Everything You Need To Know About Stairlifts For The Elderly
As we age, we come to the realization that the activities we enjoyed doing before can be quite hard to do. Examples of these involve running around, climbing stairs, and other activities that are tasking to the knee joints. Mobility issues become more prevalent due to balance problems and joint pains, and we realize that we need help to move around, especially if one is living in a multi-level home. This is where stairlifts come in. They help with mobility; hence, you can be able to go downstairs and make a cup of coffee with ease, and no fear of falling. So, what are stairlifts, and what types are there in the market? Read on to find out.
What Is A Stairlift?
It is a chair that moves up and down the staircase using a rail system that is motorized. Most of them have two main components, a chair with a motorised gear that you will sit on and a track for mobility. All you will need to do is to sit down on it and put on your seatbelt. Once that is done, press a button, and you will then be able to move up and down the stairs.
Benefits Of Stairlifts
Stairlifts have numerous benefits. Some of them include:
They Prevent Falls
Stairlifts help to prevent one from falling down the stairs since they are a safer option as opposed to doing it on your own.
They can be installed in less than a day; hence, you will have it ready for you in a short time.
They Give You Independence
Nothing is as annoying as depending on your family to move up and down the house. With stairlifts, you can be able to move quickly, do any activities that you have planned for the day, and enjoy being independent.
They Are Flexible
There are different stairlifts for different kinds of staircases; hence, you need not worry if your house will be an excellent suit for them.
Types Of Stairlifts
There are different types of stairlifts; therefore, one has to know which one will suit them best. They include:
Standard Stair Lift
With this type, the chair attaches to a straight rail that allows it to move up and down. It is perfect for people who can still walk but have some trouble climbing the stairs. The seat can be fold-up, swivel, or stationary.
Standing Stair Lift
This type is for people who have difficulty sitting. They can stand on the lift and are perfect for people who have knee problems. However, for this stairlift to work, there will need to be enough headroom for one to move up and down the stairs. They are also used in homes where the staircase is too narrow to fit a chair onto it.
Curved Stair Lift
It practically works the same way as the standard chair lift, with the only difference being that the chair is on a curved rail. This is done to suit a curved staircase. Also, the seat options are similar to those of the standard one.
Platform Stair Lift
It is perfect for people who are in a wheelchair or scooter as they cannot move from a standing to a seated position in the usual stair lift. It helps them move up and down the stairs with ease. However, for this type of stairlift, there needs to be ample room in the home for it to fit well.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Stairlift
The Type Of Seat
The type of seat is crucial. If the space on the staircase is quite small, then a fold-up seat is recommended. It is also the best option if other people are walking up and down the stairs. When using swivel chairs, ensure that the height is low enough to ensure that you can sit and stand easily, with no problems.
Rent Or Buy?
If a homeowner needs a stairlift for a short duration of time, then they can rent it out rather than buying one. It will be a less expensive option. However, renting will include some costs such as installation fee, monthly service fee, and de-installation fee. If you plan to live in your home for a long time, then buying will make more sense, especially if you have a long-term disability. You can look at both options and see which one bests suits you.
Is The Lift Using A Battery Or Electrically Operated?
Electrical is a great option, but the only downside is that when the power goes out, you will not be able to use the stairlift. Batteries, on the other hand, will also need to be replaced often, but it gives one peace of mind since you know that you are not relying on electricity.
Is It Standard Or a Heavy Lift
Standard stairlifts usually can hold up to 400 pounds. Heavy-duty lifts, on the other hand, will be able to support up to 600 pounds, with ease. It, therefore, depends on your personal needs.
Safety Guidelines While Using Stairlifts
Stairlifts are easy to use, but you have to follow some safety guidelines to ensure that your safety is guaranteed. They include:
Use The Seatbelt
Always wear your seatbelt while on a stairlift to ensure that you do not lose your balance, or fall out while on the move.
Use The Keylock
Most stairlifts have a key that will prevent them from operating if the key is removed. This will prevent unauthorized use by children or others who need supervision. Ensure that is locked, especially if there are children around as they love playing around with almost everything.
Always Dismount Carefully
Ensure that you correctly dismount when you are done using it. In case one has balance issues, they could install an extended railing to help with extra support while dismounting.
Stairlifts are the perfect option for the elderly as they will keep them in their homes longer, and prevent them from going to nursing homes early. They will give one their independence back and make them feel young and energised again. As seen above, there are many options to choose from, and once you find one that suits you best, you ill enjoy your golden years, stress-free.