Stair Glides – suggestions


by Marlene Doolen

An email support group posting from Marlene

My mom is in a 2-story house with the laundry downstairs and most bedrooms downstairs. Her stairs are like an L, changing directions part way down.

Some things I have noticed on my trips up there:

  1. The stairs were not wide enough to keep the handrails up when the Stair Glide was put in. Maybe this won’t be a problem if the chair faces down hill or up hill – but Mom’s chair faces the other stair wall. You will probably need to remove the handrail on
  2. A swivel chair is nice – it swings so you can get into it, and then swings to the proper position to ride. That way you can get into it at the bottom of top of the steps without getting onto a step.
  3. Having the armrest lift up helps in getting in and out sometimes, and would definitely help in "transfers" if you were in a w/c.
  4. You might need to get creative in carrying a laundry basket while seated in the chair – how do you pick it up?? A pillow case works better for me than the laundry baskets they have.
  5. My knees bother me if my feet are too far under the seat, and some models have most of the foot rest under the seat. Sometimes if I am stiff I have a harder time bending the knees and need the foot rest to stick out farther. Toes that go beyond the footre
  6. How often do you need to get the belt/gears oiled? Is that part of it enclosed or open to dirt, cat hairs, etc?
  7. Having a control on the wall both at the bottom and top of the stairs, as well as on the chair is very helpful. With 3 of us in the house at one time, sometimes one would have gone upstairs while another was downstairs. The chair arms had to be down, and
  8. Find out how much the Stair Glide weighs. Mom had to have the reinforcements placed under the steps to bear the weight of the unit and passenger!
  9. Some units have a battery back-up power. I think that would be a good idea, but never needed it. Mom’s unit has had an electrical short in it of some kind a couple of times, and had to get a switch replaced once. It needs to be installed by someone who kn

Hubby’s comments: Do you have someone who know how to install the thing if trying to buy it used? One size does not fit all–they are cut to fit. Price new ones out before buying a used one. Pricing new ones also lets you know what options are out there. Do you have anyone in the area that can fix it if you don’t buy from them? Does the used one have an owner’s manual and phone numbers to the company?

Hubby used the stairs without handrails, but he doesn’t have HSP. If you have room, please keep one set of handrails in place.

Having the Stair Glide has really helped Mom stay in the house. It does not last forever–Mom’s is now about 20 years old and acts up more now. The person who sold and installed it says she probably needs a new one, but Lynn doesn’t like the house and Mom will be 80 this year, so they don’t want to get a new one.

Hope you are able to find what you need at a price you want to pay. "Never give a crip a break" seems to be the slogan for much of this stuff…

Saturday, September 8th, 2012