Are you thinking about getting a stairlift and don’t know how to choose the right one? Limited mobility shouldn’t keep you from moving up and down your home freely. If you can’t go up and down the stairs without feeling pain or discomfort, a stairlift is a great addition to your home. Not only will it help improve your range of movement, but it will also allow you to fully utilize all areas of your home in the manner you want to. But, not all stairlifts are created equally.
1) Dimensions in Your Home (Leading to and Around the Staircase)
When choosing a stairlift, several measurements should be taken of the stairs in your home including
- The height/length of the track from the top to the bottom step
- The height, tread, and width of each step on your staircase
- The dimensions on either side of the rails on the staircase
A professional should visit your home, take all necessary measurements, and help you choose a stairlift that will fit the space safely for your mobility needs.
2) Shape & Size of the Staircase Where the Stair Lift will be Installed
There are both straight and curved staircases. This is one of the most important variables which must be accounted for in choosing a new stairlift. For straight staircases, the lift goes up and down; a curved lift can turn on corners, edges, and maneuvers, to help you get up/down the stairs safely. Many curved lifts also feature reverse settings.
When having your stairlift fitted, make sure the technician that comes to your home discusses both options with you and explains how the stairlift operates based upon the model chosen.
3) The Carriage/Your Seat Style
There are several factors you’ll want to consider when choosing the carriage or seat style for your new chair lift. Some of these important factors are
- Weight capacity, there are some models that can carry up to 400 pounds
- Swivel seats vs stationary seats; swivel seats may be necessary with certain staircases if you have to exit/board the stairlift from a specific location
- The chair height (whether you can adjust it)
- The padding/comfort level
- If a seat belt is necessary
The best way to find the right fit is to have the stairlift materials, designs and features tested out. So, if possible, visiting a showroom will allow you to test out different seats, to find the ideal fit for your personal needs.
4) Your Comfort is Important
You want to make sure the stairlift is comfortable. So, if possible, visit a showroom and try out a few models. Compare the seat depth, comfort levels, the cushions, the arm pads, and more. Even if you are only going to sit on it a few minutes daily to go up/down the stairs, you want to feel the highest level of comfort and safety while you’re on the chair lift. So, try out a few models, and see what works for you.
5) Set Your Budget: How Much can you Spend?
Unfortunately, the cost of a new stair lift might limit what you can choose. However, there are some things which can help ensure you get the best product when choosing a stairlift
- Talk to your insurer, many of these mobility products are covered (to an extent) by insurance
- Consider a used model; in many cases, they are in “like-new condition” with limited use
- Consider eliminating some unnecessary features
When the time comes to choose a new stairlift, don’t let your budget be the limiting factor. Make sure you take the right steps and talk to your insurer, as you can receive financial assistance in purchasing/installing a new stairlift if it’s “medically necessary” in your home.
Additional factors you might consider are if you require a “heavy-duty” stairlift. Many manufacturers create products that can carry over 500 pounds if necessary. There are also safety features, certain design elements, and even different colors of seat cushions you can select when buying a new stairlift for your home.
By accounting for each of these variables, you’ll find the best product suited for your home, which fits your budget, and gives you the freedom of mobility you’ve been lacking in your home for so long.