Chair Lifts and Stair Lifts - The Basics
A chair lift is a mechanical accessory available in a variety of designs. Basically, this lift accessory helps seniors get into or out of chairs more easily, and offers access for travel upstairs or downstairs without risk of injury.
A medical lift chair, or stair lift, offers access to upper or lower floors of a home with reduced risk of injury for both the elderly individual and their caregivers. Seniors with disabilities, weakness caused by arthritis or other bone and joint conditions or knee problems may benefit from this lift product.
In most cases, medical stair lift manufacturers and installers offer chair lifts for individuals with straight or curved staircase. Some manufacturers even make exterior stair lifts.
Stair Lift Functions
Stair lifts offer a variety of benefits and functions for seniors, or any individual that has difficulty navigating stairs. Design and function of the stair lift may be adapted to the specific needs of the individual. Stair lifts may be designed to accommodate individuals without upper body movement or hand function to manipulate buttons that engage or disengage the lift.
Basic features of stair lifts include a chair that can be swiveled for easy mounting and dismounting, and offers adjustable height and maximum weight allowed features. A joystick for the lift is usually placed on the armrest for easy use by the individual. Remote control features of these lifts also enable other individuals to operate the chair lift from upstairs or downstairs.
An on/off switch on the lift is a basic safety component, especially useful in homes where small children reside, and these also come with an adjustable and retractable seat belt for added safety.
Railings for chair lifts are made of strong aluminum, offering smooth and steady climb and decent while keeping the person sitting in the chair stable and even, meaning no tilting sideways, backward or forward during ascent or decent.
Different manufacturers offer different lifts, and seniors may have roughly 15 to 20 models to choose from, so research is necessary to find a stair lift specifically designed to meet specific needs.
The stair lift operates on a track and car system. Tracks are fastened to stairs, which enable the car or chair to travel up and down stairways along the track. Track pieces come in sections that are easily attached together and locked, offering optimal security and safety for the lifts.
Stair lifts are available may be electric or battery operated. An electric powered home stair lift may be cheaper, but doesn't offer a backup system in case of a loss of electricity. Some of the most popular features of such stair lifts are noiseless and smooth function, durability, and adequate carrying capacity.
Offering fold-able seats, as stair lift doesn't take up much room on a stairway and allows easy access by other individuals in the home. Built-in rechargeable motors with backup power supply offers a safe, convenient, and simple way to transport individuals to different levels.
Chair Lift Functions
A "lift chair" offers a mechanical lifting function to a traditional recliner-type chair. Such chairs are often used in long-term care centers, assisted living facilities, and for personal home use. The remote control is attached to the chair, offering easy reach and access by individuals.
It functions by lifting and lowering mechanisms that offer easy seating and stability to seniors with less than perfect balance, mobility, and strength. A person with weak knee strength or limited hip mobility may press the remote control button to lift the chair to a comfortable height.
The person may then simply sit, with a 1 to 2 inch drop instead of having to drop 12 inches or more into a traditional recliner chair. After the person is firmly seated, the chair may be lowered to a resting floor position, again using the remote control.
When the individual wishes to get up to use a walker, cane, or when transferring to a wheelchair, the remote control is again pressed, enabling the individual to rise the chair or lift the chair off the floor with a slightly forward tilting motion for easy egress, almost to a normal standing position.
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