Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Using a Stair Lift and Preventing Falls

Often the inability to bend the knee is one of the leading reasons that people can not walk easily. This inability is quite frequently as a result of a joint disorder, like osteoarthritis, but there are many other things that can make it difficult to bend the knee. Usually those affected are over the age of 65, but as is usually the case with most things in life, there is no definite rule that governs who will or won't be affected by a mobility related problem. Not being able to easily or safely bend the knee can affect many aspects of life and can make it very hard and dangerous to climb the stairs, so it is important to take steps to prevent falls on the stairs.

Commonly, much more so in the past, people had simply avoided the steps when they were no longer able to safely use them. Unfortunately this often also meant avoiding a large portion of their home and led many people to sell their home and move to a place that had elevators or no stairs. This however is not necessary and one of the easiest and least expensive ways to reduce the risk of an accident on the stairs is to use a stair lift.

Basically a stair lift is a medical device that is able to carry a single person up and down the stairs. To straight stairways, a stair lift can be easily installed and is much more affordable than a residential elevator would be. They can make it easy for a person to use the stairs on their own, without having to rely on someone to give them a hand, which means there is often no need for a paid nurse and you are never on someone else's schedule when it comes to climbing the stairs.

Even though stairway lifts are able to greatly reduce the risk of a fall, they can still be dangerous if not used properly. Most modern lifts include features that help to even further reduce accidental injury when using the lift. Most have multiple sensors that are designed to detect things on the staircase that might damage the lift or keep it from moving. Most also can only be moved while the occupant is applying pressure to the switch. This works in a manner that is the opposite to how an elevator works, which will go to the desired floor after you push the button. Instead on a stair lift, you will need to constantly push the button for the unit to move. This makes certain that it only moves when you are ready and that the lifts movements are always intentional. Most lifts, either included or as an optional feature, come with seat and chest restraints, which are especially important for caretakers who use the stairway lift to transport their ward between floors.

There are several resources that are available to those that are mobility challenged and not able to easily climb the stairs, but among them the stair lift is often the least expensive and easiest. By reducing the risk of falling and injury, a stair lift can be a powerful tool in the home.

Sean Noughtly is a writer who is familiar with medical equipment. There are many ways to prevent accidents on the stairs, but usually a stair lift is the most cost effective way. For those that have a straight stairway, stair lifts are usually the way to go, but if your stairway is curved, then you might be better off installing a residential elevator. Find out more about these types of mobility aids and more at AmeriGlide.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_Noughtly

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Keeping Safe on the Stairs

Preventing accidents on the stairs is very important. Falls down the stairs is the leading type of accident that affects those who are over the age of 65. It often results in hospitalization and broken bones, but a fall down the stairs is something that can be prevented.

One of the most common ways people prevent falling down the stairs is to avoid the stairs all together. In public areas this is likely a good idea. Almost all public areas that have stairs offer a ramp or elevator, so it is a simple matter to cut the risk of falling down the stairs when away from the home. If you are in public and must climb the stairs, ensure that you have someone with you to help.

While avoiding the stairs and relying on people to help you with the stairs is great for when you are away from home, it doesn't make sense to avoid a large portion of your home simply because it is separated by a long staircase; so many people choose to install stair lifts. It also doesn't make sense to pay someone to come in to help you use the stairs and relying on family puts them at increased risk of falling as they help you climb the steps.

A stair lift is a mobility lifting aid that can be used to carry a person up and down the stairs safely. Depending on the model, they can support over 500 pounds and come in many different sizes to accommodate all body types. A stair lift is operated by remote control and can easily be operated by almost anyone. Most come with two wireless remotes and one remote that is physically attached to the lift. To ensure safety, the lift only moves while the remote button is being depressed.

The safest type of stair lift is one that uses a chair to move its rider up and down the steps. Often the chair will have a seatbelt, which helps to improve safety. Some lifts use a platform in place of a chair. The platform, called a perch, is rather small and the rider must remain standing as they are transferred up and down the stairs. The main reason people opt for a lift of this type is because they suffer from severe joint problems and can not sit safely, but they require a good sense of balance because you are standing as the lift moves.

