If stairs have started to pose a problem, either for you or a loved one, you’re probably looking for a solution fast.
Luckily, there are several mobility assistance devices available – ranging from platforms that enable users to travel between varying floor heights safely in their wheelchairs to stairlifts that operate alongside a flight of stairs and fold away neatly when not in use.
The question is: which is the best option for you?
Here we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of platform lifts and stairlifts to help you make an informed decision.
A platform lift provides vertical movement between floors in a low-rise building (usually between two and four floors).
These lifts can transport a person in their wheelchair from A to B, giving them autonomy. They also give family and friends the peace of mind that their loved ones can access different floor levels whilst remaining in their wheelchairs.
Much like an elevator, some platform lifts are designed to carry standing passengers (i.e. a carer or loved one) as well.
Though they might be biased, Level Access Lifts would always recommend installing a platform lift to ensure your building is wheelchair friendly. But it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before you make your mind up.
- Low cost to run
- Quick to install
- Quiet operation
- Suitable for carrying heavy cargo (i.e. palletised goods in warehouses, plates of food in restaurants, heavy furniture in homes, etc.)
- Require a fair amount of space for installation
- Considered more conspicuous than stairlifts
A stairlift travels on a rail alongside your staircase, taking people who find it difficult to bend their knees or hips up and down the stairs while sitting on a seat.
Depending on the type of staircase, you’ll either install a straight or curved stairlift.
Both styles offer a long-term mobility solution, and investing in a stairlift for your home or business will help to reduce the risk of falls, whilst allowing people the freedom to move around independently (and unassisted).
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this type of lift.
- An affordable addition to any home or business (with curved rail stairlifts costing slightly more than straight rail options, due to the complexity of the staircase)
- Comfortable means of transport for people with mobility issues
- Ease of operation
- Folds away neatly when not in use
- Take up a lot of space, meaning people may end up queuing on the steps when the lift is in use
- Not always suitable for wheelchair users (the exception being inclined platform lifts)
In most cases, wheelchair users will need to be able to get in and out of their wheelchair unaided as, unlike a platform lift, the stairlift cannot carry a wheelchair.
However, the platform stairlifts (inclined platform lifts) that Level Access Lifts supply combine the benefits of a platform lift and stairlift, allowing passengers to remain seated whilst ascending or descending the stairs.
To find out more about their platform lifts and inclined stairlifts, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Always on hand, they’ll do everything they can to answer your questions and assist you in making the best choice.