A chair lift for stairs is an incredibly useful tool for someone with mobility challenges. This lift is simply a chair which attaches to your stairway via a rail, which automatically takes you up or down the stairs without any effort on your part beyond pushing a button or two.
For anyone with a serious disability or injury that makes walking up and down stairs difficult or impossible, a stair chair lift can be a life-changing device. We're about to take a look at exactly what chair lifts are and what they can do for you, the benefits of owning one and how to go about choosing one for your own home.
If you (or a family member) are disabled to the point where climbing a flight of stairs is completely impossible, the benefits of a chair lift will be obvious immediately - in fact, in this scenario a chair lift is a virtual necessity if you live in a two- or three-story house.
But if you can still make your way up and down stairs - despite a lot of difficulty - you might feel the price of a chair lift is excessive. But there are several good reasons to invest in a chair lift for stairs.
For starters, many of the injuries or disabilities that make it difficult for someone to use a set of stairs are actually made worse by the act of walking up and down them on a daily basis. Consider arthritis, for example - the strain put on your joints when you walk up and down stairs can make your condition progressively worse over time. Likewise, joint problems related to obesity can be made worse by regularly walking up and down stairs and putting your joints, particularly the knees, under a lot of pressure.
On top of that, falls on stairs are a leading cause of serious injury amongst the elderly and people with physical disabilities. Having a chair stair lift virtually eliminates the risk of such a fall.
The alternatives simply can't compare to the ease and safety of a chair lift.
Because a stair chair lift is such a big purchase, it's wise to compare as many providers and products as you can to get a clear idea of what standard pricing is for the specifications and features you need. By comparing as many providers as possible, you can also play them off against each other to secure the best price. Because chair lifts are a big ticket item, vendors are usually willing to beat a competitor's price quote, if you let them know you can get the product cheaper somewhere else.
Now, the big question: how much can you expect to pay for a chair lift? The answer to this can vary quite a lot. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can expect price tags of around $2000. At the higher end, lifts can cost over $16000. The differences in price are related not just to the quality of the product, but factors like the length of the stairs, whether the stairs are straight or have a bend in them, and various other factors.
As for particular brands and products that stand out, Bruno chair lifts are amongst the best. They make models for straight stairs, curved stairs and even outdoor products that can fit a basic flight of steps or stairs on a house built into the side of a hill. Most Bruno products can hold up to 400 pounds, making them ideal for many people suffering obesity-related mobility problems. Bruno is a long-running and widely respected company in the industry, having an excellent reputation with consumer reports and business rating organizations.
Regardless of how much you spend on the product itself or what company you go with, you need to be conscious of the costs and time required for installation. Buying a chair lift is not the same as buying a scooter or wheelchair - typically it will require professional installation, which can add a lot to the price tag.
If you happen to know someone who has the technical know-how to do it for you, this can save you a lot of money - however, avoid using someone who has never installed such a product before. There's a lot of subtlety in the way chair lifts function, and improper installation could mean a chair that doesn't function as it should. This could lead to anything from minor frustrations through to unnecessary safety risks resulting from incorrect installation.
If you're wheelchair-bound, a standard chair lift might not seem much use to you - after all, you need your wheel chair when you get up or down the stairs.
But there are products designed to accommodate wheel chairs, and they generally don't cost much more than standard chair lifts. The design is similar, but these lifts simply hook up to your wheel chair, rather than requiring you to sit in a seat which is permanently attached to the lift. This makes living in a two- or three-story house not only possible, but even comfortable, for someone who is confined to a wheelchair.
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