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Moving is not always an option when someone becomes disabled, so you have to do your best to make your home wheelchair accessible. Two-story homes have their obvious disadvantages, but they aren't impossible for someone in a wheelchair to navigate. A stair lift will give your disabled loved one a sense of freedom by allowing them to navigate the home without help. However, a stair lift is not something that you can just order, because they're not "one size fits all". Here are some things you need to consider before purchasing.
Is the Dealer Certified for Installation?
Don't assume that the dealer is certified to install stair lifts. You don't want to make a claim on your warranty and find out that it's void because the you allowed someone to install it that wasn't certified to do so. If they contract out people to install it, it's also a red flag. Some companies might use install "handy men" that install a variety of things but have little experience with stair lifts. Only allow someone to install it if they have the specific certification and there won't be an issue with them servicing the stair lift later down the road.
Do You Have a Curved Staircase?
If you have a curved staircase, you will need to have someone come to the home to take measurements of your staircase to have a curved stair lift installed. This includes staircases that have a landing area and then continue at an angle. In those cases, you can either purchase two stair lifts that will be installed together with a curved piece on the landing, or one curved stair lift. After someone takes the measurements, they can go over the pricing options with you to see what would be best for your home.
Does the Lift Have Battery Backup?
If your power ever goes out, your loved one will be stuck upstairs or downstairs if you don't purchase a stair lift that has an additional battery backup. When it comes to any type of medical equipment and mobility aids that require electricity to function, a battery source should always be available for emergencies.
How Heavy is The Disabled Person?
Most stair lifts on the market have a weight capacity of 252 pounds. If your loved one is close to or over the weight limit, speak to the dealers about heavy duty stair lifts that can hold additional weight. Even if their weight isn't over capacity by much, you don't want to take the chance of him or her becoming injured, or the stair lift breaking and the warranty not covering the repairs.
Does the Lift Have a Key
Some stair lifts come with a key feature. The user has to insert a key and turn it to the on position for the stair lift to work. This is a great feature for those with children in the home, so they don't decide to go play on it and break the lift or injure themselves. If you have small children (or even irresponsible teenagers) this is a great feature to consider before you purchase.
Does the Dealer Offer Refurbished Lifts
Refurbished stair lifts are stair lifts that were previously returned to the manufacturer for an unknown reason. The returns are usually done within a short amount of time, and may or may not even been used. The stair lift could've had a manufacturer defect, or the family could have decided to move right after installing the stair lift. Either way, any necessary repairs are made and everything is tested before being resold as a refurbished product. Buying refurbished items can save you a lot of money, so if you're worried about how you're going to pay for the stair lift, a refurbished one would be your best bet.
A stair lift will allow your disabled loved one to get up and down the stairs without help, and you won't have to worry about moving just to allow him or her to get around. Make sure you keep all these things in mind before you purchase the stair lift, so you don't make any big mistakes.
For more information, contact a company like All-Star Lifts.