Most people opt for a chair lift, because they are much safer and a better fit for most. Make certain that the chair swivels, so that you can exit the lift onto the staircase landing as opposed to exiting it on the stairs. It is also a good idea to install grab bars at the top and bottom of the stairs, to improve support. Most people use the same type of grab bars that you would find in the bathroom.

These lifts can be easily and inexpensively be installed to straight staircases, but if you have a curved staircase it will not be so easy. Usually it costs about 1000% more if you install a curved stair lift and it can take several months to get your lift built and installed. Where with straight staircase lift, most people feel comfortable doing the installation on their own, you usually must use professional installers to install a curved stair lift. It is a good idea to first contact a dealer of straight stair lifts before you contact a curved staircase lift dealer. The curved dealer will have to come to your home to provide an accurate estimate, so you will be subjected to an in your face high pressure sales pitch. There are a few ways you can work around a curved staircase, but curved stair lift dealers will not tell you this and will instead try to sell you on their extremely expensive lifts, which have little resale value.

Using a stair lift can be one of the most surefire ways to ensure that you or someone you care about does not fall while climbing up or down the stairs.

Sean Noughtly is a writer who is familiar with the medical industry. Using a stair lift is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents. If you care to learn more about stair lifts or other kinds of aids to daily living, visit US Medical Supplies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_Noughtly

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Benefits of Stair Exercises

Stair exercises are one of the best exercises that can get you fit very quickly. If you do not have access to a gym, you can use your own body weight and do stair exercises.

Being a personal trainer, I always hear that “I can not work out because I do not have access to a gym when I go on a business trip”. That is totally nonsense. I always recommend bring a pair of your sneakers and your work out clothing.

Sometimes your hotel might have a gym, or maybe they might not have a gym for their customers to use. However, I do know that pretty much any building that has more than one floor has a flight of stairs.

Below are some of the benefits of stair exercises:

  • Improve your strength
  • Improve your power output
  • Improve your flexibility
  • Improve your balance
  • Improve your coordination
  • Reduce your body fat levels
  • Your exercise workouts can be finished in as little as in fifteen minutes
  • No equipment is required only your body weight and a flight of stairs
  • Improve in your anaerobic conditioning
  • Have more a ton more endurance in your legs
  • Improve in your aerobic conditioning
  • Build buns of steel.

Here are two types of work outs that you can do to get fit.

Aerobic work outs—this is very simple! Just walk up a flight of stairs without holding on the handle. Walk in a comfortable pace while getting your heart rate up. If you feel that it is too easy, you can simply walk faster.

Leg strength and muscle build work outs—this is a variation of the first work out. You can simply walk 2 steps at a time. After a flight or two, you should feel that your quads and your butt burn! If this gets too easy, you can add some external weight such as a pair of dumb bells or a weight vest to increase intensity.

Gary Cheung is fitness professional in New York City. He has helped many people change their lives. He currently runs a free informational website on fitness and weight loss. For more information on stair exercises and bodyweight exercises. Please visit: http://www.weightlossmasterpiece.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gary_Cheung

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Ameriglide - The Cheap Stair Lift

Many manufacturers tout that their stair chair lifts offer home mobility that is affordable for most. However, with some brands charging more than 5,000 dollars for a one, this claim sounds rather hollow. The price of an Ameriglide stair lift is considerably lower than other brands; an Ameriglide can be installed for under 2,000 dollars, but is this good value for your money?

An Ameriglide is a no-frills but reliable model. It lacks some of the features that come as standard on other makes like Bruno and Stannah stair lifts but for a consumer who's looking for something basic, cheap and reliable it should serve its purpose but there are a few caveats.

The Ameriglide uses old fashioned - some might say outdated - technology. A cable system is used to haul the carriage along the track rather than a rack and pinion system now favored by top rated stair lift brands. Rack and pinion is preferred as it gives a smoother ride so an Ameriglide may not give a smooth a ride as more modern systems.

