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Tag Archives: Wheelchair lifts

Elevators and Stair Lifts can help those with Limited Mobility


As people get older, mobility issues can make simple tasks in your home a strain. Things as easy as walking up the front stairs to the door or going up and down the stairs inside your home can become a difficult task for the elderly or someone with physical limitations. Being able to stay independent at home will improve your quality of life, and there are a few things you can do to increase your mobility.

Homeowners with limited ability have several options when looking to increase mobility both inside and outside of their home, these options include:

stair lift

Stair Lifts. Installing a stair lift in your home is simple, affordable, and practical. Anyone who has trouble with walking up and down stairs can benefit from them. They can be made to fit any staircase, use very little electricity, and fold up when not in use. Most stair lifts use a straight track to travel the staircase, but when a turn is involved, a custom curved track can be made. They run off a rechargeable battery that plugs into a normal wall outlet. This makes stair lifts have a low cost of ownership. When you aren’t using your stair lift, you can fold it up so the stairway is not hindered. There are also models for both indoors and outdoors.

wheelchair lift


Wheelchair Lifts. Wheelchair lifts are a great for someone who uses a wheelchair to get up and down the stairs. With models that can be used indoors or outdoors, wheelchair lifts make any stairs accessible. Some wheelchair lifts work like open elevators and lift you straight up. Others have a track and platform that carry you between floors. The models with platforms are great, because they can fold up like a stair lift. Having the freedom to travel anywhere in your home without ever leaving your wheelchair makes a wheelchair lift a priceless investment.


Home elevators. Home elevators are the most expensive option, but also have many upsides. They will add value to your pneumatic elevatorhome and can travel several floors. The demand for home elevators has increased, and this increases the value of a home that has one. Home elevators also have the ability to travel up and down several floors. New technology like pneumatic elevators can easily be installed into any home because they do not need a pit of machine room. They are self-standing and can be attached to a balcony or travel through a hole in the floor. They are also extremely energy efficient and require little maintenance. There are many models to choose from, and you can get one small enough for a single rider or large enough to fit someone in a wheelchair.

School has no Elevator, Student in Wheelchair is unable to go to Class


A young boy in New York may have to attend a school miles away from his home and friends because of his handicap. John Dilgen is 10 years old and his new school is not wheelchair friendly. So instead of going to IS 34 with his friends from PS 1, John may have to go somewhere else.

John has epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic disorder that causes painful blisters to form on and inside his skin at the slightest irritation, forcing him to use a wheelchair often. “It is very hard,” John said. “I have tons of blisters all over my body. It’s very painful every day.” His skin is so sensitive that John takes a bath every other day and unwrap the bandages that stick to his sores before he gets into the tub. John recently rode a ski bike on a ski trip, and it left him so sore that he couldn’t move.

Very often, John gets blisters around his feet, and he is too blistered to walk. When this happens, he has to use a wheelchair to get around. John is supposed to attend Totten intermediate School 34 when he starts sixth grade this fall. However, John and his parents recently learned that because of his handicap, he would not be able IS 34. The intermediate school, that shares the same school yard as PS 1, has four floors but no elevator.child wheelchair

Now John must attend another school, even though IS 34 is across the street from his house. He would have to take a bus to IS 75, which is several miles away, and John admits that a regular bus trip could be dicey for his condition. If John traveled by bus with no air conditioning, he would sweat, causing his blisters to itch. This would make him scratch and cause more uncomfortable and painful blisters.

There are many other handicapped students from PS 1 who are facing the same fate. Without an elevator to help those who are confined to a wheelchair, they would have to find a new school to attend. The Dilgens family has started a local campaign to have an elevator installed at PS 34 before John would arrive in September. They have collected over 2,000 signatures on a petition and are bringing up the issue with the School Construction Authority.

As of right now it is not looking good for John. Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm said there is no money in IS 34’s budget to install an elevator this year. Grimm did say, however, that four of Staten Island’s middle schools are equipped with elevators, and bus transportation to each one is provided for disabled students. The family is looking for alternative solutions, such as stair lifts, so John can continue his education with all his friends and does not have to take a bus to school.

Using a Wheelchair Lift

Wheelchair lifts make entering a home convenient for a handicapped person and can make commercial buildings ADA compliant. In fact, adding a wheelchair lift to a home or commercial building is comparable to installing a ramp. What makes a wheelchair lift different from a ramp is the amount of space required. A ramp with 5 feet of rise takes up over 120 square feet. A wheelchair lift only occupies 20 square feet. In many cases, a wheelchair lift costs less than a ramp. With a metal frame, a home or commercial wheelchair lift typically has a 34 by 54 inch platform and 42-inch side guards around. A ramp, 16 inches or longer, is added for access to the platform. The metal platform and ramp, additionally, has an anti-skid surface.

When a wheelchair lift is being used, it operates by a screw-drive or hydraulic lift system. The controls are continuous pressure, which means the user must hold a button while the lift is moving. If the user lets go of the button, the lift stops immediately. Once the user is on the platform, he or she holds a button to get the lift to start and stop during travel. Depending upon the model, the platform will move at a speed of eight to 25 feet per minute and can support up to 750 pounds. In case of emergencies, a stop button and audible alarm are added to the setup.

All wheelchair lifts require a 42” high gate to be located at the top point of the lift to prevent a fall hazard. When the vertical travel distance exceeds 6 feet, an enclosed elevator shaft is required. In the case of the latter, up to 12 feet of travel and 3 stops are allowed. Some models of wheelchair lifts come with a metal or plexiglass shaft, while others need to have a shaft built into a building to operate. In all cases, the wheelchair lift operates the same way, but the only difference being the distance the wheelchair travels.

Although designs for wheelchair lifts vary, most take about two days to install into a home or commercial building to make ADA compliant. Those with elevator shafts may take a bit longer to add.

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