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Stair lifts 101Stairlifts are freedom. The average person uses a staircase over 250,000 times in their life. But as we get older, even by the age of 30, this can become increasingly difficult. By the time many people reach retirement age, they may want to be done with staircases altogether. When you live in a multi-story home, this can make daily life unnecessarily difficult. But there has to be a better option than moving to smaller, single-story housing—especially since you probably have so many cherished memories at your home. Stairlifts have been the solution for this problem for tens of thousands of people, and more are turning to them for help every single day. This page will outline everything you need to know about the options available to you and what to expect in the buying process.
Types of stairlifts.
Hinged TracksFor homeowners who have limited space at either the top or bottom of their staircase, Hinged Track stairlifts could be the best option. At end of each track, the stairlift rail will fold back on itself to create more room and eliminate any tripping hazards that might be present with other stairlift options.
Slide TrackThis contemporary update to the Hinged Track stairlift eliminates the need for the hinged track. The slide track is best used for instances where there is a door at the bottom of a staircase so that it will not cause any blockages in the landing. Also note that it is faster and easier to install than the a normal hinged track!
Seated StairliftSeated Stairlifts are the most popular model of the stairlift and probably the most commonly seen. The Seated Stairlift is exactly what it sounds like, serving as a comfortable chair for users as it carries them automatically up and down stairs.
Perch StairliftFor more mobile and users, and those who find sitting difficult, the Perch Stairlift is a model that provides support to users on their upper legs, so that there is less of a need to bend hip and knee joints. These stairlifts come with optional seatbelts so users can ensure they are secure.
How stair lift works.
Energy UseThe vast majority of stairlifts on the market today are electrically powered. However, in case of a power outage, most models have a rechargeable backup battery that automatically activates when AC electricity is not available.
ControlsMost stairlifts are operated by a control panel located on the arm of the lift. These come in a variety of forms, including standard joysticks, bi-directional rocker switches and toggle joysticks, which are ideal for users with arthritis and other mobility issues with their hands.
Buying vs. RentingIt is entirely possible to rent a stairlift rather than purchase outright. Reasons for renting a stairlift short term include when users are recovering from an injury or surgery, living in temporary residence, want to have a lower initial payment with a reasonable monthly fee or just aren’t yet sure which model they will be comfortable using longterm.
How to choose the right stairlift.How do you choose the best stairlift that fits your needs? There are three things we recommend doing before you make your decision.
- Ask an Occupational Therapist (OT). Occupational Therapists are physical therapists that work with clients to develop, regain, and improve skills for daily living. When it comes to finding the right stairlift for regaining your mobility, we recommend that you first start by discussing this with an occupational therapist. Based on your specific mobility issues, they’ll be able to advise you what the best choice might be.
- Test out a stairlift yourself. There’s also the option of testing out various stairlift models before making your purchase. Your stairlift dealer can provide demonstrations to prospective customers at any of their locations. Check out stairlift manufacturers and models.
- Schedule an assessment. After you a find a reputable dealer, you’ll need to schedule one of their representatives the visit your home, take measurements of your staircase and answer any questions you have.
How the assessment works.When you schedule a stairlift dealer representative to visit your home, you’ll need to be prepared to give them access to the staircase where you will need the stairlift installed, as well as answer a few questions. Some of the questions include:
- Are you able to bend your knees and comfortably remain seated?
- Do you prefer to travel in a seated or standing position?
- Are you able to comfortably work a stairlift remote control?
The installation process.Reputable dealers will be able to quickly and efficiently get a stairlift installed in a single day—oftentimes in as little as a few hours. Special tracks will be secured to your stairs on supports that are strong enough to hold both the stairlift unit and you, the passenger. In most cases, the handrail will not get in the way of the tracks and be able to kept in place. Stairlift units are usually not directly attached to the wall, making de-installation an incredibly easy process. Once the installation process is complete, the technician will be able to provide you with detailed user instructions on how to operate the machinery.
Service.All machinery eventually needs maintenance or repair. During the buying process, make sure you ask your dealer what their product warranty is and what service options they offer customers. This will vary from dealer to dealer and model to model.
Local Stairlift Company Servicing San Francisco Bay Area and Los AngelesGamburd is pleased to provide dependable service to ALL of California including San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. We install what we sell, have the absolute best pricing, and we're insured, bonded and licensed by the State of California Contractors License Board. Lic.#939455. Don’t buy from some distant and faceless internet dealer that may send an unlicensed, untrained stranger to your home. Call Gamburd today!
Visit our stair lift FAQs page to get answers to most common questions.