Walking up and down the stairs is something that is often taken for granted when we are young. As we bound up the steps 2 at a time, we do not realize that for many the steps present a very large obstacle.
If you can not easily or safely use the stairs in your home, you might be tempted to avoid the upstairs areas and might even consider selling your house. These options are unnecessary if you own a stair lift.
A stair lift is a mobility aid that is installed to a staircase and is used to carry an individual up and down the staircase. In most cases a strong aluminum track is secured directly to the stairs. Attached to the track is a car unit that consists of an electric motor and a chair or small platform. The car travels up and down the stairs on the track and can support one rider.
Many people choose to install the stair lift on their own and if you have a straight staircase, this process can generally be done quickly and efficiently. The first step is to secure the track to the steps. Generally the car comes loaded on a short piece of track and this small piece of track is connected to the track on the stairs.
The car unit, which consists of electrical motor, chair or platform, and in some cases batteries. The car can be quite heavy, so it is a good idea to get some help bringing it to the top of the stairs. After the small piece of track that holds the car is attached to the stairs, the car is plugged in and backed down onto the track. The small piece of track can then be removed.
While a stair lift for a straight staircase can be installed quickly and inexpensively, if you have a curved staircase, it will cost much more and require professional installation. Sometimes it is possible to install 2 straight stair lifts, but this can only be done on “L” shaped staircases that have a landing.
This is much less expensive and can be ordered and installed in less than a week, but if you must go with a curved stair lift you are looking at a process that can last over 2 months from the time of order to the time it is installed.
Stair lifts provide a great way to bridge the gap between areas of different elevation in a home. They can also be used outdoors on the front steps and greatly improve mobility.