Monday, 22 September 2008

The Wheelchair Stair Lift From Stannah

Stannah is a market leader in the manufacture of stair lifts and is one of the few that make a genuine wheelchair stair lift. However, buying and installing one for a user is far from easy. In fact, most homes are not suitable for this type of lift. So, first you must find out if your home is suitable.

A wheelchair stair lift differs greatly from a conventional model. But first, let's get one thing clear; we're talking about inclined ones. This type travels up and down stairs - unlike vertical wheelchair lifts that resemble an elevator.

A regular stair lift consists of a chair that moves along a track. The track is always mounted on the stair tread and not on the wall. An inclined one consists of a platform that moves along a track. Because of size and weight considerations, the track is always mounted on the wall. Also, the platform of a wheelchair unit is considerably larger than the seat of a conventional model therefore the stairway must be wide.

So before even looking at a Stannah wheelchair stair lift you must first satisfy two conditions; are your stairs wide enough to accommodate the width of it and platform, and are your stairs against a load bearing wall. If the answer to either of these two questions is no then a wheelchair stair lift is not the answer to your problem.

They currently offer two stair lifts; the Stairiser SX for straight stairs and the Stairiser CR for curved or turned stairs.

Some of the key features you get with both of these models are;

1. Is easily operated using simple control by the user or companion.

2. The platform automatically folds away or in to position when required.

3. Barrier arms and platform lock down before the platform moves.

4. Sensors will immediately stop the stair lift when any obstruction is encountered.

5. The platform can be accessed either from the front or the side - the side flaps lock and secure the wheels when the platform moves.

Unlike some wheelchair stair lift companies, Stannah don't custom make the platform. This would be the best option, however you are offered a choice of four platform sizes; 750mm x 900mm, 810mm x 1050mm, 810mm x 1200mm and 810mm x 1250mm. So these platforms should accommodate just about all wheelchairs.

Installation can be surprisingly quick. A Stannah unit can be installed in as little as one day for straightforward situations; however you should expect the installation to take far longer than this if you have a curved stairway - sometimes many weeks.

The price of one from Stannah - or from any other company - is going to be expensive. An on site inspection is required before the cost can be given.

All in all, a wheelchair stair lift is not a viable for the vast majority of wheelchair users, which is a shame. However, if you're one of the lucky few then this is one model should take a look at. But, as buying anything else, shop around and get the best one for your needs.