Tips for Buying a Wheel Chair Lift
Benefit from Greater Mobility with a Wheel Chair Lift
For people with limited mobility, climbing stairs, getting into a vehicle, or managing rooms on different levels can be challenging and time consuming. Lifts can make movement easier and less frustrating without the need for significant home reconstruction or vehicle alteration.
The following information includes an overview of lift types and help you determine which will be most beneficial for your lifestyle needs.
Types of Lifts
Platform lifts use hydraulics to move the chair from one level to another. Vertical platform lifts come in several different styles, but most can be positioned inside or outside.
Some of the most common models include the following:
- Free-standing Lifts: If the area where the lift is needed is not supported by weight bearing walls, this model is a good choice.
- Stairlifts: These devices are not used with a wheel chair, but, instead, they have a seat that moves a person smoothly from one level of a home to another. Stairlifts are typically easier to install than other types of lifts and can help a person remain independent.
- Vehicle Mobility Lifts: This device can make entering and exiting a van much easier for those in a wheel chair. One model can be placed in the trunk or back of the van when not in use, and the other remains visibly attached to the back of the transport.
- Enclosed Platform Lifts: Similar to an elevator, this lift encloses the wheel chair on all sides and at the top to ensure the ultimate safety.
- Shaft Wheel Chair Lifts: This model is valuable for homes with constricted hallways.
- Stage Lifts: This type of lift is used when only a short vertical distance must be spanned.
- Opal Lifts: Though this model has an open top, it encloses the chair on all sides just as the enclosed platform lift does.
While the manufacturing of most wheel chair lifts are regulated, be sure the models you are considering provide the following safety features.
- A button that will stop the lift in an emergency situation
- Obstruction sensors that will stop the lift when an obstacle is beneath the platform
- Flooring with an anti-slip surface
- A final limit control switch
Once you have made your purchase, be sure you are well-trained in operating the device before attempting to use it on your own. Most retailers are happy to assist with this and will work with new owners until they feel safe and competent.
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