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Stairlifts 101 | Silver Cross

For many people, climbing stairs is a challenge – a challenge that can turn to worry, as well as a lack of independence and freedom.

But moving doesn’t have to be the answer. Over 80% of people would prefer to age in their homes – adding a stairlift can help make that a reality.

At it’s most basic level, a stairlift is a motorized chair that travels along a rail mounted to the stair’s treads. The staircase must be at least 30 inches wide with a landing area of 2 feet.

Determining what type of stairlift will work in your home is easy. There are only 2 types: straight and curved.

A straight stairlift is installed for a single, straight flight of stairs with no landings or turns. Straight stairlifts are stock items that require little to no customization.

A curved stairlift, is required for stairs that feature a turn, curve or intermediate landing. A specially made rail is constructed to follow the exact direction and changing angle of the stairs.

As a result of the customization, straight stairlifts cost considerably less than curved stairlifts. A straight stairlift installed starts at roughly $3000 while curved stairlifts begin around $7500 and increase with the complexity of the stairs.

Making sure a stairlift will work with the stairs in your home is important but making sure it will work for your needs is paramount.

An experienced mobility expert will be able to gauge the potential rider’s abilities and limitations and offer possible modification options. Your height and weight can also be a factor in finding the right chair for you.

A stair lift should be installed for a trained professional. Silver Cross can help you find a prequalified local installer making the process hassle free.

Although a stairlift is an easy solution, it is not ideal if you use a wheelchair or mobility device and you’re not steady enough to easily transfer to the seat.

Wheelchair lifts, porch lifts and home elevators are safer options.

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Using a stairlift is easy, it operates by applying constant pressure to the control. In order to move you need to continuously press a button. when the button is released the unit stops.

Most lifts possess a remote control to call the unit from another level, an obstruction sensor that stops the chair from running anything over, a retractable seat belt, pivoting chair and overspeed governor to make sure the chair descends at the correct speed.

Reclaiming your independence takes very little time – a straight stairlift can be installed in a few hours, a curved stairlift will take roughly one or two days depending on the complexity.

The lifts run on batteries and are able to operate during power outages. The battery is charged automatically on the rail. As a result close proximity to an electrical outlet is required and you may need an electrician to install one nearby.

A stair lift like this one features a diagnostic light set that allows you to troubleshoot at home- for example, if you did not park the chair at the bottom where the charging station is located and you need to charge the battery.

Stairlifts are durable and yearly maintenance checks will ensure a long lasting smooth ride. You can find more information about Stairlifts by reading our stairlifts general information page.

Taking the next step to personal independence is only a stairlift away. To find a stairlift installer in your local area call Silver Cross at 1-844-352-7677 or fill-out the form on the right side of this page.

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