Stair lift for the disabled

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Stair lift for the disabled

Disability affects people in many ways - so choosing the appropriate stair lift involves a certain amount of research. The features, design and operation of the product will all need to be taken in to consideration.

Most people's view of a stair lift is of a seated lift that the passenger sits on as they ride up and down a rail to the top of a set of stairs.

This kind of stair lift can be suitable for someone with enough mobility to reach the chair either unaided or with some help and then be able to sit alone as they or someone else operates the lift.

People who have difficulty bending their knees but can stand upright may, on the other hand, benefit from using a perch stair lift. In this case the person using the stair lift stands on a footplate. They can be strapped in with a safety belt to avoid falling and the stair lift should have handles to hold on to during the journey. There will also be a back rest to lean on.

Disabled people who use a wheelchair will often require some sort of platform lift.

The name implies the way this type of stair lift operates: the user's wheelchair stands on a metal platform and then the lift moves this and the user, still sitting in their wheelchair, up the flight of stairs. In domestic homes with narrow stairs this can sometimes be difficult or impossible to install.

Some platform lifts can be installed alongside flights of stairs - so they do not obstruct the stairs for other users.

Another option is to install an elevator. There are many types of elevator for domestic and public buildings. Here, a wheelchair user or someone with restricted movement can enter the elevator, close the door behind them and be taken to the next floor in the building.

Cost can be a big issue. A traditional rail stair lift is cheaper than a platform lift which, in turn, is usually less expensive than an elevator.

Controls may also need to be looked at. Your stair lift supplier will be able to direct you to the form of control that best meets your needs. Some stair lifts are supplied with a remote control. This can help you summon the lift from a different floor. It can also be used by a family member or support worker to operate the stair lift on your behalf.