Older homes with multiple stories are nice, but if you or a loved one are having trouble accessing the upper floors because of mobility issues, there are some options that can help. Stair lifts are a good solution, and there are many different styles to choose from, or a stair lift manufacturer can often build one specifically to fit your needs.
Standard Stair Lifts
Most homes have a pretty standard staircase that runs up along a wall and has a specific rise from top to bottom because of building code requirements. Stair lifts can easily be installed on these stairs, and the installer can use standard parts to complete the system.
The system will start with a rail attached to the wall that supports a chair or platform that is moved along the track with an electric motor. The user will sit in the chair and control the movement of the chair themselves on most stair lifts, but some offer remote control for a caregiver to use if the occupant can't control the lift for some reason.
Many stair lift manufacturers offer lift system options like a platform for a wheelchair instead of the standard chair on the lift. This allows a person in a wheelchair to roll onto the platform, secure the chair, and travel up to the second floor without help.
Custom Stair Lifts
Sometimes, a home built with large custom curved staircases needs a stair lift installed, but the stairs are not straight, so the installer will need to work with a stair lift manufacturer to source custom parts for the system. The system works the same way as the standard system, but the track that supports the chair needs to be curved and follow the wall.
It is essential that the track design is smooth or the lift will be uncomfortable to use, but some manufacturers make curved sections of track that your installer can assemble to create a smooth, swooping curve to match the shape of the staircase. In situations requiring an extreme bend in the track, the installer may need to measure the angle and have the stair lift manufacturer create track sections to conform to the staircase curve in your home.
On averages, stair lifts can safely hold three hundred pounds, and some heavy-duty models can support as much as three hundred and fifty pounds, and it is important not to exceed that weight. Chair lifts are designed to carry one person at a time, and a failure of the lift could result in an injury to the person using it.
Follow the stair lift manufacturer's instructions and recommendations when using your new lift, and if you have questions about the lift or the operation of it, ask your installer to go through the system with you when they complete the installation. For more information, reach out to a local manufacturer, like Nautilus Stair Lifts.