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.

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