Stairlifts help elderly people remain independent as they advance in age. The majority of Americans aged 55 years and above stated in a survey that they would prefer to retire in their homes. With the help of well-designed stairlifts in multi-level homes, this can be made possible.
There are different kinds of stairlifts that are meant to fit different kinds of staircases. For example, a straight staircase will require a different stairlift than a curved one will. As a result, when buying a stairlift you must consider the configuration of your staircase and the type of stairlift it requires. This article discusses the most common types of staircases and stairlifts.
The Most Common Types of Staircases, and the Stairlifts that Best Suit Them
There are four different staircase configurations, two of the most basic ones being straight and curved staircases. The other two are platform staircases, which are best suited for wheelchair use, and outdoor staircases, which can either be straight or curved.
Each of these are listed below in greater detail:
This is the most basic and cheapest kind of staircase, as the only variable is the length. A standard staircase is about 10 feet long, and requires a straight stairlift. If your staircase is longer than 10 feet, you will need a customized stairlift to accommodate the length.
A straight stairlift can be installed on either side of the staircase. When not in use, this type of stairlift can be easily folded so that the staircase can be used normally.
Curved staircases come in various designs. Regardless of the exact design, the staircase will have rounded edges and will require a customized stairlift that can go around the bends. Additionally, a curved stairlift may have to work around a curved staircase with landings between floors. Curved stairlifts tend to be more expensive.
An outdoor staircase can lead up to a patio, deck, or in-house garden, and can either be straight or curved. Of course, the former will require a straight stairlift and the latter a curved one.
Note the additional factors associated with an outdoor stairlift. These factors include weather-resistant covers for both the stairlift and the passenger, and a stairlift that is built for outdoor use.
A combined staircase has a combination of straight and curved areas that are separated by a platform. A curved stairlift is ideal for this kind of staircase, but you can use both straight and curved stairlifts for different parts of the staircase if necessary.
This kind of staircase is intended for people who need a wheelchair or a walker. It resembles an elevator, can be open or enclosed, and requires a stairlift with doors and side rails for support.
A stairlift should be designed to meet the mobility needs of the user. Pre-designed stairlifts will often work for straight staircases, while custom-made stairlifts tend to be necessary for curved staircases. The latter is more expensive, but will deliver better functionality.