A home wheelchair lift is a great aid to people with disabilities who live or work in buildings that have more than one level. As the name implies, they work to move wheelchairs, scooters, and their users up to different levels or floors much like elevators. These can be for interior or exterior use only, so it is important to determine which type you need.
For someone who has a porch, the vertical type is a good choice as it easily moves up to the level of the porch for ease of movement. It is with good reason that some people refer to these products as freedom enhancing devices – they really do help those with mobility issues to enjoy greater freedom of movement.
The two main types of home wheelchair lift are the vertical platform and the inclined platform. The vertical platform lifts the scooter or wheelchair from one level to another. This works for different levels that are parallel to each other.
The vertical lift moves up at an angle or slope, like a wheelchair ramp. Another type is the portable lift, which works well for curved and straight staircases. You also have occupied and unoccupied wheelchair lifts as well. These allow the movement of the wheelchair with or without the user.
Unoccupied lifts are great for those persons who can still sit in a vehicle. These types work well for those who have mobility issues but only need their wheelchairs or scooters for greater distances.
These make types make it possible to place a mobility aid such as a scooter into a vehicle so that it is available when necessary. Occupied lifts are suitable for those persons who need to remain in their wheelchairs when traveling in a vehicle.
Users can operate these pieces of equipment manually or electronically. Many types use hydraulics to move, but the method of powering these mobility aids will depend on whether they are inside or outside the home.
These factors will also influence the cost. Most types have a back-up battery so that the users are never stuck midway if there is a power failure.
Not everyone can afford a brand new home wheelchair lift, and prices sometimes run well over $3,000 depending on the brand. Thankfully, there are many good quality second-hand ones on the market. When buying one of these, you need to pay keen attention to the following:
It is better to buy pre-owned equipment from established dealers as they would have done the necessary tests and refurbishing to ensure their safety. These suppliers should replace parts that need changing before putting them on the market. Buying a used one is a great way to save money.
Exercising due care when selecting one means that you should be able to get years of use from it. Just make sure to follow the maintenance instructions from the manufacturer.
One of the first things to ensure is that a professional does the set-up and installation. Although it can be tempting, it is important to remember that you should not use a home wheelchair lift to carry items such as furniture or other loads.
A home wheelchair lift is also an ideal solution for people who use any kind of mobility aid to get from one level of their home. It is also important for getting into a vehicle.
Some manufacturers can custom-build one for you if the space and set-up of your home is not suitable for the ready-made types. These are great mobility aids for anyone who wants to maintain their independence and enjoy freedom of movement.