When I was a young boy, I remember going with my mother to visit the home of an elderly lady who lived alone in a very large house; In this house there was a mechanical stairs lift chair that ran all the way up the side of the main staircase. I remember at the time thinking that that was something that you didn't see all the time and that for someone to have such a thing in their home must mean that they were somebody special. Of course this was during the late seventies and the truth of the matter was that this was a person who was quite well off and could afford a mobility device that was much more expensive to have installed at that time compared to today. Since that time I have had the opportunity to see a few more of these enabling devices and come to appreciate how much of a difference they can make in the life of the elderly and the disabled. For such people, going up or down the stairs can oftentimes be a challenge considering their physical condition. Of course many elderly and disabled individuals are able to live independently in their own homes with just some assistance instead of twenty four-seven care, of course an implication of this is that such individuals might need help and assistance at times when there is no one there to be of any help or assistance. So if you are on your own and need to do something that most might take for granted like, say, go up or down the stairs, then the installation of a home stair lift chair makes perfect sense. In the past you might have heard references made to such types of devices as a handicapped or handicap lift chair, a stairs lift chair or a motorized chair lift, these are all pretty much referring to the same kind of thing: a chair lift for stairs in the home.
When considering the purchase of any chair lift for stairs in your home, disabled and handicapped individuals should make sure that they are dealing with a reputable retailer offering reliable manufacturer brand names of stair lift chairs before making their purchase to be sure that they are purchasing a product that is going to last as long as needed. Among the top suppliers of stairlift equipment are names such as Savania Concord, Bruno, Thyssenkrupp Access, just to name a few. In most cases, the stair lift manufacturers are the ones responsible for the proper installation and maintenance of the equipment. Many stairlift manufacturers have gone and designed chairlifts with a variety of different features that cater to the differing requirements of disabled users. Stairlifts can be utilized both inside and outside of the home. A stair-lift adapted for the outdoors will provide features such as weather resistant coatings, powder coated painting which serves as protection from the elements, and electrical enclosures to protect the operating equipment from the elements, these are all examples of how the stair lift can - and needs to be made resistant to the elements.
There are basically two main types of stairs lift available to consumers for purchase on the home market: these are the straight lift and the curved lift. The straight lift is designed to fit straight staircases in the home environment, while the curved stairlift is designed for use with curved staircases. As a rule of thumb, straight stair lifts are cheaper to install in the home than the curved lift. The elderly and/or handicapped individual has a choice between going with either electricity powered lift or a battery operated lift. The battery powered option is more advantageous because it allows for use of the stair lift even during a power failure. A more recent addition to the stair chairlift marketplace is the recent availability of the hydraulic stair chairlift, although i don't really know anything about this manner of equipment. As well, many modern home stairlifts come with safety features that protect the individual occupant of the stairlift. Many of the name brands and models of stairlift have a safety belt included. Some stair chairlifts even have sensors which allow them to detect any potential obstacles in the path of the stairlift equipment. Once the sensors detect an obstacle the stair lift stops, preventing the lift equipment from being seriously damaged and to prevent any chance of injury to the lift's occupant.
Although I just finished explaining how there are two main categories of lift, there are a variety of styles or formats available for both the straight and curved stairlift. The first style of stairlift is the seated variety of lift. These machines are the kind of lift usually found in most home lift systems. This type of stair chair lift is the preferred format for your mobility issues if you can walk by yourself or with minimal assistance (from say any kind of mobility aid) but could not manage to get yourself up or down a typical flight of stairs. If the user has crutches, the seated stairs lift chair is likewise ideal. This seated stair lift style consists of a swivel chair that is complimented by custom armrests which can be lifted up to assist the user in conveniently transferring him or herself to and from the stair lift's seat. The included seat belt also provides more security for the user of the seated stair lift.
Another kind of stair lift is the standing variety of stair lift. This machine is designed for people who can walk or stand with the aid of a walking stick or similar aid, but find it very difficult to move up or down the stairs without assistance. If an individual's legs have difficulty bending or they are in a cast, then the standing stair lift might be the ideal alternative. Likewise, the standing stairlift is also perfectly suited for narrower staircases. The provided guardrails also provide an added level of safety for the user.
A final type of stair-lift is the perching stair chairlift. It is similar in design to the standing stair lift. The only major difference is that the perching stairlift has a small seated area where the user can lean against while the lift is moving up or down the staircase. The perching lift is the preferred type of straight or curved stair lift for someone who needs to support their back but does not need to be entirely seated. Likewise, the perching style stair lift is ideal for staircases that are narrower in their design. Guard rails offer an added level of security.
An alternative form of lift is the wheelchair lift; it is a type of stair lift designed to transport people confined to a wheelchair up and down a staircase. There is no need to leave the wheelchair. The individual only needs to roll onto the stair lift platform and use the controls to move the stair lift up or down the stairs. It is worth keeping in mind however that a wheelchair lift is not a space saver and usually requires a wider staircase. The wheelchair platform is fold able, however.
Another point I should make here is that if you are able and willing to spend some more on the installation of a stair lift, then you might want to consider such touches as having the seat cover material customized to match the overall decor of the home in which it is to be installed.