Types of Wheel Chair Lifts

Wheel chair lifts play a vital role in your ability to get out, move around, and enjoy life. There are models that help you ascend stairs, enter vehicles, transport your mobility chair, swim in a pool, navigate a multi-level building, and even help you get out of a comfortable chair. Following is a summary of the categories of wheelchair lifts.

Platform Lifts

For mobility chair access in a residence, commercial building, school, church, office, or theater, a platform lift helps individuals navigate stairs, stages and other architectural constraints with ease. This type of vertical elevating system is most often used as an alternative to installing a wheelchair ramp.

Platform lifts come in a variety of sizes, may be open or enclosed, and can be installed in buildings and homes of nearly any age.

They can be customized and permanently installed to accommodate a building's specific requirements for wheelchair accessibility.

Moreover, most portable lifts can be easily stored and then moved from one location to another.

Stair Lifts

Built and installed to fit the stairway in your home, a stair lift provides a smooth, powered ride up and down stairs in a standing, perched or seated position, depending on the model and requirements of the user.

If bending at the hips is challenging, a standing stair lift may be the best choice. Standing models feature a small high seat with arms and a back to lean against as you are carried up and down the stairs. Seated stair lifts feature a seat, back, armrests and footrests that can be adjusted to ensure a safe, comfortable fit.

Lift Chairs

If you are not confined to a wheelchair but experience difficulty standing up after sitting for a while, you may want to consider purchasing a lift chair. There are a variety of attractively upholstered lift chairs on the market, including models that are electrically powered.

These chairs typically feature two or three positions to maximize comfort while sitting, along with lifting capability so you can easily rise to a standing position.

Another option is to purchase a seat lift that attaches to your favorite living room chair. Then when you are ready to stand up, the lift elevates you off the chair cushion to an upright position.

Vehicle Lifts

Handicap wheel chair lifts come in a variety of sizes and models, and can be easily installed in vans, cars, buses and trucks.

Some lifts are designed for wheelchair transport only. Other models are specifically developed to accommodate the wheelchair with the user sitting in it.

Powered ramps are a form of vehicle lift and can be installed in a van to allow the wheel chair user to enter and ride comfortably (with appropriate chair tie-downs and seat belts. Vehicle lifts are typically electronically operated so one person can operate it without assistance.

Patient Lifts and Slings

Manual and battery-powered patient lifts are designed to safely transfer an individual to and from a wheelchair.

These lifts, together with patient slings, are important to home and medical care environments because they help protect the patient and the caregiver from risk of injury.

Manual lifts feature hydraulic mechanisms to lessen physical strain on the caregiver during transfers. They are less expensive than powered models.  

Power lifts are easy to use. They operate with electrical or battery charged hand controls and eliminate the need for any physical exertion. Power models come with a manual back-up feature in the event of power outages.

A variety of sling sizes and styles are available to be used with patient lifts. Slings typically do not come with patient lifts and need to be purchased separately.  Always discuss patient lift requirements – and sling requirements – with your healthcare provider prior to purchase.

Related Information - Wheel Chair Lifts

More on Wheelchair Lifts
Outside and Inside Lifts for Cars
Electric Mobility Lift
Wheelchair Van Lifts
Platform Lifts
Mobility Bath Lifts
Lift Chairs
Mobility Scooter Lifts

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