How to Get a Cheap Stair Lift for Seniors

Stair lifts are crucial for seniors with mobility issues, but they can be expensive. Here’s how to find an affordable option.

Understanding the Need for Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are mechanical devices that help individuals with mobility issues move up and down stairs. They consist of a chair or a platform that travels along a rail mounted to the staircase. For many seniors, a stair lift can mean the difference between staying in their homes and having to move to a single-story home or assisted living facility. According to the National Institute on Aging, about one in three seniors over 65 will fall each year, and stair lifts can significantly reduce this risk.

The Cost of Stair Lifts

The cost of a stair lift can vary widely, typically ranging from $2,000 to $15,000. Factors influencing the cost include:

  • Type of stair lift: Straight stair lifts are usually cheaper than curved stair lifts.
  • Staircase design: A straight staircase is less expensive to equip with a stair lift than a curved or multi-landing staircase.
  • Features: Additional features such as swivel seats, power options, and custom designs can increase the cost.
  • Installation: Professional installation adds to the cost, which can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.

Ways to Get a Cheap Stair Lift

Assess Your Needs Accurately

Before purchasing a stair lift, it’s essential to understand the specific needs. A straight stair lift is significantly cheaper than a curved one. If your staircase is straight, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Consider Used or Refurbished Stair Lifts

Buying a used or refurbished stair lift can be a cost-effective option. Many companies offer refurbished models that have been tested and come with a warranty. These can be significantly cheaper than new models, often saving you up to 50%.

Check for Financial Assistance and Grants

There are various programs and grants available that can help reduce the cost of a stair lift:

  • Medicare: While Medicare does not typically cover stair lifts, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer partial coverage.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid may cover the cost of a stair lift if it is deemed medically necessary. The specifics can vary by state.
  • Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA offers grants for home modifications, including stair lifts, for veterans.
  • Non-profit organizations: Organizations like Rebuilding Together and the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) offer assistance for home modifications.

Look for Manufacturer Discounts and Financing Options

Many manufacturers offer discounts, promotions, and financing options to make stair lifts more affordable. Some companies offer interest-free financing for a certain period or low monthly payment plans.

Shop Around and Compare Prices

Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. It’s crucial to shop around and compare prices from different suppliers. Request quotes from multiple companies and see if they can match or beat competitors’ prices.

DIY Installation

If you’re handy, consider installing the stair lift yourself. Some models are designed for easy installation, and you can save on labor costs. However, this is only advisable if you are confident in your ability to install the stair lift safely and correctly.

Real-Life Savings: Case Studies

Case Study 1:

Jane, a 70-year-old widow from Ohio, needed a stair lift for her straight staircase. She initially received quotes around $3,000. By purchasing a refurbished model and installing it with her son’s help, she managed to reduce the total cost to $1,500.

Case Study 2:

Tom, an 80-year-old veteran from Texas, was eligible for a VA grant, which covered the entire cost of his stair lift. By taking advantage of this grant, Tom didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

Important Considerations

While finding a cheap stair lift is important, it’s equally crucial to ensure the quality and safety of the device. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Warranty and Support: Ensure that the stair lift comes with a warranty and access to customer support.
  • Safety Features: Look for essential safety features such as seat belts, swivel seats, and emergency stop buttons.
  • Maintenance: Consider the maintenance costs and whether the company offers maintenance services.


A stair lift can significantly enhance the quality of life for seniors, providing independence and reducing the risk of falls. By assessing your needs, exploring used options, seeking financial assistance, and comparing prices, you can find a stair lift that fits your budget. Remember to prioritize safety and quality to ensure a reliable and durable solution.