You have decided you need a stair lift. Maybe you are caving to the nagging from well-intentioned and worried family members. Maybe you have read the shocking statistics. Like, one-fourth of Americans over the age of 65 fall each year, and the older you get, the more likely these falls can be fatal.
It could be that you are recognizing the advantages of a stair lift installation. One is that you get to stay in your own home longer. You get to use your whole home rather than being confined to the downstairs. And, there is less worrying by your loved ones because they know the stair lift can handle getting you safely between floors.
Stair Lift Installation Fundamentals
Now that you have decided on getting a stair lift installed, you can now start focusing on the details that will meet the needs of your lifestyle, like the ones listed below.
Track Types: Straight, Curved and Outdoor
Without stair lift tracks, you aren’t moving. They type of track you choose will be based on your stairs and what you need to do on those stairs.
The most basic, least expensive is the straight, metal, standard track that saves space. They are quick and easy to install and are designed to take you from point A to point B as long as you don’t have any curves or landings. If you do, choosing a curved track will be best.
All the things you once loved about your stairs, the bends and curves, the beautifully designed landing or two landings, are now causing distress. A curved track may cost more, but it will get you around all these twists and turns and put you safely on the floor.
If your stairs are outdoors, that’s okay. You can choose outdoor stair lift tracks made of weatherproof materials. Yes, the cost is much higher but the peace of mind it provides is priceless.
Seat Types and Designs
You enter your stair lift and sit down. What you sit down on can make your ride enjoyable or not. If you are spending money on your safety, you should pick something that also provides comfortability.
How much you weigh is a factor in choosing the right seat. Fortunately, seats are made for all sizes so anyone can enjoy their ride. Once you determine the size seat you need, then you can choose the design elements. They come in different materials, colors and styles.
Some seats can swivel, some are angled and some offer arm and footrests. Some stair lift installations offer collapsible seats, improving safety since you can fold them and tuck them away. This makes them less of a tripping hazard. To top it off, all these seat features can be motorized, making every part of your ride simpler.
Safety Features and Hardware
Anytime you put someone on a machine that will raise and lower them from one floor to another, there needs to be a safety plan to avoid injuries. All types and models of stair lifts have safety features. The most important features should be included with your stair lift. One example of this is the stair lift seat belt.
You will need to choose which type of seat belt you prefer. Do you want the seat belt to be attached to your chair or do you prefer more of a harness type restraint? Also, choose the clasp that will work best for you now and in the future. There are clasps that make it easy for those with arthritis. Or if you have trouble sitting, you may choose to use the open harness system.
Another safety feature of stair lift installation are the sensors on the chair itself. These sensors can detect when there are objects in the way of the lift, stopping the lift so the object can be moved. Safety can also mean no one gets hurt when the lift is not being used. To do this, stair lifts have a lock system. When the key is removed form the lift, the unit will not function.
Safety features are improving often within the industry. In addition, there are additional, luxury features available that make your stair lift installation experience even better. And yes, they are added at an extra cost.
Extras and Warranties
If your stair lift runs on a battery, you can add multiple charging points. So, if your battery goes dead in the middle of your trip up the stairs, it can charge right there. Or, you can choose a continual charging point that always keeps your chair charging.
You can opt for a retractable seat belt that hides away when not in use. Flip up rails that can be moved out of the way when the chair is out of use. Remote controls are available for stair lifts that allow you to tell your lift what to do and how fast to do it.
Warranties, service plans, battery back-ups, emergency stops, and adjustable seat heights may come with some seats, or you may need to purchase them. This will depend on the brand and model you choose. It can also depend on the dealer and whether they can offer special discounts for added features.
Stair Lift Installation Services and Manufacturers
Several sources can sell you a stair lift, but not all can provide the installation. You can buy a stair lift online, new or used, from the manufacturer. However, you will also be responsible for providing the specific measurements, doing the research to find a chair that fits your home, and moving the item once it is delivered.
You must install it yourself or hire the right people to do the job. And by right people, you need someone who has experience installing stair lifts. This is not the time to hire inexperienced labor.
Buying from a local retailer or dealer is the best choice. They can help you through the entire process, from taking accurate measurements, to finding you discounts, to installing the stair lift the correct way.
A local dealer can make quick service calls when your stair lift needs repair. If you are considering a stair lift, reach out to your local dealer today.