Stair Lifts – Your Options
Stairlifts provide excellent mobility solutions for the elderly, the disabled, and for those who have general difficulty in getting around the house. When mobility becomes an issue, a common option is to move to a single story house or to pay for care, but this can be avoided in many cases with a stair lift installation. They provide much greater independence around the home and make it possible to avoid big and concerning changes. With a wide variety of options, there is a solution to fit the needs and budget of practically anyone. Medical insurance may also cover installations, so make sure you consult your insurance policy.
Finding the Right Match
The main thing to consider when looking for a stair chair lift is the shape of your stairway and the width of your stairs. Stairlifts are connected to the stairs and not to the wall, which means they do not need to be connected next to a wall, and you don’t need to worry too much about wall features getting in the way.
The cheapest and easiest solutions are for straight staircases, as the stair chair railing only needs to be installed straight from the bottom to the top of the stairs. A curved staircase requires curved railings – which are usually customized for each order – which means a longer installation time and a slightly higher expense.
For staircases that have a small turn at the top, there are two options. A straight chair lift can be installed with a platform to let the user walk straight onto the landing, or a curved rail can be installed instead. The first option is cheaper, but is only recommended if the user is confident in walking across the platform. If you are uncertain, go with the safe option of a custom-curved chair lift.
For split staircases (stairs with two separate flights) there is the choice to install a curved rail or two separate straight rails. It is not easy to say which is the most suitable option nor which is the cheapest – it depends on the stair dimensions and the needs of the user.
Features to Look Out For
All of the best and most reputable stair lifts manufacturers offer lots of customizable options, and if you have specific requirements, these manufacturers are definitely the best choice.
Many features can be made automatic to help the user mount and dismount, such as automatic seat swivels. Stairs can often pose a danger, but extended railing solves this problem by taking the user further up away from the top of the stairs. The railing itself can also be a risk, though this can be addressed with custom powered rails that hide themselves when not in use.
Don’t neglect the style and finish of the railing and the chair itself. There are many different options for upholstery and finish which can be matched to the interior decor. Don’t forget the comfort of the chair lift seat either – backrests and extra padding are available for the highest levels of support and comfort.
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Anne Harvester just got a stair lift for her mother’s house and she loves it. Anne refers to McKinley Elevator for quality product at a great reasonable price.