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The Stair Walker -> News and articles -> Stair Lift: Why You Should Consider Other Options


Stair lift: Why you should consider other options

Estimated reading time 7 min. Published 15.08.2018
People who experience trouble climbing stairs have a number of options on how to solve it. A stair lift has previously been one of the common ways to fix the problem, and in this article we'll discuss why a stair lift isn't necessarily the best solution for you, as well as look at good alternatives.

What is a stair lift?

A stair lift is an electric seating device that transports you between different floors in your home. It usually consists of a railing system that is tailored to your stair, and a seating unit. The seat moves slowly along the staircase, usually with a pace of around 2,5 inches (0,2 feet) per second.
Video showing the speed of a stair lift

Fire safety regulations and building codes

Stairs are usually one of the most important escape routes if there is a fire in your building

Stair lifts unfortunately take up quite a bit of space, which in many cases will compromise the stair as an escape route during a fire emergency.

The stair lift railing usually takes up about 8 inches (20 cm) of space from the wall, and the seating unit normally takes up around 17 inches (43 cm) of space from the wall. In an emergency situation, having the seating unit and the railings installed in the staircase, can therefore be regarded a fire hazard according to building regulations.

In many countries the requirement is 40 inches (100 cm) of usable width of the stair, after the stair lift railing is installed. This also means that there often needs to be sufficient space available in the top and bottom of the staircase for the seating unit to rest when not in use.

Lift for stairs - space requirements
Typical space requirements of a chair lift

Stairlift price and cost

Straight stairs

There are a number of different models available and the usual price range you would be looking at is $3,000 - $5,000 for a straight stair lift.

Stairs with curves, landings and turns
For curved stairs, the railings need to be custom made to fit your stair. This means longer delivery times, and a significant price increase. A curved stair lift usually starts at around $10,000, and can increase substantially depending on the complexity of the stair. Longer stairs and more curves and landings are typical factors that will increase the price point.

Staying active

Technical limitations and building codes are often a trigger cause as to why a stair lift can't be installed, but it's not the most important reason as to why you should consider other options.

Inactivity is regarded one of the biggest global public health concerns of modern time.

It's well-documented that activity has numerous health benefits, such as:

  • Increased chance of being self-reliant and living in your own home
  • Lower probability of falls and fractures
  • Lower risk of diabetes type 2
  • Lower risk of colon- and breast cancer
  • Better memory and other cognitive functions

Sources: /

Activity is your bodys most important medicine and is scientifically proven to counteract diseases such as dementia, heart and vascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
A stair lift will, on the other hand, help to passivate the user.

Experience shows that people who start using a stair lift, and thereby stop walking stairs on their own, in a very short amount of time lose the ability to climb stairs. Especially elderly and people with disabilities will decrease in muscle mass once they stop climbing stairs in their own home.

This is the reason why we developed the stair climbing aid AssiStep

The AssiStep is a stair assistant that keeps you active and safe while climbing stairs in your home

The AssiStep is developed by Norwegian engineers and was launched in 2015. Our desire to develop the AssiStep was fueled by watching our own grandparents experience troubles climbing the stairs in their homes. Difficulties climbing stairs often stem from diseases such as Parkinson's, stroke and MS, but also a variety of other factors such as reduced balance, dizziness and a history of falling.

Statistical facts:

Falling in the stairs can have large consequences, such as hip fracture or femoral neck fracture. More than 95% of all hip fractures are caused by falling. A typical patient with hip fracture spends $40,000 in the first year following hip fracture for direct medical costs, and almost $5,000 in subsequent years.

How to stimulate activity in your own home while keeping safe?

We developed the stair assistant AssiStep to stimulate activity and safety in your own home

Since the launch in 2015, the product is now installed in more than 20 countries world-wide.

The AssiStep is certified by the leading global certification organization TÜV, and it's approved for users weighing up to 264 lbs / 19 stones / 120 kg. The AssiStep can be installed in both straight stairs and curved stairs and gives a solid and firm support in front of you when walking up or down. It significantly reduces the risk of falling by providing a barrier between you and the stair, giving you confidence in your everyday life.

Når håndtaket foldes inn til siden tar det veldig lite plass

What does the AssiStep cost?

We receive many calls from customers asking, "How much does the AssiStep cost?".

AssiStep represents an affordable alternative to the electric stair lift, for people who plan to stay active on a daily basis.

However, it is difficult to give a precise estimate of its price. Several factors can influence the cost of the installation: type of staircase (landing, curved, straight) the length of the stairs, the nature of the wall, the conditions on site, etc. The price will generally be higher for winding and landing staircases than for straight staircases.

There are two main reasons how we're able to keep the prices much lower than stair lifts:

  1. The AssiStep is a 100% mechanical product, keeping it simple and reliable. There's usually no need for service, and it still works if the power is out in your home
  2. The AssiStep is a 100% module based system. This means that we don't need to tailor our handrail system to your stair, but can instead use finished high quality modules and adapt it to your stair on sight. This reduces labor intensive work and makes it possible for us to install the product in your home quickly.

View our information video:

Why is the AssiStep a good choice?

Designed for your home

The AssiStep is designed and developed by engineers and industrial designers from Norway's leading Technical University.

The AssiStep is designed to blend naturally into your home environment as a discrete solution.

Keeps you safe and active

The AssiStep has been tested and certified by the leading inspection institution TÜV from Germany. It's approved for users weighing up to 264 pounds / 19 stones / 120 kg and is compliant with all required technical safety standards.

Can be installed in most types of stairs

AssiStep is designed to be easily adaptable to your stair. It can be installed in both straight and curved stairs as well as stairs with flat landings.

Takes up very little space

When the handle is folded, you'll only notice the beautiful stainless steel handrail.

Download our brochure

  • .pdf
    Canada-Brochure-AssiStep-2020 Canada-Brochure-AssiStep-2020.pdf Size: 8,7 mb Last ned