Monday, 8 September 2008

Describing a Stair Lift

There are many times in life where things that were once easy are no longer so. This is often true of climbing the stairs. People who suffer from medical problems, such as neuromuscular diseases, frequently can not climb the stairs in a safe manner. This quite frequently can lead to avoiding the areas of the home that have stairs or using a nurse to help climb the stairs. While these solutions will work, people who choose to go this route might not be familiar with stair lifts.

Stair lifts are used to help make it easier to climb the stairs, and are frequently used in homes. They are mobility lifting aids that can be quickly installed onto many staircases, providing that the staircase is straight.

Usually the time from order to the time you are riding the lift is less than a week, but if your stair lift is curved you are looking at a 1000% increase in price and a minimum 6 weeks until you can use your lift. If you have a curved staircase, you should contact a dealer of straight stair lifts before you contact a curved stair lift vendor. Often two straight stair lifts can be used, which greatly reduces the cost and time. If you contact a curved stair lift vendor though, they will have to come to your house to provide an estimate, so you will be faced with a high pressure in person sales pitch.

Generally a stair lift uses a track and car system. The track is first secured the stairs and the car is then attached to the track. The car goes up and down the track and carries a single person. Most often a chair is used to carry the occupant of the stair lift, but in some cases a perch is used. A perch is a small platform and the rider of a perch lift will remain standing as they are carried up and down the stairs.

Perch lifts are primarily used by people who are unable to bend their knees and sit without pain. Since you are standing as you are carried up the stairs, these types of lifts present a slightly larger risk than traditional stair chairs. To improve safety, most perch lifts have multiple grab bars. The grab bars improve support and many also have a support that is waste high and allows the rider to lean against it.

Most people are better suited by using a stair chair. The chairs can be reinforced and made extra wide, so it is no problem finding a chair that will fit your body. To improve the functionality of the stair lift, some chairs can be folded when not in use. This allows the lift to have a smaller footprint when not in use, because it takes up less space on the stairs.

One important feature that you should look for in a stair chair is a swivel seat. The swivel seat is important, because it makes entering and exiting the lift much safer. The seat turns to face away from the stairs as you sit or stand, which greatly reduces the risk of falls. This feature is common on most stair chairs, but not all chairs are made in this manner.

Owning and using a stair lift is one of the best ways to keep safe when using the stairs.

Sean Noughtly is familiar with home mobility aids like stair lifts. If you are interested in finding out more about indoor stair lifts or outdoor stair lifts, visit US Medical Supplies.

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