Stairs present a hurdle for persons who want to age in place, particularly those suffering from mobility issues. Stair lifts provide a safe alternative that enhances accessibility, facilitates independence, and offers seniors an easy method of getting up and down multi-level spaces. Nonetheless, buying a stair lift from a reputable seller such as oconnorcarrollstairlifts.ie will require you to dig deep in your pocket. This is why knowing your specific requirements, model details and manufacturer plays an integral part in the final decision.
What Is a Stair Lift?
Basically, a stair lift is a chair that ‘raises up’ a stairway through a mechanised track. At times, they are called stairway lifts, stair glides and chair lifts. Stair lifts are connected to the stairs, not the wall. It won’t cause any wall damage since the rail is connected to the stairs’ treads.
How Does a Stair Lift Work?
Although there are some variations between models and makes, stair lifts come with easy controls that make operation straightforward. All stair lifts come with a switch that controls how it moves up and down the stairway. The lift moves up or down the stairway when the user presses and holds onto the switch. When the stair lift gets to the endpoint of the track, the chair will emit a beeping sound once, and stop automatically. If you let go of the switch at any time while being transported, the lift will begin beeping and come to a stop immediately. Star lifts usually come equipped with a seatbelt.
Stair Lift Features
Even if they perform the same function, stair lifts have a shocking number of different features. Some may be beneficial depending on your space and physical limitations while others are made for convenience and safety. Some features you may find in a stair lift include:
- Footrests and armrests
- Foldable seats. This reduces the amount of space the lift takes up when not being used.
- Adjustable seats. This provides the option to spin at the upper level of the stairs to allow you to get out of the stair lift easily.
- Seat belts. This is more of a security feature and is ideal for persons who are frail or experience dizziness.
- Electronic sensors. The sensors help in detecting objects on the stairway that could impede the functionality of the lift.
- Batteries. Are meant for powering the stair lift, in addition to battery chargers that connect to a standard outlet.
- Remote controls.
- Speed controls. These are often located on the armrest.
Why Consider a Stair Lift?
Anybody looking to get from one floor level to another with ease should consider fitting a stair lift in their home. They aren’t only meant for persons who use canes or walkers or wheelchairs.
Going up and down the stairs several times a day can consume a lot of energy. If you suffer from a complication that leaves you with limited energy, a stair lift can help conserve it. Also, medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, liver failure and kidney disease can tire somebody easily. Persons suffering from heart issues especially have to be conscious about how they use their energy.
Some individuals may feel as if a chair lift is an acknowledgement of being frail or getting old. However, as with other mobility tools like walkers and canes, stair lifts provide a way to preserve your independence.
Stair Lift Types
There are essentially three kinds of stair lifts: outdoor, curved and straight. The stair lift you’ll fit will largely depend on the stairway you have in your home.
Straight Stair Lift
This chair lift is the simplest to fit and the most affordable. A straight stair lift has a flat, standardized track to assist you to move from one level to another.
Curved Stair Lift
If your stairway is curved, it will need a bespoke track. Also, it’s likely that you’ll require a bespoke solution if your stairway is multi-level with a landing between the levels. Tailored tracks are separately assembled, manufactured, disassembled and tested before the installation, which increases the cost.
Outdoor Stair Lift
As the name suggests, an outdoor stair lift is made to endure the harsh weather elements as it carries out its function of lifting you from one level to another. The track is fabricated from anodized aluminium and the seat is designed from weather-resistant material – usually marine-grade vinyl. Outdoor stair lifts are frequently used for movement to a deck, pier, patio, or porch.
Are There Safety Concerns?
As long as they are fitted properly and utilised correctly, stair lifts are completely safe for usage. Here are some safety questions to take into account when it comes to stair lifts:
- Does you have enough strength to move from a wheelchair to the chair lift?
- Does the user meet the suggested weight limit?
- How often is the stair lift serviced annually?
- Does your stair lift model have continuously charging batteries so it can operate even when the power is off?
Renting vs. Purchasing a Stair Lift
For individuals who require the services of a stair lift for a short duration, for example, while recuperating from surgery, renting would be a far viable alternative. The type of stair lift and cost will vary. Another option that can help with your short-term needs is opting for a buyback program. This will involve you purchasing a new unit and staying updated with manufacturer-recommended maintenance. When you don’t require the chair lift, you can resell it to a mobility company such as homecaremedicalequipment.ie/stairlifts/ or another person who requires it.