Both young and older people may at some point find it difficult to navigate the stairs in their homes. This could be the result of injuries, health conditions such as arthritis and loss of eyesight, loss of balance, and disabilities, among others. The difficulty in mobility hampers free movement within the house especially if there are no ramps. At some point, they may even feel that they have no choice but to sell their multi-level home. Fortunately, a handicap Stair Lift or Chair lift for Stairs is an ideal solution to this problem.
What is a chair lift for stairs?
This is a mechanized chair that is attached to the steps of your staircase and helps an individual move up and down the stairs with ease. Though stair chairs require electricity, most of them are installed with batteries so that they are still operational even without power.
Types of chair lift for stairs
Chair lifts are made differently to accommodate the different needs of the users. Getting acquainted with the various types will help you choose which one will suit your specific conditions.
- Straight stair lifts – these are designed to navigate straight stairs only. Rather than being customized, straight chair lifts are mass-produced and do not require a professional to install. They are the most economical of all chair lift for stairs.
- Heavy-duty stair lifts – this kind of stair lift features larger seats and has the capacity to bear heavy weight.
- Standing stair lifts– also known as a perch lift, a standing stair lift has a smaller platform where the user stands. These are ideal for situations where the health conditions of the user make it easier for them to stand instead of sitting. The stairs could also be so narrow that they cannot accommodate a stair lift with a seat. In this case, a standing stair lift could be installed, as long as there is sufficient headroom.
- Outdoor stair lifts – these are outdoor chair lifts for stairs designed to navigate outdoor stairs. They have features that enable them to withstand extreme temperatures and weather.
- Curved stair lifts – these are customized stair chairs for curved staircases. In case you need a curved handicap stair chair, a professional would have to come and establish the exact stairway curvature and then make one with the customized measurements.
- Incline platform stairlifts – Incline platform stair lifts have elevator-like functionality and are ideal for people using wheelchairs.
How do you choose the right stair lift?
There is a wide range of stair lifts Houston for stairs in the market today, but you will need to make a choice that is based on the following:
Your stair size, shape, and intended use of the stair chair
A straight stair lift would be ideal if you have only a single flight of stairs that do not curve. If there is only a single curve, you could have straight stair lifts installed with an intermediate landing, but this predisposes one to fall during the transfer. Instead, consider installing a curved stair lift.
You will need to have your weight and size in mind when purchasing a stair chair. How you will be using the stair chair will also influence the choice you make. A pre-made straight stair chair usually accommodates a maximum of 300 pounds. If you will be hauling stuff up and down the stairs often, consider installing a heavy-duty stair chair.
Your preferred seat design
Commonly referred to as the carriage, the seat design has a huge impact on the rider’s safety. The stair chair should not be so high that the user cannot stand or sit with ease. Another feature that you should look into on the seat design is whether it is a manual or a power swivel seat. As the seat usually faces the stairway, you may need a swivel so that it comfortably faces the landing at the top or bottom of the stairs. Other safety features may include a seatbelt, a braking system, and motion sensors so that the patient does not run into objects.
The stairway design and dimensions
As there might be other individuals who will be using the stairway on foot, it will be important to put this into consideration. In the event of a narrow stairway, a perch lift would be ideal. Alternatively, some chair lifts can be folded up if not in use.
How much will the chair lift cost?
There is no definite answer to this question as there is a wide range of factors that will determine the final cost of the chair lift installation in your home. Below are factors that will influence the cost:
- Additional features such as digital diagnostics displays, remote control, automatic swivels, motion sensor systems, and so on.
- The type of stair lift
- Whether the stair lift is brand new or reconditioned
- Shipping, delivery, and installation costs
Chair lift maintenance
Routine care and maintenance will ensure that the handicap stair chair performs optimally throughout. The user’s manual will guide you on what maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, what tools to use, and what should be handled by a professional. The basic maintenance routine practices you should observe include the following:
- Clean and lubricate the rail to help the stair chairs move up and down. Dirt particles, dust, and pet hairs may stick on the railing making it difficult for the chair lift to move properly. It should be cleaned with a damp cloth and lubricated after it dries up. It is recommended that you do this every 3 months. You might need to do it more often if you live in an environment that is more prone to dirt, such as the case with outdoor chair lift for stairs.
- Check the wheels on the stair chairs to ensure that they can move and rotate freely. If not, consider having them replaced.
- Check the chair lift for stairs from time to time for any loose nuts, bolts, and screws, and make the necessary adjustments. Take care not to over-tighten them as this may lead to their stripping.
- Greasing of the swivel seat is recommended after every 6 months, depending on the frequency of use and the environment. However, you need to check it every once in a while for any breakage or damage. If any, they should be replaced immediately.
- Always use a soft cloth to clean the chair lift for stairs and its components.
- It would be prudent to have a technician check the system every once in a while even if you are not experiencing any hitches. This will help you know of any preventive maintenance practices you should observe.
Always read through the owner’s manual as it contains specific instructions for your chair lift for stairs model. It will also guide you on how often you need to have it inspected and how often components need to be serviced and replaced. Keep in mind that failure to carry out routine maintenance could render the chair lift’s warranty void.
Do you find it difficult to navigate the stairs in your home? Are you considering selling your multi-level home due to difficulty in climbing the stairs? Delta Accessibility has you covered.
We have a wide range of chair lift solutions to fit all our clients’ needs. We offer free estimates and guarantee you the most reasonable prices. For more information, contact us today and speak to one of our experts about an ideal mobility solution for your living space.
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