Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)
Help moving between levels
If you can’t walk up or down the stairs, a lift can be installed to help you move between the floors of your home.
People’s abilities change across the lifespan. They may find themselves living in a home that is no longer accessible. A good example would be a home with stairs. If someone loses the ability to go up and down the stairs, this may cut off the use of a whole floor of our home. Stairlifts were invented to allow people to continue to live in and access all their living space.
What kinds of stairlifts are there?
These are mechanical devices with a seat. They may run on batteries or household electricity. If the staircase is wide enough, a rail is attached to the tread of the stair. The user should be able to seat themselves, or transfer to the stairlift seat with a little support. You then turn on the lift and it carries you up to the top of the stair. Not all staircases are straight, but this is not a problem. There are stairlifts that can handle curves or go around corners. They can be customized to fit the user’s home.
If bending your legs is difficult, you may prefer a stairlift that doesn’t require you to get up and down from a chair. These are called standing or “perch” stairlifts.
Inclined Platform Stairlifts
Some people cannot transfer to the seat of a typical stairlift. They may need to stay in their wheelchair. Inclined platform lifts are designed to accommodate a wheelchair. They carry you in your mobility device up the stairs.
Vertical Platform Lifts
Vertical platform lifts do not travel over an existing staircase, but instead are installed beside it. This is a popular choice for areas with only a few steps, such as a porch or entryway. Vertical platform lifts move straight up and down like an elevator.
Some manufacturers maintain apps that allow you to monitor the use of the lift and receive alerts. These are specific to the brand of stairlift installed in the home.
How can I find out what’s new?
Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:
- stair chairs
- platform lifts
- wheelchair lifts
How do I find out more?
If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania, you can find your state’s AT program.
If you live in Pennsylvania:
- you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
- you might borrow this equipment to try out.
Are these in Pennsylvania’s AT Lending Library?