When stair chair lifts first came out they were all powered by mains AC. Batteries were seen as being unreliable. But nowadays, rechargeable batteries are the industry norm. But, until quite recently, you could only buy an Ameriglide that was mains powered. This has now changed, but rather than switching to a battery operated model, Ameriglide makes a battery model in addition to its mains model.

The reason the company finally succumbed to a battery powered stair lift - like everyone else in the industry - is because they are easy to install. There is a growing demand from consumers who want to buy one from a dealer - usually on the internet - and then self-install it. Doing this represents a further saving to the customer. Mains powered units require wiring and many states prohibit the installation of any appliance run from mains power by anyone except a qualified technician.

It's unusual for a manufacturer to make both mains and battery powered stair lifts; in fact, I can think of no other company, apart from Ameriglide, that makes both types. If you really are looking to buy a battery model you might be better advised to look at other brands.

Both battery and mains powered electric stair lifts have advantages. Battery powered models are usually quieter, have smoother starts and stops, can easily be installed and can be operated during a power outage.

A mains powered model has the advantage that it can be in constant use. Batteries need recharging after 20 round trips up and down the stairs. So, for those who will be using the stair lift constantly or for a household where more than one person will be using it, a mains powered model might be the best option.

Ameriglide stairlifts do come with some, though limited, safety systems. There is a safety sensor in the footrest to stop the chair if any object gets in the way. You also get a seat belt. However, there are some safety features that are not available. The Bruno comes with 5 sensors, on the footrest and carriage, which means any obstacle on the track, will also stop the stairlift - there are no sensors on the carriage of the Ameriglide.

They also don't come with wireless remote controls either. With many makes like the Acorn, Bruno and Stannah Stair Lift, the unit comes with two call/send remote controls. You should think carefully about how you will be using the lift; if there will be two people using it, then you really need units that come with two call/send remote controls, in which case the Ameriglide stair lift won't be the best option.

But the Ameriglide stair chair lift wasn't designed to compete in the high-end niche. It was designed to be functional, reliable and cheap and it fulfills all of these roles. It lacks the refinement, safety features and functionality of others but there's no doubt that the Ameriglide has brought mobility to those who could not have afforded the other, more expensive, brands.

Following the links for the Ameriglide stair lift and the Bruno stair lift and a home stair lift from other brands.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robin_O'Brien

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

New and Used Stairlifts - Some Pros and Cons

New elevations of the ladder have both advantages and disadvantages for elevators used ladder. The following list will help you review the new stairs in front of the elevators used stairway lifts.

New Stair Lift - Advantages.

Manufacturer guarantee of origin for new elevators installed in case of authorized dealer. This is always a strong point to remember if you're worried about reliability. Oddly enough, electrical components appear to have a habit of principles if they are not going to let everyone - otherwise deemed to be in years!

The pieces are easily accessible to a new Stairlift - if something goes wrong can be easily fixed.

Network vendors after the new facility Stairlift - ensures a good after-sales service (at least in theory).

New elevations of the ladder are available in shape to adapt to her house exactly.

More specific new stairway lift options available to customize the new lift for the user's needs.

New Stair Lift - Disadvantages.

New stair lifts are more expensive than the elevators used ladders - at least initially.

If a new model was then considering the problems (if any) have not yet been developed.

For a new curve Stairlift waiting time is usually 3-10 weeks from the manufacturer.

Curve elevators tend to require more services over time that lifts straight staircase. This may be due to more highlights of the chair is going around the curve in the track and is a point that applies to both new and used models.

Used Stair lifts - advantages.

A stairway lift used is obviously less expensive than a new stairway lift. The savings could be up to 1,000 pounds ($ 1800) for straight elevations of the ladder - perhaps more. In fact, a good, quality, brand name used Stairlift not tend to have more problems than a new Stairlift, especially if it has been properly maintained.

Used Stair lifts - disadvantages.

It uses the ladder lifts are less guarantee that the new elevations of the ladder - sometimes none at all. If the stairs are curves is very difficult to match a ladder used lift. Service calls are inevitably more common in the new elevations of the ladder, although the Stairlift has remained well this should not be too big a risk factor. The parties are harder to find if an older model. Stairlifts can last many years and older pieces to try to become an obsolete - always ask whether the Stairlift is still in production and if the parties are still available! A local distributor may not be available to support a ladder used to lift long-term because the model may become obsolete or, indeed, may already is.

