Twenty years out from the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the world still isn’t always kind to wheelchair users.
Just ask anyone who’s visited a supposedly “accessible” business only to find a step at the front door or a narrow entryway.
That’s why it’s crucial that people who use wheelchairs feel safe and comfortable at home, and why stair lifts for wheelchair users are so valuable.
Read on to learn some of the benefits of a wheelchair stair lift.
Continue reading "What are the Benefits of Stair Lifts for Wheelchairs?"
We’ve been providing stair lift installations for long enough now to anticipate certain questions.
Will it work if I have a curved staircase?
Do stair lifts use a lot of electricity?
Is it safe?
All reasonable questions, all of which we can answer. In this blog post, we’ll address some of the common questions we get from customers considering a stair lift installation.
Continue reading "Do Stair Lifts Use a Lot of Electricity (and Other Common Questions)"
On one hand, a stair lift is a simple device: a chair, a railing, a power source, designed to get users up and down the steps. They could be curved stair lift or straight, but they still have the same basic job.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about stair lifts. In this blog post, we’ll try to separate the myths about stair lifts from the facts.
Continue reading "Stair Lift Myths Vs Stair Lift Facts"
The idea of going more than a year without taking your car to a mechanic seems ridiculous.
Even if we weren’t required by law to have our vehicles inspected, we’d want to have a professional check them out to make sure everything was in good working order.
The same thing applies to your stair lift. Having it serviced once a year can ensure safe passage for you or your loved ones. Continue reading "How Often Should I Have My Stair Lift Serviced?"
When you have a regular, up-and-down staircase, stair lift installation is easy. A straight staircase will typically be much less work than curved stairs.
But doesn’t mean stair lift installation is impossible if you live in a home with a curved staircase, although it still presents a challenge. Continue reading "Can Stair Lifts Be Fitted to Any Stairs?"
When we’re just starting out in life, the phrase “the American dream” conjures up images of things like landing a great job or owning your own home.
Older Americans, meanwhile, have a different dream: staying in that home as they age. Survey after survey has found that a majority of people 55 and over want to live as independently for as they can as long as they can. Continue reading "What Type of Stair Lift is Right for Me?"
We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the benefits of installing a stair lift. But with this blog post, we’re moving outdoors and focusing on a device that performs a lot of the same functions as a stair lift. It’s time to meet the VPL, otherwise known as the vertical platform lift. Continue reading "What Are the Benefits of a Vertical Platform Lift?"
There’s a reason a lot of us find this time of year so stressful. The holidays can be anything but a holiday when you’re hosting guests.
And when one of those guests has a disability, your job goes beyond basic cooking and cleaning to making sure your home is as accessible as it is hospitable.
That’s why many people rent stair lifts around this time of year: it gives their guests who might have mobility challenges a way to access every part of the home.
But that’s not the only thing you can do to help visitors who might have disabilities. Here’s a list of some of the ways you can make your home more accessible and welcoming this year.
For guests with mobility issues
- As we said earlier, you might want to rent a stair lift for the holidays. This will help both wheelchair users and older visitors who might have trouble on the steps.
- You can also rent a temporary wheelchair ramp if your home has a lot of steps.
- Invest in a shower seat and removable showerhead for guests that will be staying overnight.
- Remove things that might become low-level obstacles, such as throw rugs or power cords.
- Most wheelchairs are between 24 and 27 inches wide. Give wheelchair users enough space to go from room to room. This may mean – temporarily – removing smaller pieces of furniture.
For guests with Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Speak with their caregivers ahead of time to learn your guest’s emotional triggers or stressors.
- Put up a sign to guide people to the bathroom.
- Set aside a quiet space where guests can nap if they feel restless.
- Lock doors and block stairways.
- Your guests may remember you, but they may not always remember recent milestones. You may have to talk about things like a wedding or the birth of a grandchild as if they’re learning about it for the first time.
- Above all, remain positive and try to answer their questions in a way that doesn’t make them feel bad about forgetting things.
For guests who are deaf or have trouble hearing
- Make eye contact when you talk with them, even if you’re speaking to someone acting as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. If there’s no interpreter on hand, have a note pad handy – or just write things using the notes app on your phone.
- Better still, learn a few phrases in ASL, like “It’s good to see you” or “It’s time for dinner.”
- Communicate normally. There’s no need to shout or make overexaggerated movements with your mouth while speaking.
For guests with visual impairments
- Allow them to take your elbow for guidance when showing them around. Keep an eye out for steps and inclines.
- Show them to their seats at meals and let them know where things are on the table using clock directions. (“The cranberry sauce is at your two o’clock.”)
- There’s no need to speak to people with visual impairment in a louder voice.
- Introduce yourself with a hug or handshake, saying your name in the process. If there’s someone else with you, let the guest know where they are in relation to you. (“My son Jim is standing to my right.”)
- If you need to move to another room during a conversation, be sure to let the guest know. (“I’m just stepping into the kitchen for a second.”)
Your holiday guests deserve to feel at home in your house, no matter their circumstances. At Pennsylvania Stairlifts, we’ve dedicated ourselves to making that happen.
Whether you need a permanent stair lift installation or just want to rent a stair lift for the holidays, we’re ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our stair lift rentals. We look forward to helping your guests feel at home.
The English language has a lot of terms that tend to get used interchangeably, like “sofa” and “couch” or “dinner” and “supper.”
We’ll add to the list “chair lift” and “stair lift.” Depending on who you ask, these are either two very different devices or two ways of describing the same thing. In this blog post, we’ll investigate the difference between a stair lift and a chair lift. Continue reading "Is There a Difference Between a Stair Lift and a Chair Lift and a Lift Chair?"
Want to make your home more accessible? Remember these words: universal design.
It’s a term that means an environment that can be used or accessed by anyone. You’ll find it at work on everything from the electronic doors at supermarkets to the curb cuts that allow wheelchair users to get on and off sidewalks. Continue reading "Want to Stay in Your Home? Embrace Universal Home Design"