It is very normal to develop mobility problems with age. But fortunately, there are ways and means to ensure that even with mobility issues the elderly can live their life independently and with dignity. One way to ensure elderly mobility is to install stair-lifts in the house they live in. this will ensure that they are able to go from one level to another without having to negotiate the stairs.
Tips to buying a stair-lift for elders to enhance their safe mobility
There are several factors to consider before making the final choice of installing a stair-lift within the house. They are:
- Ability to be used outside: While rain or snow might render it risky to use the stair-lifts outside the house, the ability of the stair-lift to be used outdoors at other times increases its utility. Hence this is one feature which should be present in the stair-lifts being sold.
- Stair chairs must be keyed: In order to make them safe for use by the elderly members of the family, the chairs of the stair-lift need to be kept keyed in. This will ensure that unless they cannot be operated unless and until
- the key is inserted in its respective position and
- It is kept turned to the “on” position.
- Ability of rails to flip up: There are many instances when these stair-lifts are not used for a long time. In these cases it is always better for the rails to be kept folded and flipped up. This will make it convenient to store when not in use.
- Presence of a hand held control: To enable the elderly users to use it freely, the control has to be placed in their hands. Hence stair-lifts with pendant controls which are hand help make for a better stair-lift.
- Accommodation of longer track lengths: Generally stair-lifts are available for staircases in sizes of 16feet. But in case a longer one is required, there are certain tracks available which can even go up to 45feet. Hence the amount of track required to cover the whole stairway should be taken into consideration before making the final purchase.
- Standing stair-lifts: Mobility issues are not only restricted to problems with walking. Other problems like unsteadiness of the knees, inability to bend them etc., are also present. Hence to cater to these requirements, certain stair-lifts enable the elderly to use them in a standing position when they negotiate the steps. This does away with the need to bend their legs for putting it on the leg-rest of stair-lift chairs. These standing lifts are also very handy for negotiating narrow steps.
- Capacity for carrying loads: Before going to purchase a stair-lift, due research needs to be done to understand the required weight capacity of the chair stair-lifts. In case the weight capacity becomes less, it might give rise to accidents while if it is of a higher weight capacity than needed, it would mean wasteful expenditure.
- Seat depth: Normally the seat depth of the chair of the stair-lift is 18inches. But if the elderly person is over 6ft in height, chairs taken should have a deeper seat.