Wheelchair Platform Stairlifts

For those who are involved in caring for the elderly that have issues with climbing stairs in homes without aid, care can become a real struggle.  It may mean carrying people up and down stairs.  Particularly if these people are wheelchair bound, it may also mean that a wheelchair needs to be available both downstairs and upstairs.  Of course, carrying people adds to the risk of injury for both them and the carer.  Luckily, however, wheelchair platform stairlifts are an option and are available for both domestic and commercial use. 

What Are Wheelchair Platform Stairlifts?

Wheelchair platform stairlifts have some specific designs:

  • They have a track attached to the stairs
  • They have a platform onto which a wheelchair can be placed
  • They are safe and convenient.
Wheelchair platform stairlifts can also be used independently, meaning that those who are wheelchair bound still have full use of their homes when a carer is not present.

The Different Types of Wheelchair Platform Stairlifts

There are a few different types of wheelchair platform stairlifts available.  For example:

  • A rack pinion wheelchair platform stairlift, which is very light weight and very quiet.  These are often used in places such as care homes and public buildings where quietness is appreciated, such as libraries.
  • Cable hauled wheelchair platform stairlifts.  These types are also relatively quiet but are slightly jerkier in their usage, making them somewhat less popular.
  • Running chains wheelchair platform stairlifts, which are very noisy.  They run by using a thumb, which is a hook, pulling the platform up and down the stairs.
  • Screw driven wheelchair platform stairlifts, which are very unpopular.
  • Mains powered wheelchair platform stairlifts, which are known to be quite unsafe and unreliable.

Installing Wheelchair Platform Stairlifts

Wheelchair platform stairlifts are quite expensive, unfortunately.  They are made of heavy duty materials that are able to carry very heavy loads.  Furthermore, there are two main types of wheelchair platform stairlifts available:

  • Straight tracked wheelchair platform stairlifts
  • Curved tracked wheelchair platform stairlifts
Straight tracked versions are cheaper, as they can be fitted to any staircase that has no bends or curves.  However, curved tracked versions are very expensive, as they have to be custom made to fit the specific staircase.

In the case of straight tracked wheelchair platform stairlifts, it can be advisable to purchase a second hand one, so long as the buyer is able to view its service history, to ensure quality and safety.  With curved tracked ones, this is less possible, as the track will need to be reconditioned to fit the next staircase, which is a very expensive process.

It may be possible, however, to apply for a grant from local authorities to help with the cost of adapting a home to make it usable for those with disabilities.  Most local authorities have grants available up to £30,000, as it is believed that the alternative: moving a disabled person into a care facility, is much more expensive overall.  Hence, if you are looking at purchasing wheelchair platform stairlifts, you may want to speak to your local council first.

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