Though stairlifts are in ADL’s URL, we know that sometimes a wheelchair lift is the right solution for a client’s home. However, the reasons to choose a wheelchair lift over a stairlift may not be as straightforward as they would first appear. So why should you choose a wheelchair lift for your mobility needs?
What is a Wheelchair Lift?
A Wheelchair lift is structured as a simple platform that travels vertically. Unlike a stairlift, where a seat is permanently affixed, a wheelchair lift leaves room for other equipment and, in some cases, another person. Wheelchair lifts go up and down and are not affixed to a track that travels up and down the staircase.
The Types of Mobility Limitations
The most obvious reason to choose a wheelchair lift over a stairlift is if the person using it has a is confined to a wheelchair. If a user uses a wheelchair, transferring into a chairlift seat is impractical. Not only is it an extra step, but it requires leaving the wheelchair or the floor the user is exiting.
But wheelchairs aren’t the only mobility assistance users rely on to move from place to place. Some people also use scooters, walkers, or other tools. All of these can benefit from the extra room provided by a wheelchair lift.
Finally, if someone needs assistance from an aide with their mobility, some wheelchair lifts allow the person in the wheelchair and the person assisting them to transfer levels.
The Permanence or Impermanence of the Condition
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, not all injuries or mobility limitations are permanent. As such, one concern that some people have when adding accessibility accommodations to their homes is the changes they may need to make.
At ADL, we’re experts in wheelchair lift and stairlift installation, and we can usually install a lift with minimal changes to your home’s aesthetic. But some houses are more difficult for adding lifts than others.
When you have a narrow staircase or have other reasons for concern about adding a stairlift, choosing a wheelchair lift may make more sense, especially for temporary conditions.
Wheelchair lift installation requires less modification to the stairway and home. You will not need to install a track. So often, a wheelchair lift is the right choice for a temporary condition.
Your Home’s Structure
As we mentioned when discussing the temporary need for mobility assistance, sometimes structural reasons make installing a stairlift more difficult. The shape of your staircase, the age of your home (such as if it’s historic), and the width of your stairway can all contribute to a more complex installation. If you want to make as few modifications to your home as possible, a wheelchair lift might be the right solution for you, even if you’re not using a wheelchair or scooter.
Should You Choose a Wheelchair Lift or Stairlift?
Ultimately, choosing a wheelchair lift or stairlift comes down to your individual needs and preferences or those of the other people in your home. ADL will make recommendations based on your needs, but the final decision is yours.