae in my upper spine. I am in constant pain to a greater or lesser degree. Walking is painful, although the dogs do get a 20 min walk everyday and I can do household tasks and mow the grass! I find going up and down stairs can be quite a task. somedays I have stood at the bottom of the stairs and thought 'I cant do this' - have to as our loo is upstairs! I still ride my bike as it carries my shopping and holds me up, and the homeward journey is downhill all the way!
I am getting quotes for stairlifts as I feel some days I could do with one, and I cant carry a basket of ironing upstairs either.
I think the point of my post is that I feel a bit of a fraud even thinking about it. I feel I'm too young and active (70 in september)
I have always been a very active person, running, riding, tennis and I find it so very hard to come to terms with losing my mobility although I shouldnt be suprised, my family (female side) have all suffered with severe arthritis.
Can anyone give me some advice on what to do. If I go ahead now it is just about affordable, but may not be so in a year or twos time,
ARe there any companies best to avoid or any recommendations

Thank you


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Pollydoodle and welcome to the forum we'd all prefer not to qualify for :D

    You have a lot going on there and yet you seem to take it all in your – dare I say it? - stride. I'm sure all that exercise will have helped you to keep on top of things though mowing the lawn sounds a bit scary with a dodgy back.

    Stairs are quite daunting things, especially when the loo is at the top :roll: I rarely have to do them now as we're in a bungalow but I remember the difficult days beforehand. Do you do them one step at a time? And backwards to go down? The rule is good leg (if you have one) first going up and bad leg first going down.

    I know nothing of stairlift companies but this article from 'Which' seems to give good advice. Have you ever seen an Occupational Therapist? They are knowledgeable and might have other gadgets that would make your life easier. Small items usually come free but larger ones have to be paid for. You can self-refer by going to your Local Government's Adult Social Care Dept.

    Please don't feel a fraud. You have arthritis and just because you cope well with it doesn't make you a fraud. You are the best judge of your needs. I felt unbelievably embarrassed the first time I used a wheelchair (and many times after) but it has opened up new worlds to me. Save your knees for more important things. You might want to think also about installing a downstairs loo. Some friends made a lovely one out of their understairs cupboard.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Pollydoodle
    it sounds like you are having a rough time but are still managing to do a fair amount. Stairs can be very frustrating and I don't think you need to feel you are being a bit of a fraud even thinking about it. Labor saving devices come in many shapes and sizes and if it is going to improve the quality of your life that sounds like a reasonable idea. We have a booklet about independent living that might be useful to you
    and our free confidential helpline is always available to support you. The phone number is 0808 800 4050
    Best Wishes
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello PollyDoodle and welcome to the forum..
    Sorry I cant help with the stairlift, but you could get onto your OT in your area, depending on what money you have they can help you buy one,, and if not they would give you some advice..has for walking your dog that is really good exercise so keep it up for has long as you can, and riding your bike, once you stop its so hard to get back to it, your joints stiffen up when not used, even more so then when they are .
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to join us.

    I'm somewhat younger than you (now 57 but began arthritis aged 37) and we had to move thanks to two flights of stairs that could not be equipped with a stair lift. Installing one is a far cheaper option. :wink:

    It doesn't matter if you don't need to use it every day but the fact that it is there for the not-so-good days will be a boon; it will allow you to carry on doing what you do but with less pain, and that is always important. I miss so much about my 'old' life (cycling, walking, dancing, playing tennis) but things are as they are: I have psoriatic arthritis and the joint damage from that has led to OA in both ankles, both knees and both hips. I rely on my rollator for walking longer distances such as when in town etc. but invested in a wheelchair for high-days-and-holidays so I can 'do' more. It also gives The Spouse a good cardio-vascular workout. :wink: Knowing that Hermione the Chair is there is comforting but she rarely sees the light of day. It's just struck me I don't have enough of the high days etc! :)

    Please let us know what you decide to do and I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome, though sorry you are struggling at present. I'm just a few years younger than you, and I have RA plus some OA.

    We had a stairlift installed a few years ago, while the RA was at its most aggressive. We used a small local firm, and while we had the option to rent one temporarily we decided to buy one. At the time we paid just under £1000, but assume it would be more expensive now. I use it when I need to, rather than all the time, like DD we have a wheelchair too, which I needed in the bad old days, and I like the security of knowing it's there if I'm having a bad spell.

    If there are things out there to help it's not a bad idea to use them.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there,

    I think planning ahead is wise, and I guess many of us are listing the 'just in case'stuff we could/should consider for when we need it.

    I sourced a stairlift for my mum around 2 years ago, after looking at the big companies and beginning to price them up I was put off by the hard sell and repeated phone calls. I then contacted Age UK (were Age Concern) who recommended a company that they had good reports for. This particular company were friendly, didn't try any hard sell tactics, and a lovely lady came along and gave us a quote then left us to get in touch when we had talked it over, their quote was the most reasonable, the fitters were delightful careful engineers, and the service engineer who comes annually is wonderful. Incidentally mum's lift cost just over half what my uncle paid from one of the big name installers. She says it's made her life so much easier. So maybe you could consider contacting Age UK for recommendations (I got a phone number from the internet)?

  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi pollydoodle, I have a stairlift and I'm 43yrs old so don't think of it as an age thing! It's more of a 'are these stairs a serious danger to me ? And how much of a struggle am I dealing with just to get up them?', I got mine last September/October as it was taking me a good 15mins just to get upstairs. I have Osteoporosis, Osteo-Arthritis & Fibromyalgia, I looked at several Companies and got quotes but found Magbility to be the best they did reconditions and new Stairlifts at amazing prices and gave me a 12month Warranty with my stairlift. I got a brand new one and it's been a god send, I wish I had got it sooner!!
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello. I'm 70 and have had widespread OA for nearly 30 years. Like you I was always physically active (PE teacher until the OA called a halt to it) and continue swimming and cycling as they are low impact but good for maintaining muscle tone.

    We last moved house in 1989 and had a stairlift fitted then. It has been a great sanity-saver! I don't use it all the time but it is worth its weight in gold when my joints are at their worst eg I had nearly 3 months severe sciatica earlier this year and couldn't have managed without it. It's also brilliant for transporting baskets of washing, hoover, suitcases and numerous other items up and down the stairs.

    If you have the chance to install one now don't hesitate as it will more than pay for itself in reducing frustration, effort and pain. Just have it insured and regularly serviced.

    Enjoy - Crinkly1 aka Alison