As an individual gets older, it is inevitable that his or her body will begin to degrade and even the most simple of tasks will become extremely taxing. Climbing the stairs is one of those tasks. A young, able-bodied person can climb a flight of stairs in a few seconds whereas it may take a seventy year old with arthritis a few minutes. This can be extremely disheartening and make the individual uncomfortable in his or her own home. However, help is at hand and has been for over thirty years in the form of a home stair lift system.
Up The Wooden Hill
The home stair lift system is an aid that can seriously enhance an individual’s life and help them to regain any freedom that physical disability has taken away. A home stair lift is literally a moving rail construction that is fitted onto the wall of your staircase with a chair attached.
The chair will then move when operated via a remote control device attached to it. It can travel both up and down stairs and can be called to the opposite end of the staircase if required. The concept is simple and absolutely brilliant, but there are certain elements to consider before you choose to have one installed.
The Right Stairs
Home stair lift systems are extremely useful if they can work with your stairs without blocking them off completely, thus one of the main concerns about having a stair lift installed is whether your staircase will be wide enough to accommodate it. If it is less than 75cm across then it is unlikely that a stair lift could be effectively fitted and even more unlikely that it would be completely safe afterwards.
Any staircase that is up to 1.25m across should only have a stair lift fitted if the seat of the chair actually folds up when it is not in use. However, if the idea of a fold up chair doesn’t make you feel safe then it is doubtful that you could be transported comfortably on it.
Staircase width is not the only thing you have to consider when choosing a home stair lift system. The shape of the stairs is also very important. It is easier to fit a stair lift on a narrower staircase because it can be attached to the wall, but it would require a different type of rail on a curved staircase.
This is commonly called a swan neck because it bends around corners. However, the rail will probably be fitted away from the wall and thus may cause a hazard for others if it is fitted to high or low from the individual steps or the staircase is not wide enough.
The final thing to consider is your weight. If you weigh 125kgs or less then a home stair lift system will be completely safe for you to use. However, if you are above that weight then your safety cannot and will not be assured by any company. The home stair lifts are only designed to take so much weight and any more will lead to unnecessary maintenance issues that may just put your health at risk.
A major positive for the home stair lift system is that it is extremely reliable. All reputable companies will send a consultant out to view the home beforehand, and the same consultant will then come out to fit it. You will never have to fit one yourself.
The company will then keep up the maintenance of the stair lift to ensure that it stays in great working order. The majority are battery powered and will only break down if you neglect to change the battery when the chair automatically alerts you to do so. However, if it does break down, all chair lifts are programmed to return to the ground floor of any home so you will never be stuck on the stairs!
There are hundreds of home stair lift system companies and consumer groups on the Internet that can provide you with advice and help on this subject. The stair lift can help anyone with physical disabilities, but you must remember to take the needs of the able-bodied people in the household into consideration too.