Aging is inevitable and many of us will at some point start experiencing problems with mobility and reduced independence. To help mitigate this, people resort to a wide variety of mobility aids that can greatly improve your day to day life. Perhaps the most popular of these products and devices is the stairlift.
Installing a stairlift or any other sort of mobility aid can require significant modifications to your house, so it’s best to consider your options carefully beforehand. The easiest approach is to do your research online by comparing different stairlift companies.
How Do Stairlifts Work and What Are They?
A stairlift is a fairly simple mobility aid and most versions available today are comprised of two main parts: the track and the chair. The chair has a motor with wheels or gears that push you along a track and up staircases.
Stairlifts Help with Poor Balance and Mobility
Whether you’re a senior citizen or someone with mobility and balance issues, going up and down long staircases multiple times each day might not only exhausting but also very dangerous. In those circumstances, a fall could cause serious injuries, sometimes even life-threatening ones. Luckily, you can install a stairlift and navigate the stairs in your house without breaking a sweat or worrying about getting injured.
Stairlifts May Help Ease Numerous Other Medical Conditions
There are dozens of different mobility aids on the market today, but none are as popular as stairlifts. It’s common for people to realize how many smaller medical issues are mitigated and eased with a stairlift only after they install one in their home.
Senior citizens can often suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – conditions that cause painful joint inflammation. Worst yet, they’re hard to treat and there’s no quick fix. But that’s why having a stairlift in your home is crucial as it will help you avoid painful trips up and downstairs.
Whether you need a straight or curved stairlift, there is a solution that will bring you comfort and peace of mind for the user and their loved ones. Of course, the sum necessary to buy and install one such device is not small, but should you put a price on your safety?
What Kind of Stairlift Should I Buy?
Among the most important consideration when choosing a stairlift is to decide whether you need a swivel seat. These seats work like typical office chairs. You can rotate them left or right which makes sitting down and getting off a stairlift much easier. Those who end up contracting rheumatoid arthritis may develop symptoms early on and quite suddenly. On the other hand, the deterioration caused by osteoarthritis happens over a longer period and thus this condition is more common among senior citizens. If you or your loved one has severe pain from osteoarthritis that makes bending knees and sitting painful, there’s are also perch stairlifts available. They transport you in a position that’s almost standing and they include a seatbelt for extra security. There are also specially designed stairlifts to carry wheelchair bound users.
Advances in Stairlift Technology
Back in the day, there were only one or two companies that were manufacturing and selling stairlifts. Now, there are literally dozens of companies to choose from. This increased competition provided many benefits to you as the consumer. Not only did it drive the purchase price of each stairlift down, but it also caused manufacturers to think of new ways to make their products better in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
This led to many great advancements in stairlift technology. Stairlifts can now travel further and faster than ever before, requiring a lot less power to do so. Modern stairlifts also are fitted with lights so that they are easier to see at night, especially for the elderly, and can now be operated via remote control in addition to the controls on the arm rests. Manufacturers are also changing the way they sell stairlifts. You now have the option to purchase a kit that can be self-installed in the home by you or a loved one. Previously, you would have to schedule a convenient time for a professional to come and install one, but now that there are self-installation kits available, people are choosing that route to save on costs. Of course, we do recommend that whoever you choose to do the installation actually knows what they’re doing and tests the system thoroughly before use.
Perhaps the greatest improvement to stairlifts is their durability. Stairlifts in the past had limited lifespans, often requiring a lot of maintenance and repairs for continued operation. Now, a modern day stairlift can last a lifetime with limited or no maintenance. They’re not like a car, where you pay what you pay upfront and then you know it will require more investments in the future to keep it running smoothly. This puts a lot of stairlift owners at ease because they know that the price they paid upfront is the price that will stay for the lifespan of the stairlift.
How Safe is a Stairlift?
One of the biggest reasons why people hold off on purchasing a stairlift is because of safety concerns. Those notions couldn’t be further from the truth. Stairlifts have been around for decades and the number one priority for manufacturers is, and has always been, the user’s safety. Every stairlift manufactured is required to go through vigorous tests and adhere to regulated safety codes to ensure that they will function as they should.
Modern day stairlifts have more safety measures than ever before. There are safety features that can cut the power if it detects anything wrong. They can also detect if anything is obstructing its path and will stop immediately and travel the other way. Many also come with its own unique key, so that it is only used by the person it was intended for.