If mobility difficulties are deterring you or even preventing you from using the upstairs of your house, then a stairlift could be the perfect solution for you. However, the prospect of choosing a stair-lift can seem very daunting at first, so here a few options and tips to ensure that you end up with the best possible lift for your needs.
There are lots of companies that manufacture and fit stair-lifts, so make sure you shop around to get the best stair-lift for you and your home. You could start by having a leaf through your local phone book to look up the nearest mobility and disability shops; mobility and disability-equipment companies often also advertise in local newspapers so you can check there too. It is always a good idea to contact as many companies as you can, so that you can be sure you are getting the best quality for the best price.
Companies should be happy to give you over-the-phone information and advice on what you may need and what they can offer. In order for a quote to be drawn up, a representative from the company will visit your home to take measurements of the stairway where you would like the lift to be, and also to take some measurements from you, such as your height, leg length, weight etc. It is important that they ask you whether you are right- or left-handed as well, as this will obviously affect the controls.
Safety should come first and foremost with your stair-lift, so do not hesitate to confirm that your lift is meeting the British Standard as well as the European health and safety regulations. Many lifts come fitted with a safety belt for extra security, and if you often have small children in your home then it may be worth considering getting a lift with a lock on it, in order to prevent any accidents.
As well as the vital safety elements, you can choose from a range of different fabrics with which your chair can be upholstered, and some companies are even happy to paint the lift itself.
If your grip is not strong, there is usually a choice of alternative, easier-to-operate controls. In addition, you can also opt for a chair with a swivel-seat, which will help when getting off the lift.
The most important thing to remember when purchasing a stair-lift is that you should feel safe and comfortable, and not to be afraid to ask questions.
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