Stair lifts are a real blessing for those who own homes with more than one floor. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that stair lifts can only be used on standard stair cases. This is not the case. In fact, you can install one in practically any home to help retain your independence and prevent you having to move into specialised accommodation.
Why choose a stair lift?
Stair lifts are motorised devices to help you get up and down staircases. Many models can be configured to work with a wheelchair, so they’re suitable for many different illnesses and disabilities. However, due to the size of most lifts, they can struggle with narrow stairways.
Although they are designed to work under loads, you’ll need to check any potential lift to make sure it can carry your weight. They have a lifespan of ten years at the least, but longevity depends on how frequently you use them.
Stair lift are a sometimes costly investment, retailing for £1800 and up when purchased new. However, refurbished options are available which will significantly reduce costs. For most suffering disabilities, you can apply for a home improvement grant to spend on fitting a lift.
Different styles of stair lift
There are a number of styles of lift that may suit your needs. The following are all tailored to a specific requirement and which one you choose should be assessed by a qualified advisor, like an occupational therapist. The options available are:
Straight Stair lift: Straight stair lifts are the type most commonly seen in homes. These are straightforward affairs with a chair and footplate alongside the necessary safety features. You can also find outdoor versions of these lifts that are weatherproofed.
Curved Stair Lift: Curved stair lifts are designed to cope with a curve or turn in your staircase, making them ideal for tricky stairs. They can be designed with space saving in mind as fold-away models and are suitable for lots of different styles of staircase. There’s more information on curved stair lifts available at Ideal Stair lifts.
Perch Stair Lift: There are some disabilities that restrict the ease of sitting down. A perch stairlift can help you in this case. These units allow you to use a lift without having to sit, instead leaning back on a supportive panel and slight seat so that you ‘perch’ on the lift.
Spiral and Tight Stair Lift: Designed for the hardest to outfit homes, these stair lifts can be fitted in narrow staircases and spiral stairs, meaning even if you live in an older-style period home you can find a stair lift to help give you access to your upper floors.
A note on purchasing
Buying a stairlift can be expensive if you don’t get help towards the final price. However, you can always buy a reconditioned lift which significantly reduces the cost. These lifts are still tested and maintained to the highest standard and can be purchased from trusted providers like Ideal Stairlifts. Ultimately, it’s a question of whether a slight investment in a stair lift outweighs the impact of having to move homes.