If you have just made the decision to install a stair lift for your elderly loved one, you may not have any idea of what is involved. This article will give you some of the basics to hopefully get you started. You may be wondering how to choose the correct stair lift for the staircase? How to make installation a pleasant and successful experience? If so, you are not alone. A stair lift is basically a seat that travels up and down a rail by means of a motor. The seat has a backrest, a footrest and two arms. It usually comes with a seatbelt as well for safety. Using a stair lift is generally a very simple process. Your elderly loved one sits in the seat, does up the strap and presses the up button on the arm rest or the down button if she desires to travel down. It automatically stops when it reaches the end of the rail.
A simple stair lift can take 4 to 5 hours to install and of course depends on the complexity and the mechanical abilities of the installer. Installation is usually a very clean and easy process. There will be a little drilling involved and then fixing the rail brackets securely to the stairs. After this is done, the fitting and wiring of the stair lift can be completed.
Turns and bends can be accommodated by using a custom built stair lift made to the exact profile of the staircase. There are usually a lot of choices as to style of stair lifts so they can blend in with most decors.
Some options to consider:
- Controls – would you prefer push buttons or joystick style controls? For those elderly people with arthritis, the joystick is easier to manipulate.
- Swivel seat – these can be powered manually or by power. It takes a little upper body strength as well as strong hands to manually adjust the swivel. Otherwise, you should choose the power swivel option. The swivel is necessary for turning into the upper landing so that dismount can be done safely on the landing rather than sideways on the top stair.
- Footrest – you probably want your stair lift to fold away neatly when not in use. The footrests that are linked to the seat so they both fold out of the way may be easier for your elderly parent to handle than a footrest she has to bend down to fold up.