Stair lifts are chairs that are motorized and move along a track mounted along a staircase. Stair lifts may or may not have a seat or the chair and may only have safety handles depending on the type purchased. These lifts are installed to help people with limited mobility to move up and down the staircase. These may be installed indoors as well as outdoors based on the requirement. With costs ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, stair lifts can be expensive investments since you will need to pay extra for installation as well as servicing. Nonetheless, these can be essential investments since stair lifts are useful in preventing injuring caused due to falling and tripping while using the stairs. This is especially applicable for homes with senior residents. If you are planning to buy and install stair lifts, here are a few questions you will probably have in your mind.’
When should you install stair lifts at home?
- A stair lift can be useful if there has been reduced mobility due to an accident or a trip or a fall, which makes it difficult for the person to navigate stairs.
- If a patient has returned home after an extended stay in the hospital, a stair lift may be required for the patient to move around independently without any risk of injury. In such cases, installing stair lifts can be a preventive measure against future accidents. This is especially true in case of seniors.
- Stair lifts can be installed in case a person has a disability or a physically debilitating illness such as arthritis that restricts their movement, especially their ability to move up and down the stairs. The use of stair lifts can reduce dependency.
What are the different types of stair lifts?
- Straight stair lift: This is the most common type of stair lift. The installation of a straight stair lift is quite hassle free since it involves just fitting a stair lift chair and a straight track to the chair. Also, there is no track to be fitted to the wall.
- Curved stair lift: Another common type of stair lifts is the curved stair lift. This type of stair lift is suitable for homes with spiral staircases or staircases that have corners. The chair is similar to that of a straight stair lift and the track is curved that manage turns at 90° and 180°.
- Perch or standing stair lift: Perch or standing stair lifts are suitable for narrow staircases. Also, if a person finds it uncomfortable to sit and also to stand for more than a minute can use a perch stair lift. It has a small perch seat for support and for using the stair lift in a position close to standing. Standing stair lifts do not have any seat or perch, but come with safety belts and guards.
Are there any weight limits on stair lifts?
- Yes, there are weight limits on stair lifts. Different brands have different categories of stair lifts that can cater to people with varying body weights.
- The average stair lift can accommodate around 264 lbs. This average value can vary depending on the make and model of the stair lift.
- The maximum weight that can be handled by stair lifts in the XXL category is 400 lbs to 500 lbs. The size of the seat also becomes wider as the weight capacity of the stair lift increases.
What precautions should be taken when you buy used stair lifts?
- Before buying used stair lift, check whether the manufacturer is still in business and whether they still make that particular model of stair lifts. This is important because you may need to service the stair lift and require to replace parts.
- Check the age of the stair lift. There is no point in buying and installing a stair lift that has been used heavily and may break down later on. It is advisable to buy stair lifts that are not more than two years old and at least look new with no visibly broken or damaged parts.
- Ensure that the used stair lift has a warranty attached. It is necessary that the stair lift comes with parts and labor warranty for a period of at least six months to one year. A no-warranty stair lift may lead to expensive repairs. There will be no point in buying a used stair lift at a cheaper price if you are spending a lot on repairs and servicing.
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