As people get older, they find it harder and harder to go upstairs. This can become quite frustrating. Especially if the home you live in has stairs.
One way to overcome this obstacle is by installing a stair lift. Although they may seem complicated at first sight, stair lifts are simple to use and extremely helpful.
They’re even becoming more popular as well. As more elderly and disabled people start to take control of their lives, people continue to turn to stair lifts as a welcome solution.
How Does a Stair Lift Work?
To put it simply, a stair lift is a chair that moves along a track or rail that’s mounted to the stairway.
Many people wrongly assume that stair lift tracks are connected to the wall, but this is not true. They are mounted onto the stair treads as this gets rid of any need to do construction work.
There’s a motor at the chair’s base. It’s usually powered by a battery that’s also located at the base of the chair. The motor will turn a gear that’s installed in the geared strip on the rail or track.
The chair moves in one direction when the motor turns the gear in a certain direction. The chair moves the opposite way when the direction of the motor is reversed.
Stair lifts can be operated by call/send switches so that you don’t have to be on the chair in order to move it. This is especially helpful if someone is on one end of the staircase and the chair is over on the other end.
The user can just use the switch to bring the chair to them.
This switch is also helpful at sending the chair away after using it. Some people don’t like the look of the stair lift sitting at the base of their stairs and would prefer to have it out of sight.
They can then simply call the chair back when they need it next.
Parts of the Stair Lift
Although stair lifts are made differently by the various manufacturers out there, they all share some basic components.
The track of the stair lift is what supports the chair. It also proved the mechanism to move the chair and guides it down and up the stairway.
Some stair lifts come with track overruns. These are placed at the top, bottom, or both ends of the stairs. Their purpose is to help the user more safely dismount the stairs.
The call/send switches are usually installed on the wall by the end of the stair lift track. They’re meant to move the stair lift remotely and they can be either wired or wireless.
The seat is there for the user to sit on and may swivel. This can make it easier for someone to get onto and off of the seat. Many seats can be folded up when not in use to keep it out of the way.
A stair lift may also come with a seat belt to help keep the user secure.
Types of Stair Lifts
There are two main types of stair lifts on the market today. There are straight ones and curved ones.
The type you’ll want to get will depend on how your staircase is designed.
A straight stair lift is one that moves in a straight line up a flight of stairs. The stairs need to be uninterrupted by curves, bends, and landings. These typically cost between $3,000 and $5,000 to be installed.
Curved stair lifts, on the other hand, are more complex as they can go around bends, curves, and corners. These can cost $10,000 or more, depending on how complex the installation is.
Consumers can also sometimes purchase weatherproof lifts for stairs that are outside. There are also standing stair lifts for people who have issues with bending their knees.
When you have your stair lift installed, you should make sure that it’s going to be comfortable for the user. Heavy-set users should make sure that they will fit comfortably in the seat.
If the user is especially tall or short, then raising or lowering the seat might also be a helpful idea.
Nowadays, many stair lifts come with seats, footplates, and armrests that can fold up and be totally out of the way.
Some standard safety features you can expect to see are push-button or rocker-switch controls, footrest sensors, and braking systems.
Also, depending on the chair’s design, you might even have the option to choose between a battery-powered (DC) stair lift and an electric (AC) one.
Battery-powered units typically recharge at the base station although some can recharge no matter where they are on the track. These ones are also smoother and quieter than the electric lifts.
Another major benefit to them is that they’ll work even if there’s a power outage in the house.
Finding Your Perfect Stair Lifts
By installing a stair lift in your home, you’re empowering someone by giving them the mobility they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Stair lifts totally get rid of what is a major obstacle for many Americans.
It’s no wonder that people are installing more stair lifts than ever before.
If you’re looking to purchase a new stair lift or other mobility devices, then you’ve come to the right place!