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Curved Stair Lifts vs Residential Elevators

Sep 2, 2008
It can be a very dangerous prospect for those who are mobility challenged to use the stairs. Often a fall can result in severe injury or even death, so preventing falls on the stairs is a paramount concern for anyone who is mobility challenged or who cares for someone who is mobility challenged. One of the best ways to prevent an accident on the stairs is to use an elevator or stair lift whenever possible.

While it is not generally possible or practical to avoid the stairs, it is possible to use the stairs in a safe manner. One way to use the stairs in a safe manner is to install a stair lift, which is a type of medical device that carries someone up and down the stairs. Most send a single occupant up and down the stairs on a metal track that is securely bolted to the stairs. A chair is most frequently used to carry the occupant, but a few lifts are available that use a small platform instead.

These platform stairway lifts are usually called perch lifts and require that the occupant remain standing as they are sent up and down the track. This type of lift should only be used in cases where a person is, for medical reasons, not able to use a traditional stair chair. Perch lifts should especially be avoided by people who suffer from cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's.

In many cases a stair lift is an affordable option to a personal elevator, but if you have a curved staircase then you loose this advantage. A curved staircase lift will cost about as much as a personal elevator, so you are usually better suited to install a personal elevator as opposed to a curved stairway lift. One of the major advantages in this situation is that the elevator will actually add value to your home, but the curved stair lift will loose most of its value as soon as you buy it. This is because the track of the curved lift will only work with an identical staircase, so it has little resale value. Much of the value of an elevator on the other hand is recouped when you sell your home, because an elevator will actually increase the value of a home.

A residential elevator is actually very similar to the type of elevator that you would find in a public building, but they are usually not quite as large. They are also designed so that they can be installed into a wooden shaft and do not require a brick or concrete shaft that would be required for a commercial elevator. Often times residential elevators can be installed in place of a hallway closet. One of the major advantages of an elevator is that it can carry multiple people between floors and can also be used by people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters. This is not possible with a stair lift.

From a cost perspective, a traditional straight staircase lift will cost a good deal less than an elevator, but will not be able to transport a person in a wheelchair. If you do not have a straight staircase and must invest in a curved lift then the cost of the elevator will be about the same and at this point the other benefits of an elevator greatly outweigh those of a curved stairway lift.
About the Author
Sean Noughtly is a writer who is familiar with many types of stair lifts and other kinds of medical equipment. If you are interested in finding out more information about straight stair lifts or residential elevators, visit AmeriGlide.
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