Dealing With Diabetes: What You Should Know

« Back to Home

What Are Your Options When You Can't Climb Stairs?

Posted on

If you are able to walk on level ground, but can no longer ascend and descend stairs, a chair lift will allow you to access your second floor, basement, or even your garden. Platform lifts, which are an adapted form of chair lift, will take those who must use a wheelchair to previously inaccessible areas of their home.

How do chair lifts work?

Chair lifts are attached to a metal track that runs along one wall of a stairway. Even though the tracks run parallel to the wall, they are actually connected to the stairs themselves. Because the tracks are attached to the stairs, the homeowner doesn't need to worry about the integrity of the wall and its ability to support their weight

Chair lifts are simple to operate, with paddles that are pushed down or up to control the direction of the chair. They are also easy to access, with swivel seats and lift up arms to allow access from multiple angles. Seats also fold up when not in use to allow others in the home to use the stairs without obstruction.

They are available in battery operated and plug in models, but battery operated models still need to be plugged in when the battery needs to be charged, so access to an electrical outlet is mandatory. However, a stair glide chair lift doesn't require any special type of outlet for either electric model operation or recharging battery models.

Special weather resistant models can be used outdoors to allow riders to work in their garden or pursue other interests.

Safety considerations

Chair lifts require constant pressure on the paddle for the chair to move, so if the rider wishes to stop for any reason, they can simply release the paddle. They are also equipped with safety sensors that stop their ascent or descent if something is in their path, such as a dropped object, a pet, or a child.

Electric models have a battery backup so riders won't be stranded if the power goes out while the lift is in operation.

Heavy duty models are available for those whose weight exceeds the limit of a regular chair lift.

Remote controls on both the upper and lower levels can bring the chair lift to a rider in a multiple user household. This is essential if one rider has taken the chair lift to another floor and is unable to get to the lift because of mobility issues. The other rider can then summon the lift by remote control to reach them.

Platform lifts

These lifts are similar in operation to chair lifts, but they are designed to carry wheelchairs or riders who cannot bend their knees and must stand to ride. Instead of a chair, this type of lift has a retractable platform that lowers to accept a rider, then retracts upward after the rider has cleared the platform. This allows other occupants of the home to use the stairs.

You can also use chair lifts or platform lifts to move heavy or bulky objects up and down stairs, which is an added bonus to think about if you're considering adding a chair lift to your home.

For professional lifts, contact a company such as All-Star Lifts.