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Over the years stair lift technology has changed rapidly new features that make lifts safer, easier and efficient. Developed over time target user’s which are arthritis, stroke or fall sufferers.
Below is a list of features with buying tips:-
- Swivel seats; feature enables a user to get off and on the stair lifts chair much easier. This is particularly important at the top of stairs allowing safe exit directly on to the landing.
- Tip: Use manually or powered if you have reduced mobility ask for a powered option. This should also be lockable.
- Seat belts; mandatory on all lifts hold the user in place whilst riding the lift.
- Tip: Sign of a reputable manufacture check this closely particularly on a used lift.
- Self-levelling; seat that rides the rail uses sensors to adjust the ride whilst travelling the rail.
- Tip: Look for this option if you suffer prolong pain to make the ride more comfortable for you. This is important if you plan to ride the lift many times a day.
- Soft start and stop; The stair lifts chair sets of slow gets up to speed then slows as it reached the end of the rail.
- Tip: A good option to combine with the above to avoid jolts and rocking on the lift that may aggravate any pain.
- Remote control; Used to call the lift from the bottom or top of stairs.
- Tip: Better to have two in the house one for downstairs one for up look for big buttons that are easy to use and the batteries easy to change.
- Padded seat; Provides added comfort whilst riding the lift
- Tip: Most seats are the same but look for durability and easiest to clean.
- Safety sensors: Stopping the lift from colliding with any object in the way on the stairs.
- Tip: Make sure sensors cover the parts nearest to travel and that they work.
- Folding arms, seat and footrest; Keeps the lift away when not in use.
- Tip: Go for the one that you like the look of best. Also a removable key is a good option to have when the stair lifts not in use.
Other things to consider
How is it to use? Using the lift two, three times a day or more if it causes you pain to use it, or its controls are difficult to use it is not much help to you.
What if something goes wrong? Like a power cut? breakdown? Good stair chair lifts have an electric motor that uses a battery so the lift works with no power. Choose a lift with a good reliable engine and battery combination to see through a power loss (there also cheaper to run).
Ask about a stair lifts reliability and how much repairs typically cost. A digital read out is a good idea these show error codes used to find faults resulting in reduction in.
A seemingly simple thing as walking up and down stairs can be impossible for those who are disabled or handicapped. Installing a handicap stair lift can give a person a real sense of independence – perhaps for the first time in years. But they are very expensive. It is possible to save hundreds of dollars by installing a used stair lift however before doing so, you should first be sure that the second hand one is going to be right for you.
There are two types of stair lift; straight and curved. Both types can be powered by either mains electricity or by rechargeable batteries. Before you consider buying a used stair lift you should be aware of the issues in installing and using an electric or battery model for both straight and curved chair lifts.
A curved lift is for stairways that have turns or mid-level landings. Curved models are custom made and can take anything up to 3 months to install. They are also considerably more expensive than straight models. If your stairs require a curved lift you should think long and hard about buying a used model. A used one will have been custom made for another staircase and will almost certainly not fit yours. Therefore a used curved stair lift will require that the track – on which the chair travels – be modified substantially; in fact, you may not be able to modify it at all and have to buy a new track for your stairs.
Buying and installing a used curved chair lift is a specialized skill. Unless you are very experienced at this sort of work, you will need to buy this sort of lift from a supplier, who will install and provide a warranty. The suppliers are not hard to find, a quick look on the web will quickly help you locate a dealer near you.
To buy and install a used straight stair lift is less problematic. There’s no need to modify the track; you simply have to fit it to your stairs. However, there are one or two things to check before you buy this type of second hand chair lift. If your stairs require that the rail be fitted on the right-hand-side then make sure the used model you buy is suitable for the right and not the left side. If you’re going to install it yourself you should make sure that the track is the right size for your stairs. Tracks come in various lengths – usually between 16 and 20 feet – so make sure the track length is long enough for your stairs.
Most new models are battered operated – makes like Stannah and Bruno Stair Lift – and there are many advantages with battery powered models. Ones that use rechargeable batteries generally have a smoother ride, are easy to install – requiring no wiring and the stair lift can be used during power outages.
Many older models are powered from mains supply. One or two manufacturers like the Summit Stair Lift still make a mains powered model. If you are going to buy a used stair lift that is mains powered you will need to do some wiring; unless you’re a qualified electrician you will need a professional to do this work. Also, it was quite common for these types to have the electric cable trail behind the chair, which does present the possibility of someone tripping over it.
Other things you should check before you buy a second hand stair lift are the general condition of the chair; does it swing out smoothly; does it have a seatbelt – if you need to wear one you will have the problem of trying to buy a seatbelt for a model of stair lift that may no longer be made. If it’s a battery powered model check that the batteries and charger are in good working order. The same applies to all the controls.
Finally, you should think about a warranty. If you buy a used model and fit it yourself you won’t have any guarantee that it will be safe and work properly. If you buy from a specialist supplier then you should get some guarantee about safety and will get after sales support. As stated, there are many reputable suppliers of used stair lifts – you can find many of them online – and they sell many leading brands like Acorn, Stannah and Bruno stair lifts.
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