Stair lifts are designed to get those of us with mobility concerns up and down their stair case safely and easily. The stair lift was invented in the 1930’s and they’ve grown in popularity as our aging population looks for ways to continue living safely in their own homes.
What is a Stair Lift?
In its’ simplest form, a stair lift is a chair that climbs up and down a staircase on a motorized rail attached to the stairs. While getting up and down the stairs safely is the primary concern, today’s top quality lifts include numerous features to maximize comfort, ease of use and attractiveness in the home.
Don’t be confused when you see phrases like chair lift, stair chair, stair glider or a chair for stairs. They’re all just different names for a stair lift…or just a ‘lift’ as they’re often called in conversation.
When Are Stair Lifts Needed?
The short answer is whenever you or a loved one is in danger of falling on the stair case. But here’s the catch…nobody wants to admit they need some help with something they’ve done without a second thought for decades.
Here are some common signs that it’s time to consider getting a lift installed:
- Walking up or down your stairs fills you with anxiety because you’re afraid of falling
- Your doctor has advised you to avoid stairs due to health concerns. (Strokes, heart conditions, severe arthritis and medications that affect balance or vision are common risk factors).
- Mobility concerns due to balance, joint pain & stiffness or leg strength make climbing stairs unsafe
- You try to avoid using your stairs…or worse yet, have stopped using part of your home because of the stairs
The best time to get a lift is before there’s a fall. Falls involving seniors and stairs often have devastating consequences. Think about it – it’s more than just falling on a flat surface. For those seniors who do suffer a fall, the statistics are grim – about 50% of the seniors who sustain a fall-related injury are discharged to a nursing home rather than returning home. The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies here. In fact, it can be a life saver.
Fortunately, there is a lift that’s right for just about every home in America that needs one. Including yours.
Different Types of Stair Lifts
Just as stair cases come in many shapes, sizes and locations, there are lifts designed to fit almost any situation.
Straight Lifts are the simplest and most common type. As they name implies, these run along a straight stretch of stairs without any turns or curves. The length can vary to match your stair case. Higher quality lifts like the Easy Climber® even have the strength to climb most ‘extra steep’ straight stair cases.
Curved Lifts wrap around a multi-part stair case for a continuous ride from top to bottom regardless of how the stairs are configured. These require custom-manufactured rails that fit the exact size of the staircase. Often this requires ‘making the turns’ for 3 short, straight sets of stairs that form a U shape in the home. Have a spiral stair case or a unique design?
There are a few other specialty lifts available from other manufacturers. These include outdoor stair lifts, wheelchair lifts and even single-person elevators for situations where traditional lifts are not a viable option.
Critical Stair Lift Features To Consider
- Battery backup with power for multiple trips if electrical service is disrupted
- Auto-stop sensors that detect objects in the path of the chair
- Swivel seat design that lets you get on and off your chair on a flat surface – not just stopping at the top stair (see video example here )
- Optional safety belt for added security
- Provides a smooth, “bump-free” ride along the stairway
Better quality lifts include power-assisted features and a more attractive design for your home. Look for:
- Power footrest and swivel seats to eliminate added risks
- Remote controls that allow you to call the chair to you or send it away when not in use
- Warranty – Make sure your stair lift has a lifetime warranty that covers the critical parts
- Easy to reach controls and a key-lock system to prevent unauthorized use
- Your stair lift should easily fold up to allow extra stairway room when not in use
How to Use A Stair Lift
Using your lift is a 3-step process: Enter, Ride and Exit.
Entering your lift is easy. Just make sure the chair is at the end of the rail (safely away from the nearest stair) and sit down. Put your feet on the footrest, buckle your seat belt and you’re ready to go.
While controls types may vary, all good quality lifts have an easy-to-use switch that starts and stops movement at your command. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Exiting your lift is just as easy as entering it. Make sure the chair is facing a flat surface (not a stair), put your feet on the floor, unbuckle the seat belt and use the arm rests for balance as you stand and walk away.
How Stair Lifts Are Installed
Every Easy Climber stair lift is custom-fit to your particular staircase. A professional Easy Climber representative will come to your home and take a few simple measurements, which will be used to ensure a proper, custom fit for your home. The stair lift’s low-profile track is attached to the stairs, not the wall, so little to no redecorating is required.
Usually your Easy Climber stair lift can be installed in just a few hours. Don’t forget – no installation is complete until you’ve been shown how to operate your new lift and have taken test rides to your satisfaction. Finally, your home should be left in just the same condition – no trash or mess to clean up.
Stair Lift Prices
While it seems simple on the surface, quoting an accurate price for a stair lift in your home requires calculating several costs that vary from home to home. These include the type of lift, the number and length of stairs, the shipping and delivery cost of the materials and the installation cost. No two installations are exactly alike, so ads promising a lift at a fixed, low-ball price are just gimmicks to get your attention.
We know from experience that a lift expert needs to first understand each customer’s specific needs, see and measure their stairs, check for proper electrical wiring and understand any local permitting requirements before they can quote an accurate price.
Learn More About Easy Climber Stair Lifts
Find out why more and more seniors are choosing an Easy Climber stair lift to improve their mobility, maintain their independence and regain their peace of mind.
Why risk your health and independence on the stairs when an easy and affordable solution is only a phone call away? Learn more about getting your own Easy Climber stair lift…just call us today, toll free, at 1-888-553-9931 or fill out the simple form above and we’ll call you.
Don’t let your stairs become an obstacle to safely enjoying all of your home. Call us now, toll free, 1-888-553-9931.