There are many reasons why you may choose to get a stair lift, and they’re often useful for people who have two-storied homes and a disability or problem which makes it difficult or impossible for them to climb the stairs.
If you or a family member have mobility issues, a stair lift will carry you up and down the stairs in a seated position, keeping you safe and giving you easy access to the basement or second story of your home. There are many different options available however, so it makes sense to do some research before you install a stair lift in your home.
There are two types of stair lifts that you can choose from: curved and straight. The type you should choose will depend on your staircase and the way it is designed. A straight stair lift will travel only in a straight line up the flight of stairs, and the travel will need to be uninterrupted by curves, bends or landings. Curved lifts, on the other hand, are far more elaborate and will change direction, traveling around corners and bends. These are usually the more expensive option, but necessary for some staircases.
These days, most stair lifts will have footplates, armrests and seats that can fold up and be moved out of the way, along with swivels seats that make it easier to get in and out of the chair. They will also usually have safety features such as safety controls, footrest sensors, breaking systems and seatbelts, along with controls to help you send the unit to the top or bottom of the stairs.
You may also be able to choose between battery and electric operated stairlifts. Battery units will charge either on the track or at the base station, and are usually smoother and quieter than electric lifts, and their main advantage is that they will still work even if there’s a power outage.
A swivel seat is very important, as most seats will face away from the bannister or wall and towards the stairwell. This can be dangerous if the seat doesn’t swivel, as the user may end up needing to get in and out of the carriage of the stairlift from either the bottom or top stair step, which means an increased risk of falling. For this reason, swivel seats are superior since they allow the passenger to actually move the carriage towards the landing and away from the stairs, so they can safely stand up and sit down on a level, flat, and wide surface. There are also safety locks that make sure the seat won’t move while the carriage is going up and down the stairs.
For those who have difficulty bending their knees or sitting, you also have the option of a perch or stand chair lift, which has a carriage allowing you to stand while traveling on the lift or lightly perch on a higher seat.
If you need a stair lift, be sure to look into your options so you can keep the freedom of moving around your home.