Making Stairs Accessible

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Accessible University
Accessible University
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Does your house have stairs? Accessible University lists some modifications to consider for wheelchair users if you live in a multi-level home including stairlifts, elevators, and vertical lifts.

Considerations for living in a multi-level home:

  • Arrange things to minimize the frequency of your movement between levels and maximize the amount of one floor living that can be done.
  • Consider your ability to transfer in and out of a stairlift.
  • Will you have caregivers to help you with transferring? Will they assist you with independent living skills needed on other floors?

Consider the progression of your disability and what your future may entail before making a decision about installing a liftopr elevator in your home.


picture of stairlift

If you are able to transfer between stairlifts and assistive devices, an interior stairlift may work best for you. It is ideal to consult with an occupational therapist before the installation of the lift. Factors to discuss should include:

  • The amount of time it takes for each transfer
  • The amount of effort it takes you to complete the transfer
  • Having the ability to remain in a safe upright position for the duration of the ride going up/down the stairs
  • Whether you can operate the lift independently
  • Do you need mobility devices on different levels of the house
  • Keep in mind that stairlift pricing depends on several factors, such as, the design of the stairs, the options desired, installation costs and electrical outlets

Elevators and Vertical Lifts

Accessible University states that elevators and vertical lifts are both the most expensive and universally usable option for solving multi-floor living challenges. Elevator costs range depending on the home design - an estimate would be $30,000-$40,000 or more.

There are many different areas in the home where an elevator can be installed. For example, stacked closets is a home feature that can possibly be converted into an elevator shaft. An exterior elevator is also a viable option for a home. Inclined platform lifts may also be a more cost-effective solution.

It is extremely important that you think about emergency evacuation in your decision making process.

Check out the original article for more details! And be sure to share this post with someone modifying their home!

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