There are a variety of stairlifts available for people who struggle to get up and down stairs. The problem some people have is in knowing which one is the right one for their home. So to help out we've created this quick guide to give some basic information on the range of stairliftsavailable for users who need help accessing other levels of their home.
The straight stairlift is one of the most commonly known stairlifts. As the name describes, it is designed to fit onto staircases that go straight up with no curves or bends. They can be made to fit on almost any staircase, no matter if it is a little narrow or steep. The curved stairlift is the right solution if a staircase does feature curves or bends such as 90° or 180° turns. The rail is custom made for the staircase, so curved stairlifts should fit to that staircase perfectly. For this reason, however, curved stairlifts tend to be a lot more expensive than straight stairlifts.
Reconditioned stairlifts are a good idea if someone is looking for a stairlift but may not have the finances to back it up, as they tend to be a little cheaper than new stairlifts. Reconditioned stairlifts from reputable companies should come with full warranty for labour and parts. But keep in mind a fully reconditioned curved stairlift may not be an option as the rail is usually bespoke and so only fits a particular stairlift. But a refurbished seat is an available option to cut cost down a little.
Straight rental stairlifts are an advisable option if a stairlift is only needed for short-term use. This is because it is much cheaper - with the cost being a certain amount paid monthly or weekly - and rental stairlifts can then be removed when the person then regains their mobility, leaving their home just as it was beforehand.
Some houses, particularly older houses such as 20th century houses, may have a much narrower staircase than more modern houses. This may cause a problem for access of the staircase. There are many narrow stairlift models available to fit some of the narrowest stairlifts. Also, most stairlifts have some kind of folding mechanism - mostly for the foot rest but often the seat and arms fold too - so when not in use, stairlifts can be folded away. Again this helps people who do not require a stairlift to access the staircase without the stairlift becoming an obstruction.
Stairlifts are not only limited to indoor use. There are outdoor models of stairlifts available. These are the same as the indoor equivalent, but come with fully waterproofed seats and components to withstand the weather.
Stairlifts are designed for people with lesser mobility, to help them negotiate stairs, but some people are unable to bend their knees as easily as others. For that reason, there is a perch stairlift available. A perch stairlift has a smaller seat so the user can easily stand whilst being transported up the stairs. As with all other stairlifts, these come with a seatbelt for added safety and security.
For users who need access to the upper levels but are in a wheelchair, there are stairlifts that suit this purpose. These are known as platform, or disabled, stairlifts. Platform stairlifts have a flat surface so wheelchair users can easily get on and off the lift. These are made to be more heavy duty than standard chair stairlifts and have a range of safety features as well as easy access ramps.
An alternative for wheelchair users is the through-floor lift. As the name suggests, this goes though the floor directly to the room above rather than relying on being fitted to a staircase. There is also seated version for people who do not necessarily require a wheelchair but prefer the comfort of being seated in a lift.