A used will be necessary to lift a match with their specific needs - next to the stairs, the length of track and users of physical size and capabilities. This may make it harder for a clue.

I hope this article has helped you a bit on deciding which stairlifts will suit you best. For more info please visit http://www.stairlift2k.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wally_Pahong

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Stair Chair Lift Ratings

Stair chair lifts are giving people back their mobility and their home. But deciding on what is the best stair lift for your needs isn't that easy. Not all residential models offer the same features and the price variation between brands can be enormous. What follows are stairlift ratings of the most popular brands.

Summit Stair Lift

The Summit stair lift is for those on a limited budget. It has been designed to offer basic functionality that is reliable. The Summit is still powered by AC mains electricity. Just about every manufacturer uses DC 24 volt rechargeable batteries. Battery powered stair chair lifts are better because they offer smoother starts and stops, are easy to install as there's no wiring, are safer than mains and the lift can still be operated during power outages. The Summit also uses an outmoded cable system to pull the carriage along the track. The cable used in them by Summit is aircraft cable and is rated at 4,200 lbs, so there is no danger of breakage.

The Summit does come with basic safety control. The footrest has a sensor that will immediately stop the chair should it encounter any object on the stairs. You also get a seatbelt. What you won't get with a Summit stair lift are sensors on the actual carriage itself, so an object on the track will not stop the chair. The control panels are not wireless either, they are wall mounted.

The Summit chair lift is a product that will transport the user up and down the stairs - though not in any great style. It is a workhorse and has been proven to be reliable with surprising little maintenance even though it employs old technology.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Acorn Stair Lift

Acorn stair lifts, like Summit, can only be used on a straight staircase. Unlike a Summit lift, the Acorn is a more sophisticated machine. The Acorn Superglide stair lift is a battery powered rack and pinion system. This is the industry norm. The rechargeable battery pack gives a smooth start and stop and the rack and pinion drive ensures a smooth ride overall. The Acorn comes with two wireless remote controls with send/call functionality. There is also a mechanical joystick to control the stair chair lift - the toggle overrides the remote controls.

You can also buy the Acorn Superglide outdoor stair lift. Interestingly, Acorn also makes a perch stair lift for those who find sitting uncomfortable or impossible. The Acorn Perch can also be used on narrower staircases. The Superglide Perch by Acorn comes with a 'wander lead' control which can be positioned to allow maximum comfort and ease of operation.

The Acorn stair lift would suit the requirements of the majority and is an excellent one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bruno Stair Lift

Few manufacturers make curved stair lifts. This is because they lack the expertise. Bruno is a company that does have this expertise. Bruno is ISO-9001 certified, which is the most stringent and widely recognized quality standards in the world.

Bruno makes not just one straight stairlift but four; 3 home stair and 1 outdoor lift. Each home from Bruno offers a heap of features that come as standard. The Electra-Ride Elite is its top model. It comes with 5 surfaces fitted with safety sensors, on both the footrest and carriage. It has an overspeed safety brake, retractable seat belts, and wireless remote controls and it can carry up to 400lbs. The seat height can be adjusted from 19" to 24 1/2" and the footrest can be adjusted too to give maximum comfort. The rail protrudes 5" from the skirting - the industry norm is about 8".

The Bruno Electra-Ride III Curved Rail can be installed on just about any staircase, no matter how much it curves. It can carry up to 350 lbs and an optional wrap-around "park" position is designed to save room and make using it that much easier.

The Bruno stair lift is one of the best on the market and remains very popular.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Stannah Stair Lift

Stannah is a UK stair lift manufacturer that now ships to over 40 countries. In my opinion this is the best stair lift you can buy. They recently released the Stannah 120 with Solia and Solus models. The stair chair lifts were designed in partnership with one of Europe's leading design agencies and it shows. The Solus has a real contemporary look while the Solia appeals to the more traditional user. Not only do these lifts look good but they are probably the most technically advanced on the market. They can be used on stairs with an inclination of 52 degrees - just about everyone else in the industry can only manage 45 degrees. Also, they have developed a unique and innovative twin rack system for the track. Not only does it look stylish but it only protrudes the skirting by 3.7" making a Stannah ideal for steep or narrow staircases.

