The physically challenged and the aging have the most to gain from stair lifts. But if your present home wasn’t designed with access in mind, you might need to make some aging-in-place modifications for yourself or a loved one with a physical impairment.
There are varying types of stair lifts, and so it’s of paramount importance to choose a model that most ideally fits your unique lifestyle.
Types of Stair Lifts
Although there are many factors to consider when choosing the right home stair lift, the design of the stairway itself determines the type of lift you’ll need to install: straight or curved. However, when choosing the stairlift that will ultimately serve your needs, you should first decide exactly where you want to have it installed.
With straight stairways, stair lifts can be installed on either side of the stairway. Curved stair lifts have to be customized, and this may necessitate a change in structure, which in turn can make them much more costly to install than straight lifts. Professionally installed stairlifts are bespoke to serve your stairway efficiently, allowing for curves, turns and landings.
With the current market being flooded with varieties of models, selecting the ideal stair chair lift can be a daunting task. This article will guide you in choosing the best stairlift for your home.
Factors to Consider While Looking At Different Kinds of Home Stair Lifts
The most popular and best-known stairchair design is a chair that moves smoothly up and down a rail. These chairs generally come with armrests, footrests, seat belts, and either manual or powered swivel seats.
These lifts can be custom made to accommodate wheelchairs, and can also be designed as perching models. Some models come with adjustable arms, seats and footrests that can be quickly shifted to allow for easy operation.
Also known as the standing stair lift, the perch lift is an excellent choice for anyone with knee problems, or who is otherwise unable to sit down easily. PA Stair Lifts offers a unique Stand & Perch chair, which allows its user to either stand or perch while ascending or descending a staircase.
Chair Lift Flexibility
An effective chair lift should be able to swivel away from the crest of your stairs to the appropriate angle. Some lifts do not rotate properly, making it dangerous to step off the lift when it reaches the top of the stairs.
Additionally, some stairchairs only swing to right angles, while others have a wider angle of movement. A wider angle may be much more convenient for your home, but if you’re not entirely sure, reach out to a professional, who can inspect your home and its staircase with the trained eye of an expert.
The User’s Physique
Before you choose a stair lift, ensure that you put into consideration the physique of the person (or people) who’ll be using the chair. You’ll want to consider weight, height, and the size of the chair with respect to the user’s body size. These few parameters will help you settle on the best stairlift for your current needs.
The Size of the Stair Lift
Consider the size of the unit to be installed. A stair lift should always leave at least some space along the stairway, in order to allow visitors or more mobile members of the house to walk past and around it. A well-designed stair lift model, in fact, should fold and unfold into a compact size with little effort.
PA Stairlift offers chairs that feature folding seats and footrests, including a model made for those who find bending down to life the footrest difficult: It links the seat and footrest, so that when one is raised or lifted, the other is as well.
The Power Source
Most stairchairs are either AC or DC powered. Assuming the general power situation in your neighborhood is stable, an AC lift should work just fine. If power outages are a common problem in your area, however, you may want to think about investing in a more expensive DC powered stair lift. A DC stair lift comes outfitted with a battery backup system, which allows the unit to remain function even in the instance of a power outage.
Reliability and Warranty
A stair lift is a massive investment, and therefore its reliability definitely does matter. Whenever you purchase a mechanical or electrical product, check the extensiveness of its warranty. A new unit will probably cause you no problems, but as it ages, you’ll want to be reassured that you can get support from the unit’s manufacturer.
Additionally, it is vital that the company selling your stairchair has a good market reputation. In short, select a unit that will require the least possible maintenance, but with a comprehensive warranty.
Stair Lift Style
A stair lift’s hardware and set covers come in a variety of colors, which means that you should be able to find one that suits your preferences and tastes.
Installing a stair lift can cost upwards of $15k. Although Medicare does not cover stairchairs, some federal programs, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), do provide cash grants to disabled veterans to help cover some costs.
Want to Know More?
Would you like to know more about how a stair lift can help improve the quality of your life, or the life of a loved one? If so — and if you’re in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware tri-state area — contact the team at Pennsylvania Stair Lifts. Our skilled professionals are always happy to help!
We service the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond, including South Jersey, Delaware, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County, Berks County, and more.