Basic Funding for Stair Lifts

By Michelle Goetz, J.D., Project Coordinator 

Are stairs getting hard to climb? Do you find yourself going up or down stairs less often?  

If navigating your home has become a challenge, you may want to consider having a stair lift installed in your home. Doing so could prevent you from having to sell your home or move into an assisted living facility. Factors to contemplate include arranging installation and paying for the lift.  

Residential stair lifts previously had the same installation regulations as commercial elevators, which were expensive and cumbersome. However, in 2015, Public Acts 34 and 35 were approved to clarify that “residential stair lifts are not subject to the same regulatory standards as elevator installations”.  

Governor Rick Snyder noted that “expanding the pool of contractors who install residential stair lifts eases the burden on Michigan residents, especially those on a fixed income.” If you do attempt to install a stair lift yourself or hire an unlicensed individual, keep in mind that without proper training or knowledge, improper installation may cause severe safety risks and expenses.  

According to 101 Mobility, “Purchasing and installing a stairlift can be an expensive process,” however it may be the best option for you to remain in your home. Basic research shows that stair lifts can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a new unit. Nursing home costs can easily double that amount, and even cause a laundry list of other issues for a person who wishes to age at home.  

Funding for a residential stair lift is available through resources such as Medicaid, private insurance, the Department of Veterans Affairs, AARP, government grants, and the National Council on Independent Living Center. Your doctor may also know about resources to receive payment assistance for a stair lift.  

Residential stair lifts can even be rented or purchased secondhand. It is always a good idea to make sure that whether you buy or rent, you have some type of coverage to cover the maintenance of your stair lift.  

To read more on this topic, go to 101 Mobility.