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The Basics of a Stair Lift

buy or rent a stair lift in PAWe’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.

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What to Look for in a Stair Lift

install a stair lift
Image courtesy of www.meditekstairlifts.com

There are a number of reasons which might lead you to install a stair lift.

It might be something your doctor or physical therapist recommends after therapy.  It may only be for a short recuperation period, but it will make your home safer and more accessible. Whether you need to buy or rent stair lifts, we offer a variety of models to suit your needs.

Or you may find that you or a loved one needs additional assistance going from the one level of your house to another.  A stair lift can get you there safely, without risk of trips or falls.

PA Stair Lifts is a proud distributor of MediTek Stairlifts.  They offer both multi-flight and external stair lifts as well as a range of accessories.  Read on to learn more about some of the unique features of these accessibility products. It will tell you what to look for in a stair lift.

Continuous Battery Charging

The batteries constantly recharge and remain ready for use. Constant charging also preserves battery life, so your stair lift’s batteries maintain their charge longer.

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How a Bruno Vertical Platform Lift Can Help You

vertical platform lifts in PAIf you happen to be a regular reader of the PA Stairlifts blog, you would certainly be forgiven for assuming that the only accessibility products we offer are, well … stair lifts.

Over the past year, we’ve spoken to you about stairlift funding. We’ve written about how stair lifts can help seniors with mobility issues hang onto their hobbies. We’ve even explained how the installation of a home stair lift can benefit the other members of your family. And heck: The word “stairlift” is even one-half of our company name!

As it happens, we also sell vertical platform lifts—they’re sometimes referred to as “porch lifts” or “residential platform lifts”—and they’re manufactured by Bruno right here in the United States. Vertical platform lifts are designed for people who use wheelchairs, specifically those who aren’t able to lift themselves out of their wheelchair and into the chair that’s attached to a stairlift.

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Making Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

wheelchair accessible home stairliftThanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, most public places are designed with people who use wheelchairs in mind: ramps or ground-level entry ways, handicap parking, automatic doors.

But when it comes to your home, it’s a different story. Chances are your house wasn’t designed with wheelchair use in mind. And that can be a problem if you or a loved one finds themselves needing a wheelchair to get around.

At Pennsylvania Stair Lifts, this is the type of thing we think about all the time. Making homes more wheelchair-friendly is our business. That’s why we’ve put together these tips for making your home wheelchair accessible.

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Why Physical and Occupational Therapists Recommend Home Stair Lifts

home stair lift for physical therapy patientsIf you were to stop 10 random people on the street and ask them to describe the physical attributes of the sort of person who might have a home stair lift installed in their home, how do you think they would respond?

We can’t say for sure, but we can probably agree on this: The words “old,” or “elderly,” or “senior” would probably feature in almost every description. And that likely wouldn’t come as a surprise. Because for reasons that are mostly obvious, the average stair lift or “stair chair” owner is also a senior citizen.

The Elderly Aren’t the Only Population Who Can Benefit from Stair Lifts

But common sense tells us that elderly people suffering from arthritis or other mobility issues aren’t the only demographic that can benefit from a device that transports you up and down a set of stairs.

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Caring for an Elderly Parent in Your Home

elder care at home with PA stair liftsThere are a few million multi-generational households in America, according to the AARP. The combination of rising housing costs, a stagnant economy and an aging population have led to more and more homes where parents, children and grandparents live under one roof.

Having an aging parent move in with you comes with rewards. You can share costs, forge closer bonds and have someone to help with some level of child care.

At the same time, a multi-generation household can cause stresses for both you and your parents. You want them to feel like part of the family while also preserving your core family’s unity. And if they’re staying with you for health reasons, you may end up caring for them while also trying to raise children.

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New Technologies for an Aging Population

pa stair lifts technology & seniorsHere’s a pop culture cliché we think needs to be retired: the older person who doesn’t quite get new technology.

They show up on TV and in movies all the time, whether it’s something like a grandmother referring to “Facebook” as “Facetube” or a granddad not understanding how an iPad works.

The truth is there are plenty of seniors plugged into social networks and happily using the same devices as their grandchildren.

In addition to helping them stay connected, the digital age is helping senior citizens live longer, and better, lives. Here are some technologies making that happen:

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Mobility Tips for Aging in Place

aging in placeFor a growing number of aging Americans who are no longer quite as capable as they once were of getting around without assistance, or of completing everyday activities without help, the idea of moving into a senior care facility simply doesn’t sound appealing.

Instead, they would rather remain in the homes in which they’ve spent their adult lives. Homes that are familiar, and where they feel comfortable and safe. Homes, in many instances, with mortgages that have long ago been paid off.

So many older Americans, in fact, have begun choosing to remain in their homes regardless of their ability to adequately look after themselves that a phrase has been coined for the trend. It’s known as “aging in place.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), aging in place is nothing more than “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

A senior who chooses to age in place, in other words, is a person who hasn’t yet given up on life. This is a person, you might say, who is confident that he or she can overcome any obstacles that may appear during the quest to continue living a happily fulfilled and well-rounded life.

If that sounds like you, or like someone you love, we have good news: There are any number of simple and affordable home modifications that can make any house a safer and more welcoming place for people with mobility issues, vision problems, or nearly any other impediment that tends to be common in old age.

Here are just a few ideas for transforming a non-accessible home into a place where you or your aging relatives can age in place without constant fear of injury.

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Baby Boomers Take a Proactive Approach to Aging

stair lift rentals in PAIn 2011, the AARP did a survey of older homeowners and found most of them preferred to “age in place” instead of moving into a nursing home or other form of senior housing.

“The overwhelming majority of people want to stay in their homes,” age-in-place consultant Alissa Boroff told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2014. “But the way we’re building homes, we’re not supporting their needs. There’s not enough universal design so people can age gracefully.”

Universal design refers to the concept of building homes so that they work for people at every stage of their lives. When that’s not the case, many homeowners wind up taking a proactive approach to aging and redesigning their homes to fit their eventual needs.

The Star-Tribune profiled a few couples who had remodeled their homes to make them more accessible. One added a bathroom with a walk-in shower and wheelchair accessible sink, while another added a bedroom and bathroom to their first floor.

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Our Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Amusement Parks

wheelchair accessible parks stair lifts philadelphia
Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Tex.

It’s tough to say exactly how many wheelchair users there are in the United States. Some statistics claim there are nearly 3 million regular users of wheelchairs in the country, while a recent report published by the Disability Statistics Center of the University of California suggests the number is closer to 1.7 million. But no matter how you slice it, one thing’s for sure: That’s a whole lot of people.

If you spend the majority of your day—or your entire day—in a wheelchair, you know full well just how frustrating it can be to get from point A to point B. According to the aforementioned University of California report, for instance, “four-fifths of wheelchair users report that their local public transportation system is difficult to use or to get to.” And “two-thirds of mobility device users have limitations in one or more of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).” So the fact that most leisure activities aren’t designed to be easy for people with disabilities shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to any of us.

However, there is a good news for wheelchair-bound leisure seekers, both here in the United States and abroad. As accessibility issues are becoming more and more mainstream—and in some circles, more expected—theme parks, amusement parks, and other vacation spots that have traditionally been off-limits to those in wheelchairs are beginning to change their ways.

If you’re looking for a bit of traditional theme park fun but aren’t able to leave your chair, the following guide is a good place to start searching for opportunities.

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