Stairlifts can become a major residential solution for improved accessibility in homes that are designed with one or more staircases. Due to aging, injuries or disabilities, an increasing number of the population will not be able to access upper levels of their homes in the coming years. This will eventually force many to move from the family home and live in an unfamiliar setting, even later in life, which can be traumatic. For those who want to be able to stay in their homes after a loss of mobility, a stairlift can offer more independence for those who most need it.
However, there are many choices of lift systems for home staircases that are available. Also, there is a wide variety of features that make it even more difficult to choose the right one for your situation. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips to help you start the process of choosing the perfect lift system for your home.
Evaluate the needs
Before selecting a chair lift for your home, be sure to discuss the possibility with your doctor, physical therapist, or gerontologist. These professionals can help give you a broad idea of what you or your family member’s needs really are and what mobility issues are affected. Also, if possible, discuss the prefernces and concerns that your loved one may have. Sometimes there is some apprehension among the elderly about mounting a chair lift system that carries them up one or more flights of stairs. This is just one of the concerns that can be addressed ahead of time.
Do a little research
Even before you talk to a stair lift company about their product, be sure to do a little research on your own so that you are competent enough to talk to a representative. If you aren’t a bit knowledgeable, it’s easy to be sold something that you don’t really need or won’t even like later one. At least know what general types of lifts are available, such as curved or straight lifts for the homes. Also be aware that there are many options that your representative may not inform you of, so knowing as many facts as possible can help you.
Contact a reputable stairlift dealer
There are several companies that manufacture and install home lifts. They also offer general information on their websites as well as provide information through the telephone or information packets. You can easily get a representative on the phone to answer some of your initial questions. When you are ready to discuss further details of purchasing and installation, you can meet with a representative in your home. He will go over all the details for your particular staircase as well as the costs of installation and servicing. You can verify the reputation of the company by checking with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints that may have been lodged.
It’s usually wise to compare prices, features, guarantees, follow-up service agreements and warranties, with 2 or 3 companies before you make your final choice. Installing this type of mobility equipment in the home can be a large investment, although it can also turn your home into an accessible, safe setting for a disabled family member.