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Do you or a loved one have difficulty getting up and down the stairs at your house? It’s a growing problem, as America’s baby-boomer generation begins to age and those with handicaps and disabilities become more mobile within their home, the next great hurdle is getting up or down steps and stairs.

While areas with just a step or two can be easily rectified by converting the area to a ramp, this can’t be said for homes with two or more levels. In the past, installing a home elevator was the only solution – albeit an expensive one. This was a costly addition and not all homes had the extra room needed to do this. Fortunately, advances in technology has made it easy to install what’s known as a stair lift, which is a chair mounted on a rail that runs along the side of the stairs.

Equipment manufacturers such as Acorn, AmeriGlide and Bruno all build high quality home chair stair lifts that run alongside the top of the steps on a rail, many using battery power and a cable to smoothly guide the chair up and down the steps with ease. Some units are AC powered, so they’ll require an electrician to wire them to a power supply but most can easily be installed by a typical do-it-yourself type individual in just a few hours.

Prices for stair lifts range from just over $1,000 for some of the lower quality brands all the way up to several thousand dollars for high end units with diagnostic equipment and computer chips. Most, if not all, current brands incorporate safety equipment and sensors to ensure you don’t crush your foot or pet cat and they’re super easy to use for anyone. I think you’ll find this is a viable answer to getting up and down the stairs in your home, especially if it’s currently a painstaking process.

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