As you or your family members get older, a simple task like climbing stairs may start to prove more challenging. However, everyone should have the ability to move around freely in the safe and comfortable confines of their own home. A stairlift can be a cost-effective solution that you should consider if this is the case or for a family member that has difficulty navigating stairs. Unfortunately, one missed step can lead to a severe injury. To aid you and hopefully make the buying process more accessible, we here at Versatile Lift Company (VLC) have some professional tips to consider when purchasing a stairlift:
How mobile is the user?
Are they wheelchair-bound, or can they still walk around the house unassisted or with the aid of walking assistance? The user’s mobility is the most crucial consideration when choosing a stairlift. Therefore, the chairlift should offer hand and footrests, secure and strapped seating that provides adequate back support and easy-to-operate controls — even for those with limited dexterity. Be sure to consider how easy it will be for the user to enter/exit the stairlift and operate it.
What type of staircase is it?
Another essential consideration to take into account is the design of the staircase. For example, is it a straight staircase or a curved staircase? Does it have a landing that may necessitate the need for installation of two chairs? Other factors to consider are whether the staircase is narrow and steep or broader with a gentle incline. Thankfully we at Versatile Lift Company have several models to consider that can fit almost all scenarios.
What’s your budget?
Of course, it is essential to have an idea of how much you are willing to spend. Straight rail models will typically be in a price range lower than curved rail models. Still, in the long-term, either stairlift model will prove much more affordable than either you or your family member moving into a single-level home or a senior living community — especially if the need doesn’t warrant it. VLC will offer a free, no-obligation assessment and quote after taking into account all the considerations.
The individual using its weight
Most standard models have a 300 lb. weight capacity and regular-sized seats. However, if necessary, models are available with a higher weight capacity, up to 440 lb, and larger seats. The heavy-duty models may require more space to be installed, so do keep that in mind if a heavy-duty model or larger seat is needed.
The type of model and additional extra’s
Several options can be added for safety, convenience, or comfort. For example, specific models come with foldaway chairs and allow for various colour choices, to match your home decor. In addition, some models enable customisation options, allowing for a handmade, elegant and bespoke look.
However, a stairlift expert surveyor from VLC will know what options to recommend based on your needs or that of your family member. They will guide any choices that they feel are necessary to keep the user safe and increase the comfort and convenience for the user of the lift.
The cost of installation or servicing
Many of the stairlift models and the tracking systems can be installed in half a day. Some models can even be installed the day after your purchase. The cost of the installation should be included in the quote. When considering a local stairlift dealer, be sure to check and see if they have trained technicians that install and service the lift.
Having someone to call if the chairlift stops working or runs out of battery is significant. Unfortunately, not all online dealers offer this service, so it is vital to ensure they do before purchasing the stairlift. VLC has an extensive network of highly trained and experienced surveyors it can call on should the need arise.
Along with doing your online research, try to check if there are any nearby stairlift showrooms. A quick trip to a showroom will allow you or the future stair lift user to learn how to operate a lift and feel how it rides. If you live nearby Ashton-in-Makerfield, feel free to stop by and have a look.
A stairlift may feel like a significant investment, but it is an investment that is worth it when you consider the safety and independence it provides. When purchasing a stairlift, make sure you do your research and consult with your physician on their thoughts. In addition, VLC provides stairlift buyer assistance for families who might not know the best lift for their homes. They can meet you at your home or office and answer all your questions. For more information, please feel free to get in contact with them.