For people with disabilities or those who have recently suffered an accident that has rendered them unable to walk, or anyone who has to rely almost exclusively on a wheelchair to get around, being faced with a stairway is about as welcome as being faced with Mount Everest on a bad day. This is not a particularly ideal situation for anyone with mobility problems, let alone those confined to a wheelchair. Fortunately there is a solution to this problem at hand.
The wheelchair stair lift is an adaptation of the original stair chair lift that was devised for transporting the elderly or infirm up and down stairs that would otherwise restrict their movement around their own homes
How Does a Wheelchair Stair Lift Work?
The question also begs to know what exactly does a wheelchair stair lift entail and how easily can one be fitted to a regular staircase?
A wheel chair stair lift is wider than a standard handicap stair chair lift, as it needs to have a full sized base to accommodate a standard width wheelchair without it being able to slip off while the chair lift is in motion. It also needs to be easy for the user to get on and off at the other end.
To this end, a wheelchair stair lift has a wide, flat base that can lock in position when at rest to allow the user to wheel the chair on backwards and then lock it in place. The base then unlocks and swivels around so that the user rides up the stairs at a 90 degree angle, with their back to the wall for comfort.
When the stairway lift gets top the top, the base then swivels around to face the top landing and locks so the user can easily move off in a forward motion in complete safety.
A wheel chair stair lift must be fitted by qualified installers who will be sent by the manufacturer to provide a professional installation that will be certified safe and guaranteed against any defects or operating problems. This is important to have in case anything untoward goes wrong, the owner is completely covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
For this reason it is not recommended to attempt to install a wheelchair lift on your stairs yourself or have a casual fitter do the work cheaply as the manufacturer's warranty may be invalidated.
There are several important considerations to take into account when deciding upon the installation of a wheelchair stair lift.
The cost of purchasing and installing may be beyond many people's budget, especially those reliant on a pension for their income. If this is the case, perhaps you can get family members to club together to help with the cost, or try local charity organizations for advice.
It may be that certain organizations can obtain a discount on certain manufacturer's products, or local authorities may offer special grants for people with disabilities to obtain mobility aids such as these.
As far as installation is concerned, the additional width of the wheelchair platform may render this device unsuitable for very narrow stair cases.
The wheelchair platform on most models can be lifted into a vertical position when the stair lift is at rest so that other people can get by unhindered.
If you have the opportunity to have a wheelchair stair lift installed in your home, you will be amazed at the new feeling of freedom that you'll feel by simply being once again able to access all the rooms in your home without the discomfort or indignity of having to rely on a helper to get you up and down stairs. Total access to every part of one's own home is a basic right that everyone should enjoy, not just the able bodied.