Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Vertical Platform Lifts Vs Stair Lifts

When faced with the option of using an elevator or using the stairs, many people opt for the elevator. Climbing the stairs, even for those that are young and in shape, can be very strenuous, but if you are mobility challenged then in addition to being strenuous it can also be dangerous. This is why many people use mobility lifting aids to help conquer the stairs.

There are two general types of lifting aids that are used in the home. The stair lift is probably the most common type, but many people also install vertical platform lifts. They both offer a different service.

Vertical platform lifts are basically elevators that are installed alongside a set of steps. While very similar to elevators, a vertical platform lift is completely self contained, so there is no expensive construction or installation. These types of lifts are most frequently used on the front steps of homes and are able to transport a standing person or a person who is in a wheelchair or electric scooter.

Most vertical platform lifts have a maximum lifting height of about 12 feet. At this distance the lift will need to be secured firmly to the ground, but also to the side of the stairs. They are often called porch lifts since they are most often installed onto the front porch of homes.

A stair lift is another type of lifting aid that is used to help a person climb the stairs. Unlike a vertical platform lift, stair lifts usually only carry people, so if you use an electric wheelchair or a mobility scooter, you will not be able to carry it on the lift.

Where a vertical platform lift moves straight up and down, a stair lift is installed lengthways on the stairs. Usually a metal track is secured to the steps and then a chair or small platform is sent up and down the track. This makes these devices more flexible than a vertical platform lift, because they can be installed onto almost any type of staircase.

Price wise a stair lift usually costs less than a vertical platform lift, but they do not offer as much functionality. A porch lift can be used to transport multiple people and also their mobility devices. They can also be used to easily move goods and supplies between levels of the home.

A stair lift on the other hand can usually only carry a single person and minimal goods and supplies, but what the staircase lift lacks in functionality, it makes up for in flexibility. Often a vertical platform lift is not able to be installed indoors, because of the walls in the home, but it is extremely rare that you won't be able to install a stair lift.

Vertical platform lifts and staircase lifts are both mobility aids that are used to improve safety on the stairs, but they also greatly improve mobility, because the stairs are no longer an obstacle with the addition of one of these mobility aids.

Brad Brubaker has used many types of mobility related devices. Learn about stair lifts, vertical platform lifts, and many other types of Mobility Aids by visiting US Medical Supplies.

Article Source: