For those with limited mobility, navigating the stairs at home can be exhausting and sometimes even dangerous. Stair lifts are a safe and convenient solution that can improve accessibility and support independence at home.
Before investing in a stairlift, it’s important to understand your needs, your home’s compatibility, and exactly what makes a great stairlift experience. Here are some key things to look for to ensure a high-quality stairlift experience and to make sure you find the right stairlift for you and your home.
Riding a stairlift up or downstairs is supposed to be smooth and comfortable, providing an easy and stress-free alternative to walking. Some stairlifts have extra features designed to enhance the comfort of the experienced, for instance, cushioning on the seat and back, armrests and footrests, adjustable seats, and sometimes even swivel seats to allow easy dismounting. Many features, such as seatbelts, prioritise safety as well as comfort.
Stairlifts are very easy to operate. In most cases, to use the stairlift all you need to do is sit on the seat, put on the seatbelt (if it has one), and press and hold a switch or button. To stop the stairlift, you simply release the switch or button. Some suppliers and manufacturers will be able to tailor your stairlift to your preferences; for example, they could place the switch or button on the armrest that is most comfortable for you.
Stairlifts can have a number of extra features designed to maximise comfort and ease-of-use. Common features include:
- Foldable seats, which reduce the amount of space the stairlift occupies when not in use.
- Electronic sensors that detect items on the stairs which could interfere with the experience.
- Rechargeable batteries, which come in handy during a power cut.
- Remote controls – particularly useful if more than one person uses the stairlift, as it can be remotely brought to the top or bottom of the stairs as required.
- Speed controls
The type of staircase you have may determine whether you need a straight or curved stairlift, or whether your home is compatible with one at all – you don’t want to be banging your knees on the wall or bannister every time you use it, after all.
If your staircase curves, you will need a stairlift that can turn corners. It’s worth noting that a curved stairlift may be more expensive than a straight stairlift. If your staircase is particularly complex, you might need a bespoke stairlift designed and manufactured according to specific requirements. Many companies offer custom stairlifts, but these will likely come with a higher price tag.
Vertical stairlifts may also be an option, if your staircase isn’t compatible with a standard stairlift – for instance, if it’s too narrow. These go from one floor to another, travelling through a hole in the ceiling or the floor. Unlike standard stairlifts, the track of a vertical stairlift is linked to the wall.
Alfix Stairlifts provides high-quality stairlifts throughout the Midlands. Whether you’re in need of a temporary stairlift rental or a long-term straight or curved stairlift solution, we’ll have something to suit your needs. Our experienced team is committed to making your home as comfortable and as accessible as possible. For more information, call 01926 334848 or visit our website today.