A Guide to Stairlifts: Lifelong Solutions For Safe, Comfortable Living
There are many different types of stairlifts, from straight, curved and even outdoor options. Buying a stairlift for your home is a big commitment, they aren't always cheap and you'll want to find one that suits your exact needs, the following article will help answer some of the most common stairlift questions to help inform your decision.
What type of stairlift is right for me?
The type of stairlift you choose will depend on your individual needs, in most circumstances stairlifts can be adapted to the individuals needs, whether that be installing safety features and accessories, or remote controlled features. Another thing to consider is the shape and style of your staircase at home. These are all components of staircase installation that your local stairlift engineer can guide you through upon an evaluation.
What are my stairlift options?
The most common stairlift options are Straight or Curved, and this is depending on the shape of your staircase at home. The quality of equipment ranges from very basic to very sophisticated, but each has its own limitations and benefits.
Straight stairlifts are the simplest and most cost effective options, In the majority of cases a straight stairlift can be installed on either side of the staircase, providing that both sides are wall and not railing, stairlifts are even able to be installed past a door or radiator with retractable railings. Your staircase must be wider than a minimum of 75-80cm in order to be eligible for a staircase installation as to prevent any fire hazards in the case of an emergency.
Curved stairlifts are slightly more expensive that your straight stairlift, however they do offer more variety, a curved stairlift is able to curve around your entire home, meaning if you live in a home with multiple stories you will be able to travel to your desired floor and depart at any point. A curved stairlift is also recommended for those who cannot approach the first step of the stairs to reach the straight stairlift, experts will be able to install the stairlift at a curved angle in order for you to board safely and comfortably.
If you love your garden and are looking for ways to increase mobility whilst outside, getting a stairlift for your garden steps may be the right choice. There are many options for outdoor stairlifts, waterproof options, you are also able to have straight or curved outdoor stairlifts to ensure that travelling around your garden is not difficult. Most outdoor stairlifts come weather resistant, with a lock that can control its use.
Practically all stairlifts are completely customisable, whether you require further safety features, softer pillowing or a footrest your stairlift can be designed with your needs in mind. Here’s a list of some of the popular additional features with Stairlifts;
1. Grocery carriers (basket underneath)
2. Side arm shelf or newspaper pouch
3. Alternative seat belts for disability purposes
4. Weather proof seat covers (for outdoor stairlifts)
5. Retractable footrest
How do I choose the right stairlift?
Before purchasing your stairlift, it's very important to ask yourself what your needs are and what you want from your stairlift. There are many different types of stairlifts to choose from, all of which have their pros and cons. Ultimately you’ll also need to consider other essential factors such as your staircase type & pricing, additional features such as the above list can turn a basic stairlift into a high-tech and (unfortunately) higher priced stairlift. Although it is important to put your health & mobility above price, there are options for Stairlift grants availability throughout England & Wales and also rental options with certain stairlift providers that can ensure you are able to maintain living in your home for as long as you’d like.
How much does a stairlift cost?
In the U.K a stairlift can cost anything from £2,000 to £10,000 depending on the type, functionalities, additional features and your installer. However it’s also possible to get rental stairlifts in which you pay a small deposit typically £500-£1,000 and pay the rest of the price weekly or monthly, usually with a slight additional charge. You can also apply for disability grants to help with funding your home stairlift adaptations, otherwise you can check for pre-owned stairlifts which are usually cheaper, but may come with a bit more wear and tear.
How often should stair lifts be serviced?
Just like other engineering equipment a stairlift should receive a manual servicing every year, to ensure that the safety features are up to date, no damages both internal and external exist, this way your warranty will still be covered - you’ll also need a battery changing every 3-5 years, this can be done on your yearly servicing to ensure you don’t need to have a separate call out.