Stair Lifts - a world of indendence
buy smart and buy simple.
Stair Lifts can change your life for the better or the worse. While these units can make your house a home again, allowing access to upper or lower levels, they can also enable weakness to continue. Understanding your options and why you need one will help you make an informed decision about this expensive unit.
Weak legs - Do-It-Yourself in cost effective ways.
Climbing steps requires strong legs and a strong heart. But only strong enough to get the task done. A few simple exercises to strengthen your legs is sometimes all you may need to answer the problem that stair lifts seem to solve. Strengthening your legs is the most natural, most economical and healthiest way to independence - and you don't spend a dime!
Beyond weak legs - taking inventory.
Most stair units, like wheelchairs don't have adjustable seats for height. Weight and height can be factors depending on the amount of assistance needed to get from point A to point B. And some stair lifts have weight limits.
A stroke patient will have been taught and likely be transferring to his stronger side. This should correspond with what side the chair lift goes on in the stair well.
Back pain will require a softer residential DC powered system for a softer start and stop.
Arthritic hands may prefer a joystick control instead of a push button control panel.
Stand-on or perching lifts can be more comfortable for those who can't bend their knees very well.
How much can you spend? - discovering your options.
Many situations may require the solution of stair lifts. Just like the excitement of buying a scooter or power wheelchair is gone when you realize you can't actually get the thing in your car, buying a home unit lift for your stairwell needs to be thought out.
If you fall into this category, you are wise to look at your options. These include
Purchasing a unit is much like buying your house - any headaches now become yours!
Renting a unit is becoming a sound option for those who are not wanting the headache of maintaining one.
Rental company's are more likely to have refurbished units for sale at a discounted rate. Remember that rental units will still come with an installation fee.
Used units can occasionally be found on eBay or other auction/for sale sites - proceed with caution as they likely come with NO warranty.
Research manufacturers and check out the reputation of the company you have selected to purchase and/or install your stair lift before you buy.
How is your home set up? - fitting your staircase.
Lighting is a crucial since depth perception tends to fade as we age.
Appropriate electrical outlets need to be in place for electric (vs. battery powered) units.
Older stairways can be very narrow making it impossible to accommodate a new or used stair lift. Is your stairwell straight or curved? Split level or have a landing between two flights? This will affect cost. What side does the lift need to be on. This question needs to meet the abilities of the patient. (See the stroke patient example above).
Beware of "cut and shut" safety issues. Cut and shut practice welds together several railing pieces to form one curved or straight railing with resulting high danger. These company's are not reputable and often only offer a 12 month warranty due to high risk of problems arising down the line.
Considering Intalling a Stair Lift Yourself?Some key points to remember here:
Think before you buy. Plan it out before you buy. Best of all, carve out time in your day to work on strengthening your legs. You will not only benefit from being able to possibly climb those steps after all, but you can save money, enjoy better health and decrease a lot of pain that comes from disuse. If you do some hard work on the front end, you'll enjoy years of floor to floor mobility in the Golden Years!
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