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Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Stairlift Designs and Features

What is a Stairlift, and How Does it Work?

In Canada, 2.7 million people aged 15 and older live with a mobility disability. While bathroom aids, canes, walking sticks, crutches, and walk-in showers or baths are the most common assistive devices, electric stairlifts are popular too.


A battery-operated stair lift is an accessibility solution designed for people living with limited mobility. They enable users to move up or down a flight of stairs in comfort, using a motorized seat attached to a track. With simple controls and reliable performance, a high-quality electric stair lift can make moving around your own home simple, safe, and convenient.


There is a huge range of stairlifts available. Stairlift design varies from model to model, as does a stairlift cost, with different features and functions available depending on price. Understanding stairlift designs makes it easier to choose one for your home, especially if you’re new to the world of stairlifts.


In this post, we’ll look at everything you need to know about stairlift design, including the different types on the market, common features, and benefits.


Exploring the Different Types of Stairlifts on the Market

Understanding stairlift designs starts with exploring the different types available:


Straight Stairlifts

Straight stairlifts are designed for indoor staircases without curves: the stairlift runs on a track from top to bottom directly in a straight line. This is one of the most common types of stairlifts and is generally easy to install.


Curved Stair Lift

For staircases featuring one or more bends, a curved stair lift will be necessary. These tend to require more planning than straight stairlifts to ensure that there is enough space for a curved stair lift to turn safely at each bend.


Outdoor Stairlift

An outdoor stairlift takes safety and comfort out of the home. Stairlifts can be attached to a set of stairs leading to or from any door around your property. If you struggle to use outdoor stairs independently, a stairlift will make life easier.


Narrow Staircase Lifts

Narrow staircase lifts are built to accommodate tighter spaces. Installing a stairlift in some properties may seem impossible, but narrow staircase lifts offer a solution. A thorough examination of the staircase, and the space at the top and bottom, is essential to determine whether or not a narrow staircase lift is viable.


Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Stairlift for Your Home

Choosing the right stairlift for your home can be a complicated, time-consuming process. It’s a long-term investment with the power to improve your quality of life, so it demands a significant amount of research.


Here are three factors to consider:


How Many Stairlifts Do You Need?

Depending on your physical condition and capabilities, you may need multiple stairlifts in your home. For example, you could install one on your main staircase and another on the stairs leading from your front door down to your driveway.


Think about where your staircases end and how they lead on to other accessibility aids. If you rely on a mobility scooter outside of your home, for instance, you should ensure that your outdoor stair lift brings you within close range of your scooter.


Will You Need to Create Space for a Stairlift?

You will need a certain amount of space at the top and bottom of your staircase to accommodate an electric stairlift. It’s crucial that you have room to get into and out of the seat safely, especially if you use a wheelchair.


If your staircase is currently too narrow, you may need to create adequate space to fit a stairlift in securely.


Are Other Accessibility Solutions Viable?

You can choose from various other accessibility solutions for the home. Wheelchair access lifts like a Porch lift or Vertical Platform lift, for example, could be a fantastic options to consider. These empower you to move between floors in your home directly, without using the staircase or transferring from your wheelchair to the stairlift (and vice versa).


However, installing a Porch lift or Vertical Platform lift is a little more complex than fitting a stairlift. Speak to your supplier about your options: they may be able to visit your property and provide you with all the details you need to make an informed choice.


The Features & Benefits of Different Types of Stairlifts

Different types of stairlifts incorporate various features which offer numerous benefits. For example, Handicare Stairlift and Bruno Elite stairlift includes:


● Multiple height adjustments

● Armrest controls and wireless remote controls

● Retractable seat belt

● Obstruction sensors

● Stairlift charges continually

● Seat swivels by as much as 90 degrees at the top

● Foldable seat, armrests, and footrest to save space


Check the specifications of any stairlift that appeals to you carefully. The same applies to any other accessibility solution, such as a Porch lift, home elevator lifts, and vertical platform lifts.


What Are the Safety Guidelines to Follow When Using a Stairlift?

Each stairlift is supplied with safety information, and it’s vital that you read it. You must be aware of the controls and features designed to keep you safe before you start using your stairlift. For example, knowing where the emergency stop button for stairs lift is on your device is essential.


Pressing the emergency stop button for stairs lift ensures that you retain control if you need to halt the lift suddenly. You should also speak to your supplier about the accessible stairs design guidelines they follow when installing stairlifts.


If an at-home consultation is available, a representative will assess your property’s viability for a stairlift and any other types of accessibility solutions you’re considering. This gives you an ideal opportunity to discuss the accessible stairs design guidelines for your peace of mind.


Get the Most Out of Your Stairlift

Stairlifts can help you stay independent and safe in your own home. Whichever type of stairlift you pick, the best supplier will ensure that you’re comfortable and happy with your choice.


For more than 30 years, Total Access Solutions has helped people across Toronto, and GTA discover freedom through accessible design. We supply a comprehensive set of stairlifts, including straight, curved, narrow staircases, and outdoor stairlifts.


Get in touch with our team to learn more about our products, our try-before-you-buy plan, and our price match guarantee.

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