Navigating stairs is a common challenge for people with limited mobility. When it comes to stairs, all it takes is one missed step to result in a major injury, so care must be taken if mobility has become as issue for you or a loved one.
In the past, people who struggled with stairs were forced to live entirely on one level of their home, or worse, move out in favor of assisted living. Thankfully, nowadays many accom
modations can be made that allow mobility-challenged folks to stay in their homes. A stair lift is one of those innovations.
Stair lifts are basically cushioned seats mounted on a rail that runs the length of a staircase. They transport passengers up and down stairs as needed via electricity. Stair lifts are not for everyone, but for those who can still walk at least a little bit, or are able to stand up from a wheelchair on their own, these handy devices can make all the difference.
If you think a stair lift might be for you, read on to learn how to choose the best one. There are various features and functions that can customize the experience to your specific needs. Following are the factors to consider before making a purchase.
1. The user’s level of mobility
Start here to determine whether a stair lift is even the right option for you or your loved one. If the end user has a wheelchair and needs assistance to get out of it, a stair lift is probably not the right choice. Instead, look for a wheelchair lift. These are more like platforms onto which the chair and its passenger is wheeled for transport.
Another consideration is whether the user can sit upright and hold on safely while the chair is moving up or down the stairs. If the person lacks the stability to sit unsupported in a stationary chair, a stair lift is probably not a safe option. However, some models do have seat belts or harnesses that can protect the rider.