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Stair Lifts for Safer In-Home Mobility

July 09, 2011

Climbing a set of stairs can be a daunting task for senior citizens. Aside from the physical toll it takes on the body, there is an incredible amount of danger associated with walking up or down a staircase.


This is especially discouraging for those who live in a multi-story home.  With the installation of electric stair lifts, however, seniors no longer have to face the disappointment and dangers associated with stairs.

What is an Electric Stair Lift?

An electric stair chair lift, or stair lift, is an over-the-stairs, motorized lifting device that runs along a wall-mounted rail, or track. With the touch of a button or the flick of a switch, a stair lift glides the user up or down the stairs, safely and comfortably.

Stair lifts are highly recommended for people who have staircases in their home and must use a cane, a walker, or a manual or electric wheelchair for their daily mobility needs.

Choosing the Right Stair Lift Design

When choosing from among different stair lift design options, there are a few questions to consider:

  • What kind of stairway do you have? Is it curved, straight, wide or narrow?
  • Are you able to transfer onto and off of the stair lift unassisted?
  • Will you be using your own power chair on the stair lift or would you prefer a stair chair lift with an attached seat?
  • How much can you afford to spend on potential in-home modifications?

Depending on your individual circumstances and mobility impairment, you can choose between a standing lift, a straight track stair lift, and a curved stair lift.

  • Standing Lift: Aimed to serve people who may have problems sitting in a chair, a standing stair lift or perch lift has a small platform where the user stands as they move up or down the staircase.
  • Straight Track Stair Lift: This stair lift travels in a straight track up a flight of steps (see photo). Installation is generally not very difficult and many straight stair lifts offer attached chairs that fold up against the wall. This keeps the stairway accessible for other family members when the stair lift is not in use.
  • Curved Stair Lift: For homes with curved staircases, a curved stair lift is generally the right solution

Additionally, If a manual or powered wheelchair is essential for in-home mobility, there are several types of stair lifts available that will accommodate a wheelchair.


This article is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice.

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