Ruth Amos is making me feel old. Why? When she was 16 years old, she founded StairSteady and invented a contraption of the same name to help the elderly use the stairs. When I was 16, I — uh... Why don't we get back to Ruth?
When not in use, the handle goes from the square section to a round at either the top or bottom of the stairs and so the handle folds away parallel with the wall and is unobtrusive. This allows the stairs to be used by both those with unlimited and limited mobility in the household.The benefit here is that older folks could still work their legs a bit. The downside? If you're at the top of the stairs and the SteadyStair is at the bottom, there's no way to recover it like a motorized chair. Amos and her team have a solution for that, though — two bars mounted to one rail.
SteadyStair is based in the UK and, depending on your setup needs, costs a couple hundred dollars. Good idea — or would you rather just have a chair ferry you up?