Stairlifts are motorised chairs that attach to the wall or the tread of the staircase in order to transport the user up and down the stairs. Used primarily by people who suffer from reduced mobility, a lift helps prevent injuries and allows those suffering with debilitating illnesses to remain independent when going up and down the stairs. A wheelchair user who can lift themselves in and out of a chair can also use a stairlift to get up and down the stairs. Simply by leaving a wheelchair at the top and bottom of the stairs, a wheelchair user can utilise a lift and then transfer to a wheelchair.
Two Main Styles of Stairlifts
When you purchase a lift you will need to choose between a curved or straight lift. This will depend upon the design of your home. If you only have one set of stairs that go straight up, you will need the straight lift. This means that the track is straight and will fit from the bottom to the top of your stairs. If you have more than one flight of stairs you can invest in a curved lift, which allows you to sit in the lift chair and go up or down all flights of stairs. Most lift tracks are made of aluminum, and they will easily wrap around the walls to allow stairlifts to travel from one flight of stairs to another.
How to Operate a Stair Chair
There is a handheld device or control on the handle of the chair that allows you to control the speed and direction of the chair. This means that if you are halfway up stairs and realise you left something downstairs, you can easily switch the direction of the chair and go back downstairs. It isn’t necessary to ride the lift all the way to the top or bottom before changing direction.
Stairlifts are generally battery operated and must be recharged after use. You can easily charge most chairs by simply plugging them into a nearby outlet and allowing the battery to recharge. Some chairs will have their own battery charger that’s plugged into the wall near the top and bottom of the stairs and all you have to do is plug the chair into the charger. The benefit of battery operated stairlifts is that even during a power outage you can still get up and down the stairs. The newest models of stairlift chairs allow for easy use and maneuvering, making them ideal for those with limited mobility.