Does any of your elderly family members require help going up the steps? You should consider installing a stairlift to make climbing the stairs easier for them.
Stair falls are common, with 20 – 30% of elderly Americans incurring severe injuries. Injuries resulting from falls for the aged can be a massive risk to their well-being. Getting a stairlift is your best bet for ensuring the safety of your elderly parent.
Contrary to popular opinion, stairlifts have been around since the 1500s to reduce stair falls. There are so many options today, so choosing among them can be overwhelming. You must consider the choice well since it’s a huge investment for your home.
If you’re wondering which stairlift is best for you, this article is here to help. We’ve outlined the most important things to know before choosing a stairlift.
Consider Rent Vs. Purchase Decision
What does your budget support? Consider the rent vs. buy decision depending on your budget.
Rent decision is ideal for short-term projects. If you want to install the lift at an event, you can consider it. They’re also cheaper, thus suitable for you if you’re working within a limited budget.
The purchase decision is applicable for permanent homes or business premises. As an investment, the stairlifts are expensive, but the price varies with each option. Consider one that fits your needs and, most importantly, your budget.
Environment Where You’ll Install the Stairlift
Where will the stairlift be used? The environment or installation site also determines the stairlift that you’ll use.
The indoor stairs will need an indoor stairlift to fit their specific use. For outside installation, go for outdoor stairlifts since they can withstand the weather. Using the appropriate stairlift option for your environment ensures it operates well.
The Kind of Stairs You Have
Not all stairs fit the same stairlift. The type of stairs you have determines the stairlift you should install.
The different available stair options include;
Straight. A straight staircase is mainly unobstructed, so install a straight stairlift. These stairlifts are uncomplicated and cheap to install, which makes them popular.
Curved. Curved staircases spiral up and will need you to install the curved stairlifts. The design in each stairway is different, and as a result, the rails need custom fabrication. You’ll also need to consider functionality if your stairway has a landing to fit the lift.
Depending on where the stairs are located, there’s a need to consider who will use them. The foot traffic will determine the stairlift you have to go for.
If there’s extra foot traffic, you’ll need to install a stairlift that entails a folding seat feature. The stairlift should allow people to walk up the stairs comfortably. Check to ensure the staircase isn’t blocked after installing the stairlift.
Stairlift’s Safety Features
What safety features does your stairlift have? It’s advisable to consider a stairlift option with various safety features. The more the safety features, the lesser the risk for injury for its rider.
Some of the standard safety features include;
Safety Sensors. These include sensors placed on the stairlift to stop the seat if it approaches an object, pet, or person.
Safety Belts. For all modern stairlifts, safety belts are a vital feature. The seat belt prevents fall-offs by ensuring that the rider is well fastened.
Safety Switch. Ensures that the stairlift is in the correct position to operate. As a result, the stairlift won’t function if the seat is not in the right position.
Controls and Functionality
How do you operate the stairlift? The controls are a critical factor when choosing the stairlift type. They assist with the functionality of the stairlift and should ensure easy operability.
Here are some controls you’ll find in a stairlift;
Wall Mounted Controls is stationary and located at the top or bottom of the stairway. They act as a send control to move the stairlift up or down.
Armrest Controls are built-in on the arm area of the stairlift to allow the user easy control. Most of these also feature remote control options.
Contact Pressure Controls need the rider to apply pressure on a joystick to move the stairlift.
Consider the Brand and Customizability
What brand is your stairlift? Checking the brand is critical when choosing the stairlift to guarantee its functionality. There’s also a need for customizable options to ensure the installation fits your needs.
There’s a variety of options, and you have to compare the different stairlift brands to choose the best. The various stairlift manufacturers have unique products, each offering instinct benefits.
Customizable stairlifts look to meet your specific needs. You can customize some areas, including;
· Painting the tracks to match your home’s decor
· A custom-fit upholstery
· Larger footrest with a power-folding feature
· A bigger sized seat to manage unique weight needs
· Power swivel feature on the seat
Maintenance and Warranty
Not all stairlifts are created equal. The differences also exist in the maintenance needs for each of the stairlifts.
Stairlifts with extensive maintenance needs can be costly in the long run. You’ll thus need to ensure you install a low-maintenance stairlift. As a result, it’ll save you some dollars.
Ensure that the stairlift also comes with a warranty to cover defects and batteries. Such warranties from the manufacturer guarantee free repairs or replacements if issues arise. The standard warranty on a new stairlift is 5 years, providing ample time to ensure it functions.
Hire Professional Installers
Now that you’ve decided on the stairlift option best for you, it’s necessary to have it well installed. Professional stairlift installers have the skills and expertise to ensure a professional installation.
Check for reputable options in the market and compare the quotes to find the most reasonable. Also, check for the services they offer to be sure they’ll match your needs.
You Now Know the Most Important Things to Know Before Choosing a Stairlift
Choosing the best stairlift doesn’t always have to be challenging. Your best bet for taking care of your elderly parents is installing a stairlift. Consider the above factors to know the essential things when choosing a stairlift.
Are you looking for a professional stairlift installer? Southern Stairlifts is here to help!
We are your local stairlift installer offering a solution to keep your home safe. We can develop custom solutions for you to improve mobility and independence.
Contact us today for a free consultation.