by: Peter J. Nelson
As with everything else that is electronic and technology based today, stairlifts now offer you options that only a few years ago you wouldn't have imagined. In fact, the modern stairlift now offers features & specifications that are quite surprising.
The problem with too many options though is that it can cause some confusion as people don't know which is the best stairlift for them. What are the best stairlifts for my needs, or those of the person I am caring for? What does it need to be able to do? Do I have concerns about running costs and energy consumption? Well, the more expensive models give you a wide choice of upholstery options, but if you opt for a simpler more neutral colour scheme then those particular stairlift models can be the most reasonable in upfront cost.
What are the options and what costs are involved?
There are 2 main stairlift types the straight stairlift and the curved lift. There are perch lifts, platform stairlifts and outdoor lifts also, but this article will focus on the main two lifts generally installed today. The curved stairlift is used to go round staircases with bends while the straight lift is, as the name suggests, installed on a straight set of stairs. The curved stairlift is the best type for a multi-floor home rather than 2 or 3 sets of straight lifts as you would still need to transit between floors otherwise. The curved lift could glide you down from the top floor to the ground floor in one go.
A straight stairlift from new in the UK currently starts at 1100 GBP for the most inexpensive model but for a cheaper option still you might opt for a reconditioned used model, which come in at around 995 GBP. Both options would have a 1 year guarantee. The choice is yours as to whether you mind if it is second hand or not.
Curved lifts start at around 2500 GBP and go up to 3500 GBP.
Rising fuel bills make a lot of people conscious of the energy efficiency of some electronic items in the home. Luckily there is good news here as the majority of lifts actually cost pennies to run rather than pounds. Daily costs are similar to the same electricity amount that you would use in boiling a kettle.
All stairlifts are fitted with a seatbelt, just like is required in a car, and it is recommended to wear it each time you or the user travels on the lift.
Sensors are also built in to the footplate of the stairlift that detect if there is anything on the stairs in the way and so halts the lift. The stairlifts are all low voltage battery powered that charge up directly from the mains, so there is no trailing wires representing a trip hazard or risks of electric shock.
Any errors on the lift will flash up a number or sequence of lights that will enable a stairlift engineer to easily diagnose any problem directly over the phone. Most stairlift models have foldable footplates, arms and seats so that the staircases can still be used by others in the home and do not present an obstruction.
Overall you must take a decision which would be the best lift for your needs and budget. Taking free advice from a stairlift specialist can get you a no-obligation guide to the right lift so try clicking a few to find out more.
Peter J Nelson writes about the elderly, home care, mobility products, stairlifts and riser recliner chairs, and anything else that interests him. His background is in residential elderly care, alternative therapies and customer service so combining all these with his love of writing seemed a natural step. He writes for many sites including Best Stairlifts Manchester