The Use of Disabled Lifts in the Home

If your health worsens due to disability or an accident, managing the stairs can become a daily ordeal. Many people choose to relocate to a one-level property, believing this to be their best option when in fact there is often a much simpler answer - installing a lift. With a relatively low cost and not much disruption involved in the installation, a residential lift enables many disabled and elderly people to stay in their own home and remain independent.

Which type of lift you choose depends entirely on the size of your property, your current and anticipated long-term mobility, your budget and whether you'll need help from personal-care assistants. Whatever your situation, there is a solution which will meet your needs. The following is a brief guide to disabled lifts currently available to private householders.

Goods Lifts

Sometimes known as 'dumbwaiters', goods lifts (or 'Microlifts') are not only a convenient addition to large properties where the distance between floors is greatest, but are also utilised to safely carry small loads between floors by disabled people who have limited strength and movement in their upper body.

Stair Lifts

Suitable for those who can safely stand or laterally transfer onto another seat, these lifts are the most common ones found in private homes today. Ideal for smaller homes with limited access at the top and foot of the stairs, these lifts are available for straight and curved stairways of one or more flights. Fixed to the stairs rather than to the wall, they can be installed with minimal fuss on most types of staircase.

Step Lifts

For those who use a wheelchair and cannot safely transfer without a hoist onto another seat, a platform lift could be the best alternative. Several different models are available, depending on the overall height of the stairs from top to bottom, the weight of the users and the entrance/exit direction required. With a step lift, users are carried up to the next level while remaining in their wheelchair and are protected front and back by guard rails and/or doors. Strong walls and a suitable amount of space are essential for step lift installations.

Vertical Platform Lifts

For buildings with room to spare, you could consider a vertical platform lift. Similar to most lifts found in large public buildings, platform lifts carry passengers up and down a channel inside an enclosed structure and are available in three different types - internal, external and residential, the latter being slightly smaller and aesthetically more pleasing for private homeowners. Vertical platform lifts are an ideal option for carrying more weight, including heavier wheelchairs and additional passengers.

Hydraulic Platform Lifts

A quieter, smoother form of vertical platform lift, their hydraulic mechanism makes these disabled lifts almost silent while in use, protecting sensitive passengers from unnecessary noise and jarring. Modern and highly adaptable, hydraulic platform lifts can be tailored to suit your own unique specifications.

For expert advice on which disabled lift may be the right one for you, Philip recommends the Platform Lift Company. They have extensive experience in fitting and maintaining disabled lifts.

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