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.
It’s a phenomenon known as aging in place, and something that can only happen when homes repair as safe as possible for their older occupants.
One of the ways to do that is by installing a stair lift. In this blog post, we’ll look at the different types of stair lifts, each of them designed to serve a different purpose.
1. Straight stair lifts
Perhaps the simplest types of stair lifts, straight stair lifts are installed along the side of a straight staircase. They can be installed on either side of the stairs. If your stairs just go from one floor to the next without any curves or landings in the middle, a straight stair lift is right for you.
2. Curved stair lifts
These stair lifts tend to cost more because there’s more work involved. Curved lifts are custom-fit to suit your staircase and can handle a variety of different types of home construction, staircases that encompass more than one floors or that have landings between floors or even spiral staircases.
3. Outdoor stair lifts
These lifts are designed to help people get in and out of their homes in situations where wheelchair ramps may not be practical.
4. Standing lifts
If bending at your hips is difficult, a standing lift allows you to navigate your staircase without sitting. Simply step onto the lift and lean against the cushion while moving up and down with ease.
Common stair lift features
In addition to the different types of stair lifts, lifts come with some standard features you may want to consider, including:
Some stair lifts come with remote controls, allowing users to send the lift up or down the stairs and give your loved ones the ability to control the lift in situations where you can’t.
Some lifts come with wall-mounted call/send control panels. Similar to a remote control, this panel lets users guide the lift down or up the steps even when they aren’t sitting in it. This feature is useful for households where more than one person uses the stair lift. The first person might take the lift down in the morning, while the next person calls it back up.
Safety features are important for all types of stair lifts and can include:
- Limit switches and sensors, both of which have the same aim: to halt the chair when it comes in contact with something in their path.
- Safety switches which keep the chair locked in a safe position for movement. Unless the lift is in the correct position, the chair won’t be able to move.
- Lockable isolation switches, which prevent the chair from moving unless a key is turned. These are good for homes that have small children or pets that may accidentally trigger the lift.
Is someone in your family thinking about aging in place? Pennsylvania Stair Lifts can help. We carry several different types of stair lift for rent and purchase and can work with you to find the right variety with the right features for your home. Contact us today to learn more.