The other features that come with it can match and out do anything else on the market. For instance, the Stannah chair lift can be supplied with a motorized swivel chair - fantastic for those will severe mobility problems. No other manufacturer offers this.

The Stannah stair chair lift is the Rolls Royce of the industry.

Rating: I'd like to give it 5 out of 5 but nothing is perfect, so I'll settle for 4.99 out of 5.

Following the links for stair chair lifts from brands like the Stannah Stair Lift, the Ameriglide Stair Lift and others.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robin_O'Brien

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Common Stair Lift Parts and Components That You Should Know

Almost identical to a home wheelchair lift, a chair stair lift is similar in the function and the job it performs. Unlike an elevator it is not a very complex machine. Stair lifts are installed in your stairway and typically consists of five main components. These include the track, drive, chair, controls, and power systems. Each has an important role in delivering you or your loved one from floor to floor.


The track is what the lift moves up and down on. The simplest and least expensive designs are straight. Tracks are available for a curved stairs and tend to be more expensive.


The drive is what transfers the movement of the motor to move the chair lifting or lowering you to your destination. The most popular today is rack and pinion drives. Cable or screw drives are older technology and may be available as well.


In order to make the trip you've got to have a place to sit. Chairs on a stair lift may swivel so you can safely get on at either landing. The two types that swivel will turn 90 or 180 degrees. On some models the track may be long enough that a swiveling chair may not be needed. All chairs will include a footrest but a powered folding footrest may also be an option.


You need some type of control to make your lift move. Many use a hand held wired remote. Wireless remotes are becoming more popular and depending on your situation may be more appropriate for your use.


Your stair lift will require electricity to make the trip up or down the track. There are three types of power sources. The most popular and least complicated is a battery pack located in the chair/motor assembly. The batteries are charged from a charging station located at either end of the track which are plugged into the nearest AC outlet.

The other two types consist of a tethered cord that moves along with the chair/motor assembly. One type has batteries but is constantly charged. The other type relies solely on the AC power. The downfall to either of these is the tethered cable. It is constantly winding and unwinding and can eventually fail causing problems and requiring repair service.

Although each manufacturers stair-lift vary slightly you will find that they have these common features. Each will have their own design requirements for each style of staircase. Each will have literature or phone numbers available discussing what options are available to you and what dimensions are required in your stairway.

Stone Dupree has been active in repairing and maintaining medical devices in the hospital and clinical environment for nearly twenty years. He loves to share tips from his experiences with others through his websites. Visit http://www.stairliftinfo.info to learn more about straight stair lifts and other lifts for the home. You'll find many tips and advice on finding and purchasing a stair lift for your home.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stone_Dupree

Monday, 5 January 2009

Wheelchair Stair Lifts - Providing Independence And Freedom

Imagine the frustration of living in a home for many years, but suddenly having to move because you can no longer get up and down the stairs. A wheelchair stair lift can be a great benefit someone who is disabled, because they provide access and mobility to places that would normally be inaccessible. In addition, they are far less expensive and require much less modification to existing structures than can other types of accessibility modifications such as an elevator.

The stair lifts are easy to install and are the least expensive of any of the accessibility options for multilevel residences. Because they use the existing structure of the stair, the cost is much less than it is for other options that require extensive remodeling. In addition, they can go on just about any existing staircase.

If you install a stair lift, you should expect to pay between $2500 and $4000 for a "straight" stair lift, meaning one that fits a straight staircase without any curves in it. If the existing staircase is curved, the price will be more expensive commensurate to the curve of the staircase, and will cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. This is because installation is much more complex. In addition, you will not know the final price until your staircase is actually inspected on-site by the supplier, who will then give you a quote.

Stair lifts come with four types of drives. Most use a rack and pinion system.

