Caring for an aging family member can be stressful. Some elderly family members are still able to thrive while living at home, but others may need some extra resources to ensure their safety and well-being. Because many older adults find using stairs to be difficult, stairlifts are one of the best options to ensure their comfort and safety.
Proper research is essential for finding the stairlift that will work best for your aging family member, since investing in an option that doesn’t suit their needs may do more harm than good. A one-stop medical sales shop is the best for this type of research since these types of places have comprehensive offerings that can make for quick comparisons. Keep reading for five of the best options you should consider.
1) Standard or Straight Track
The most common option for a stairlift is the standard track or straight track. This type of stairlift does what the name indicates: it transports the user up and down a straight flight of stairs.
These structures commonly feature items like pressure button controls and an auto-switch off, but that’s usually it if you’re looking into a basic model. These features are useful, however.
Pressure buttons are conventional, and they are a useful addition to a stairlift. To operate a stairlift, the user needs to hold down a button to move. For those individuals with arthritis, or even general weakness in their hands, applying pressure to a button for some time could be difficult or even impossible. By utilizing a pressure button control, much less force is necessary.
In some more severe cases, there is also the option of having the button operating the stairlift located at the bottom of the staircase. With this design, someone else will control the movement if pressing the button is still too difficult for the user.
Some chairs also offer a toggle switch rather than a button, which is easier to use for many people.
This type of stairlift would be best for those individuals who only need assistance when it comes to mobility. If there are other factors involved, you might want to consider another option.
2) Curved Stair Lift
Unlike with a standard track, curved stairlifts are practical when the staircase curves before it reaches the top. These will require a more precise design and customization, so the cost is usually higher.
For safety precautions, a specialized machine is usually necessary to take computerized measurements.
Besides a more involved setup process, a curved stairlift will operate the same way as a standard one.
3) Grease Free Stair Lifts
Stairlifts that use the grooved track and wheel method of moving the chair up and down the staircase need regular greasing to ensure they keep working. Depending on the model, this greasing will be necessary anywhere from 90 to 120 days. This frequency can be inconvenient for several reasons.
First, if an elderly relative needs the assistance of a stairlift, it’s also likely that they will find greasing the mechanism complicated if not impossible. Even if someone is around to help with the process, the grease could still get on the floors, walls, or the chair itself.
Luckily, there are a few grease-free models on the market.
4) Cargo-Chair Lift Combos
This system can serve as a chair and can convert into a platform for transporting items like heavy boxes or groceries. This system is suitable for those who may find it difficult to carry things up the stairs.
5) Used or Refurbished Stairlifts
There is also the option of purchasing a used or refurbished stairlift. This option is excellent if you happen to be on a budget. These might look a little worn, but you could save quite a bit of money in the long run.
These are your top options for the older adult in your life. Of course, make sure that everything is operational and fitting for the home by consulting with the company where you make your purchase.