Stairlifts work on fitted tracks that follow the line of the stairs. The tracks can be straight or designed to curve so they fit on curved staircases or wrap around the bottom of the stairs to park the chair conveniently.
Curved stairlifts may take longer to install than straight stairlifts, this is because the rail is custom made to fit the stairs.
But some companies provide a modular rail system that dramatically reduces installation time because the rail can be fitted right there on-site in your house and doesn’t need to be prefabricated in the factory.
A big advantage of stairlifts over through floor lifts is that they are easier to install, remove and repair.
They do not require major building work and can last for at least 10 years if serviced and maintained properly.
The type of stairlift that you can choose depends on the dimensions of your staircase and what type of medical condition you may have.
Any good stairlift surveyor will be able to advise on what options are available for your needs.
Before any stairlift is fitted, a surveyor will have to visit your home, measure the dimensions of the staircase and assess your requirements.
Most stairlifts come with a range of options that make them very flexible to install to meet a users needs. This can be done for a variety of locations and staircase types.
After you have received a written quote and decided to go ahead with the purchase of a stairlift, the installation can usually be arranged promptly sometimes even next day.
Usually this is a quick mess-free process which will not damage your home decor.
Straight staircase with a standard landing at the top
Straight, flat landing onto one step onto landing
Straight two step onto landing
These are most suitable for people who are capable of getting on and off a seat and either walking or getting into a wheelchair.
Buying Tip: Beware of mixture of new and used rails and seats Look for a slim line track version so that the lift doesn't obstruct your staircase and lets other staircase users easily pass.
Very different from straight rails following the site survey most companies will request a deposit. They then proceed to design and build the stairlift rail (track) for your staircase.
Depending on the complexity of the stairs the lead-time for the install can vary and may result in delays.
Buying Tip: Seek out manufacturers who use modular, state-of-the-art track components. This means that the rail is built simply and quickly on site in your house removing the chance of complications.
This allows the user to stand and hold onto a guard rail. or sit and ride as normal its a good option if you and your partner vary in your mobility needs.
Buying Tip: Assess both your requirements first before considering this option.
This is useful for narrow staircases, or suitable when you have trouble bending or have reduced mobility problems.
Similar to a standing stairlift but with added support at hip and lower body level.
Buying Tip: A good option for narrow stairways and is ridden whilst standing.
These can be fitted to outdoor steps and come with protective rain-covers and DC battery packs that are stored in lockable boxes.
The main function is to free up outdoor spaces Most models have wheelchair platforms, but some just have seats like you see on conventional stairlifts.
Buying Tip: Check for reliable install times to take advantage in seasonal changes.
This type of stairlift is most practical for users who are wheelchair-bound. Instead of transferring from wheelchair to the seat, they manoeuvre themselves onto a platform in which is then raised up the stairs.
These devices do take up a lot of space and aren’t suitable for smaller staircases.
They are more expensive than stairlifts and need heavy lifting motors which require more power and thicker rails and mechanics.
These types of stairlifts are common to help wheelchair users whose staircases aren’t suitable for stairlifts. In most cases, they are fitted without a shaft to save on structural work.
These types of lifts require more structural work including rewiring and decoration following the opening up of ceilings and floors.
A study conducted in 2013 for the Greater London Authority found that many older people who were patients at hospitals in less affluent parts of London such as Lewisham and Southwark, were malnourished when they were admitted to hospital
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