Keeping their home safe and accessible is important to those who want to remain living in their home as they age. There are updates and modifications that can make that possible, one of those being installing a stairlift. Stairlifts allow homeowners to access all levels of their home and could make it possible to continue to live independently in their home for longer. Making the decision to install a stairlift is the first step. The next is deciding what style you need, straight or curved.
Straight stairlifts are designed for stairs that have no curves, bends, or landings. They offer a straight path from one level in the home to another and have a rail that can be customized to fit the length of the stairs in your home. The rail is installed on the tread of the stairs and is generally unnoticeable and does not impact the use of the stairs by others. Straight lifts are typically easier to install, take less time and are less expensive than curved. They plug into a regular outlet and most units can charge at the top or bottom of the stairs. If you have a power outage the batteries will typically give you 10-12 trips before needing to be charged again.
Curved stairlifts are custom made to fit stairs that have landings, curves, or bends. They move along a rail that is made precisely for the staircase bend in your home and is tailored to meet your needs. To customize your curved lift, a special camera is used to photograph the stairs and the path the lift will need to travel. Those images are then used to create a 3D model where the exact measurements for the track can be determined, and the building process can begin. Because of the increased work and customized nature of the lift, curved stairlifts can be significantly more expensive.
Depending on your staircase and your physical abilities, it is possible to install two straight stairlifts instead of a curved lift. Two straight lifts can be cheaper than one curved stairlift. The staircase would require a landing at the angle for two straight lifts to work. One lift would take you to the landing where you would need to stand up, pivot and sit in the next chair to take you the rest of the way. Consult with your doctor before deciding if you feel like you have the strength and balance to make that transfer. They will be able to help gauge your stability and future needs.
Both lifts have similar features that make them safe and easy to use. Stairlift chairs have a swivel lock feature that allows the user to turn the chair itself around so that they are able to stand directly on the top landing when entering or exiting the lift. The seat locks in place so that when they come back to use it again, they can easily enter it the same way with no stepping, twisting or bending. Of course, if you choose to get a curved lift, you can have it designed so that it curves around at the top of the stairs placing you on the top landing.
Both styles of lifts also have built in safety features that stops the lift from moving up or down if something is obstructing its path. If the user’s foot slips off the footrest and gets between the step and the chair, the lift will stop immediately. The chairs also include a seat belt for those who needextra support or stability. Many models include flip up seats and footrests. This decreases the amount of space they take up when not in use and allows others to use the stairs without interference.
Trust the All-Star Medical Stairlift Experts
No matter your choice, work with a professional to ensure that your stairlift is designed, constructed, and installed correctly. All-Star Medical has years of experience with all aspects of stairlifts. We have several videos that talk about different brands and styles of lifts that can help you learn more. If you want to try a stairlift for yourself, we have both curved and straight demo models available in both of our showrooms. We also feature all our stairlift options on our website. Come in to either of our locations with your questions or call to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff and let us help you get a quality and safe stairlift.