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Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Stair Lift

stair lift photoIf you or a loved one suffers from mobility problems, getting up or down stairs can be a challenge. A home stair lift could be the solution.

Stair lifts can be either straight or curved, depending on the type of staircase in your home. Straight stair lifts go in a straight line up staircases without landings, bends, or curves. Curved stair lifts can go around bends and corners and change direction. Models can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the type of staircase and features included in the stair lift you choose.

Stair lifts attach to stair treads, not the wall, which makes them sturdy. Some companies offer weatherproof stair lifts for outdoor steps.

It is important to consider the characteristics of the person who will be using the stair lift when making a selection. If the person has trouble bending his or her knees, standing, or perch, stair lifts are a good option. These are also useful on narrow staircases. For a heavy person, lifts with wide seats and heavier weight capacities are available. Choosing a stair lift with soft starts and stops is important if the person suffers from lower back pain. This feature should be electronically controlled, since mechanical soft starts do not work as well. Locking swivel seats make it easy to step directly from the lift to the landing.

Most stair lifts have seats, armrests, and footplates that fold up, which minimizes the amount of space that the stair lift takes up when not in use. This is important if other people need to walk up and down the stairs.

The stair lift you choose should have several essential safety features, such as a seatbelt, brake, and footrest sensor. It should have an overspeed governor to prevent it from going out of control when descending the stairs. Safety surfaces can stop the stair lift if it collides with an object on the staircase.

The model you choose should have a push-button or rocker-switch control on the armrest. A call-send unit will allow the user to send the chair from one floor to another. Avoid radio frequency remote controls, since they are subject to outside interference. Most stair lifts are electric, but some companies offer battery-powered options that are quieter and smoother and work even if the power goes out. On-board diagnostics show the stair lift’s operating status and can help trouble shoot problems.

Installing a stair lift can dramatically improve the mobility and independence of you or a loved one. Nationwide Lifts can help you weigh your options and choose the one that is best for your home.

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