For seniors who rely on walking aids, stairs can pose a big challenge. Often, seniors feel compelled to sell their multi-story homes when stairs become problematic, leaving their neighborhoods in favor of more easily navigable residences. However, between stairlifts and medical alert devices, there are plenty of tools designed to help you feel safer and more independent at home. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of these two technologies:
Pros and Cons of Stairlifts vs. Medical Alert Devices
Stairlift Pro: Stairlifts are excellent options for seniors who rely on wheelchairs or require walking assistance — and there are many different types of stairlifts designed to help you perform various tasks. In addition to the staircase stairlift, vertical platform lifts (also called porch lifts) resemble open-air lifts that allow you to ride in a wheelchair from one level to the next and are mostly used outdoors to avoid stairs.
Stairlift Con: While stairlifts can be a great option for seniors who wish to age in place, they can be expensive. In some cases, prices go as high as $4,200 or more. Space can be an issue, too. Some units require you to remove railings or widen your hallways, which can be stressful and even more expensive with construction costs.
Medical Alert Device Pro: Staying in your own home allows you to retain your independence and remain comfortable, but you want to make sure help is available when you need it. Regardless of mobility, anyone can benefit from a medical alert device. For example, have you ever gone from one room to the next before realizing you’re not wearing your glasses? Small slip-ups like this can sometimes lead to a more serious incident, which is why it is reassuring to have a medical alert device available to connect you to trained professionals. If a fall should happen, a medical alert device can automatically call help for you or enable you to call for help immediately. Whether you’d like to be more independent as you navigate your own home, or you want some extra protection when you’re venturing outside or taking a vacation, there’s a device that suits your needs.
Stairlifts and medical alert devices are both great options for seniors. Weigh the pros and cons and take the time to decide what is right for you and your home.