We’re sure you’ve seen a stair lift at some point, even if it was on TV or a movie. But if you’re looking to buy or rent a stair lift, you’ll have one important question: How do they work? In this blog post, we’ll look at the basics of a stair lift: what they’re made of, how they work, and how they can help.
Parts & pieces of your stair lift
The central part of the stair lift is known as the carriage, which is comprised of the seat, footplate, armrests and seatbelt, along with the motor and battery that power the lift.
Most stair lifts can be moved horizontally at the top or bottom of the stairs to allow people to get on and off. Some stair lifts don’t feature a seat and are designed to hold a wheelchair, or to let people use them while standing.
How do stair lifts get up and down stairs? They travel by rail. In most cases, the rail is attached to the stairs, and follows a straight path or a curve, depending on how the staircase is designed. Because curved rails have to be custom-made for a staircase, they are much more costly than straight rails.
Powering the stair lift
How do you make the lift move? In most cases, it’s either with a control directly on the armrest or with a remote control. If you have a stair lift operated by remote control, it’s important to have two remotes, one that stays upstairs, and one that you keep downstairs.
What powers the stair lift to go up and down the rail? In most modern stair lift models, you’ll find a rechargeable battery beneath the seat, allowing you to still use the lift even if your home loses power. Older models use electricity but feature a battery back-up. So, whether you want to buy or rent a stair lift, you can rest assured that it won’t run out of power any time soon.
How fast can this thing go?
As you might expect, a vehicle designed to transport people from one floor to another isn’t going to zoom up and down your steps. The average speed of most stair lifts is under one mile per hour. Stair lifts also come with recommended weight restrictions. For seated lifts, it’s usually around 360 lbs. For lifts where the user stands or perches, the restriction is normally 224 lbs.
Who should get a stair lift?
When we think of a stair lift, we might think of a beloved elderly relative using it to get to bed at night. But a stair lift is something for anyone who’s having trouble using the stairs.
It may be that you have a temporary injury that’s keeping you from getting up and down the steps. And while a stair lift might seem like a permanent solution to a short-term problem, remember that you can always rent a stair lift for your home.
What are the benefits?
The chief benefit of a stair list is independence. With a stair lift, you don’t need to worry about relying on someone else to get you up and down the steps. Nor do you need to worry about retrofitting your home – turning a downstairs room into a bedroom, remodeling a bathroom.
Let PA Stair Lifts make your life simpler
Maybe you’re realizing you can’t make it up the steps the way you used to. Maybe you’ve just had an elderly parent move in with you, and you have to make things easier for them. Whatever the case, PA Stair Lifts can help.
We’ll advise you on how to install and care for a stair lift in your home. For years we’ve been serving customers in Philadelphia and Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Lehigh counties. Contact us today and we’ll work with you on finding a lift that’s right for your home.