Stair Lifts

Stair Lifts – Buyer’s Guide

Our aim here at Nationwide Mobility is to provide each of our visitors with all of the relevant and important information they need before purchasing any mobility appliances. Accordingly, we have put together the following buyer’s guide to stair lifts just for you.

This guide will provide you with the answers to the three key questions which must be asked before purchasing a stair lift. Which type of stair lift will fit my stairs? What kinds of features should I add to my stair lift? Whereabouts should I purchase my stair lift from?

However, in conjunction with consulting our buyer’s guide, we also recommend that you speak to your occupational therapist before purchasing your stair lift.

Choosing and Fitting your Stair Lift

Will the stair lift fit my stairs? This is an obvious yet important question to ask before making your purchase.

In terms of the size, the width of your staircase is the most important aspect to take into consideration. Is your stair case less than 2 ft wide? If so, it is very unlikely that a conventional stair lift will be able to be fitted.

Perch Stair Lift

Instead, fitting a perch stair lift would be the better option. As its name suggest, a perch stair lift will transport you safely up the stairs in a perched, rather than a completely seated, position. Because it transports you up your stairs in a much more upright position, the perched stair lift requires much less space than a conventional, “sit down” stair lift. If you do have a particularly narrow stair case, then, be sure to explore this option.

Straight Stair Lift

Another area of consideration is the shape of your stair case. Is your stair case essentially straight and without any winding turns, curves, or bends? If so, opt for a straight stair lift. This is generally the easiest and stair case to install.

Curved Stair Lift

If your stair case does include a number of curves and bends, you should opt for a curved stair lift.

The track of your curved stair lift will be custom-built – designed specifically for the curve of your stairs by your stair lift manufacturer. Consequently, curved stair lifts will cost much more money than each of the other variety of stair lifts. Also, their installation process will last longer.

You can avoid this extra cost and extended waiting period by fitting two separate straight stair lifts in place of a curved stair lift. However, this procedure is not always possible, and it will take a survey to assess whether or not the procedure can be carried out. Still, it is always worth enquiring about – surveys by stair lift companies are always free of charge.

Key Stair Lift Features

Once you have decided upon your type of stair lift, you can customise your stair lift with the available features which most fit your need.

Remote Control

A remote control feature will enable you to use your stair lift efficiently. Instead of requesting the lift manually by pressing the call button at either end of the stair lift’s track, the remote control feature enables you to call the chair from anywhere in your home.

If you are in a room which is a fair distance from your stairs, use the remote control to call the stair lift remotely as you leave that room and begin to make your way to the stairs. By the time you have arrived, the stair lift will be there waiting for you, and you will have saved yourself a great deal of waiting time.

Swivel Seat

Fitting a swivel seat to your stair lift will enable you to dismount your lift much more easily and safely. Indeed, the swivel motion of the seat means your exit from the stair lift will always be a smooth and secure one. This is especially important when dismounting your lift at the top of the stairs.

Battery Back Up

The battery back up feature is a common, yet vitally important, feature of most stair lifts these days. Primarily, the addition of this feature will mean your stair lift is fitted with a fully charged, substitute battery. Should an electrical failure occur, this back up battery feature will kick in and see that your stair lift remains in use despite the power being down.

Where to buy your Stair Lift

When purchasing your stair lift, you have three options to consider. You can buy directly from a stair lift manufacturer. You can buy from a reseller. And you can also buy from a mobility shop in your area.
Again, prices will vary according to the type of stair lift required. A straight chair lift will commonly be the cheapest, while a curved chair lift will be the most expensive. However, as mentioned previously, the survey to assess which type of chair is best for you will always be free of charge. This is an obligation of all stair lift companies.

Stair lift Manufacturers

In the UK, the main suppliers of stair lifts are:

  • Acorn stair lifts
  • Bison stair lifts
  • Brooks stair lifts
  • Companion stair lifts

Maintaining your Stair Lift

Whichever dealer you decide to purchase from, be sure that your stair lift is under a 12 month warranty at the very least. Also, ensure that your stair lift supplier provides you with all of the relevant information regarding servicing and maintenance of your chair.

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