Another type, the cable drive system, uses a strong steel cable to operate. Oftentimes, aircraft cable is used. This type of drive system has its disadvantages in that the ride itself is not as smooth as it can be with other types. However, as technology improves, this type of drive will give a smoother ride. Two types of stair lifts that use this kind of drive are Ameriglide and Summit.

For heavy-duty models, chain drive systems can be used. However, they can be loud and are generally not used for residential setups.

Finally, the screw drive uses a lifting mechanism that has a screw-driven actuator. This gets its power from a rechargeable battery. However, this is not generally used in residential models, either.

Most residential stair systems use a rack and pinion drive system. Rack and pinion systems have a gear and teeth. At one time they required that you regularly clean and replace the gear oil. However, today's systems generally don't require any maintenance whatsoever.

Rail or track systems utilize the staircase itself and not the wall. A track can be fitted to either side of the stairs so that this is what the chair itself travels along.

Earlier systems used AC power. However, today's systems use DC 12-volt rechargeable batteries. These are generally preferable because you don't need a trailing cable as you do with AC-powered stair lifts. In addition, those using rechargeable batteries can also operate during power outages. In some states, a qualified technician must install these, so make sure you know what your state requires before you attempt installation yourself.

All stair lift designs offer a choice between a 90-degree swivel seat or a 180-degree swivel seat, and you can choose either depending on your needs. And many these days come with integrated circuit boards that "self-diagnose" problems, which can therefore cut down on your maintenance costs.

Certainly technology has improved to the point where you no longer have to consider selling you home just because you can't get around as easily as you used to.

To learn more about the stairway chair lift visit http://www.wheelchairliftsonline.com , a popular website designed to help keep the mobility impaired independent. Find out how a chair lift can help you keep your freedom, and get information on the many different types of lifts available.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ned_D'Agostino

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Senior Safety - How to Safely Climb Stairs When One Leg is Weak

Climbing stairs can be a challenge if you have had an injury or one leg is weaker. Here are a few safety pointers. I am assuming that you are able to bear full weight on both legs.

General stair safety; good ideas for all stairways:

  • Clearly mark the top and bottom step with contrasting paint or tape.
  • Have a stable railing installed on both sides if possible.
  • Keep pathways and steps clear of obstacles.
  • Have adequate lighting so that each step can be clearly seen.


Hold on to the railing and step up with the strongest leg first, and then bring the weaker leg up to the same step. An easy way to remember the sequence is "up" symbolizes "good" as in "thumbs up" or heaven; good legs go up first. If you use a cane, it should be held in the hand opposite the weaker leg and should be advanced simultaneously with the weaker leg. The railing should be used with the other hand to add stability. If there is only one railing, use it even if it is on the side that you would normally use your cane because it is more stable than a cane. If this technique is too difficult for you, try standing sideways facing the railing so that the stronger leg is on the "up" side. Hold on to the railing with both hands and slowly climb the stairs sideways, one step at a time.


Hold on to the railing and step down first with the weaker leg, and then bring the stronger leg down to the same step. Again, an easy way to remember the process is "up with the good leg and down with the bad." This way, the stronger leg is doing the work of supporting the body weight as you descend. As above, when using a cane, it should be held in the hand opposite the weaker leg and advanced simultaneously with the weaker leg. If this technique is too difficult, try the sideways descent, holding on to the railing with both hands, with the weaker leg on the down side.

If the weakness or injury is a short-lived problem, the above instructions may be enough to keep you safe on the stairs. If stair climbing continues to be a serious safety issue for you or your senior loved ones, and it is necessary to use stairs to stay in your home, another option is to install a stair lift. This device will automatically lift you up or down the stairs while you sit in a chair. A stair lift may actually be a less expensive option than modifying the downstairs or renting or buying a hospital bed for a downstairs living area.

In any event, safety is the primary concern; I hope these stair climbing instructions will help you stay safe and independent in your home.

Ronna Sather is a licensed physical therapist with over 30 years of professional experience, assisting and guiding thousands of families dealing with the safety and independence of elderly loved ones at home. You can visit her website at http://www.seniorsafetyathome.com to find more articles, resources and products which promote senior safety and make life easier in the home environment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ronna_Sather