Installing stairlifts allow the elderly and people with mobility issues to move up and down staircases with ease, safety and confidence. Leading manufacturers offer different types of stair chair lifts to meet varied needs. It’s necessary to go by some important considerations when purchasing a stairlift, especially for an older adult:
- Type of stairways – Generally, stairway designs in different properties vary and may be straight, spiral or curved. So you need to purchase a lift to suit the type of stairway and the individual requirements of the user. Straight stairlifts are for a straight line of stairs. On the other hand, for homes with a curved or spiral staircase, choose a stairchair lift with specially designed tracks that allow them to turn corners.
- Progressive conditions – Older adults often suffer from a progressive condition such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis or spinal problems that could deteriorate in future. So always determine what would be the best long-term solution. Though a person may be in a position to use a seated lift, this might change in future. Installing a platform lift for the option of travelling in a wheelchair in the future would be ideal in such situations.
- House design – Home design is an important factor to be considered. It is essential to take measurements of stairways as it is essential to determine what size of lift unit to install. It is essential to measure the length of track from the top to the bottom of the steps. Also, the height and width of the steps need to be measured. For instance, in certain cases, the track of the wheelchair lift cannot move beyond the bottom or top step of the stairways as there may be doors, banister rails, thresholds or other potential obstructions near the stairways. A hinged track or rail system is an ideal option to overcome this problem. A hinged track can be folded away from arches or doorways to provide clear access.
- Travelling position – Consider the travelling position of the user (whether sitting or perching). If a user prefers perching, it is important to check whether there is sufficient headroom when the device travels up the stairs.
- Compactness – For individuals who will be accessing the stairs on foot, the amount of space the lift takes up would be an important consideration. There are stair chair lifts that can be folded up compactly to allow adequate space for others to go up and down the stairs.
- Controls – It is important to evaluate whether the user has the dexterity to operate the device remote control or else an alternative method like a joystick or toggle controls would be required.
- Budget – It is important to determine the cost of the device to check whether it matches your personal budget. The price of each product model will vary based on its features and specifications such as design, loading capacity and functionality.
Taking account of all these factors when buying a stairlift will ensure a product that meets your specific requirements.