Mobility aids and devices are not the most prudent place to scrimp or save; DIY lifts and ramps could cost more in the long run, as well as pose potential problems and risks to the user.
If you think you are saving money when buying second-hand or installing your own mobility devices and equipment, think again. The installation of lifts and aids should only be completed by a professional to ensure the device works properly and safely, plus you may find that used purchases are not backed by any type of satisfaction guarantee. Improper or unprofessional installation of devices, like ramps for instance, can create problems and become a real headache.
Doing-it-yourself could cost you more in the long run; don’t sacrifice the following for a few dollars:
How will you know if someone else’s used device is compatible with your needs? Are you sure that it can be integrated into the spot that you need it to be? Buying from a qualified mobility retailer ensures compatibility, comfort, and cohesion with the user and their distinct living situation. Are you also certain that it is the best option for your mobility needs? It may make sense to consider a short-term rental to pinpoint whether this is the right device. Deciding on the right aid involves consideration of many factors as well as a thorough assessment of needs; shirking this responsibility and skipping this step is a disservice to the consumer buying the equipment.
Installing a device or mobility aid is not necessarily easy to do. Equipment is heavy and specialized tools may be needed. Do you have the right tools and skill-sets to install a lift? How about the ability to build a ramp? The ease of professional installation can’t be overstated or underestimated. Before going the DIY route, consider who you will call if the installation process goes south.
There is no guarantee of safety when you buy from someone other than a reputable merchant or qualified retailer. Mobility aids are utilized to provide safe and secure access; if you are unable to parlay all concerns about the condition and operation of the device, you are defeating your own purpose. Do yourself – and your loved one – a favor and buy from a company that stands behind their product and that will help familiarize you with the operation of the device before leaving you on your own.
Will you get a warranty on used mobility aids or devices? Probably not. Mobility aids that come from reputable merchants will provide some sort of warranty in the event of damage or dissatisfaction, which is key when making an investment in something like mobility equipment or devices. After all, if the device fails to perform as soon as it is installed, what recourse will you have? If you work with a trusted name in mobility aids, your satisfaction is the priority.
The key to staying safe – and keeping your loved one secure – is the operation and utility of your device. This requires a professional to show you the proper way to use the mobility aid. Since someone’s well-being is dependent on the lift working seamlessly, why risk this peace of mind with a shoddy or dated device. The careful eye and inspection of installation professionals bring another measure of assurance and support that makes it a prudent investment to make.
Be wary of buying devices from online classifieds, social media, or sight-unseen. There is no guarantee of performance, quality, or longevity, and you could be buying someone else’s headache. Installing a lift anywhere in a home or workplace is not something that can be done singlehandedly. Professionals arrive in teams to swiftly install, inspect, test, and support users to ensure optimal performance and ultimate satisfaction with your device. The problems and headaches that can arise when buying second-hand could drive-up the price and make it a less cost-effective approach to improving accessibility in your home.
Hiring a professional can save time, potential problems, and money
The most efficient approach to installing mobility aids and devices is to hire a pro. Buy your equipment from a vendor that offers installation, which also ensures you will have access to service and support after the sale. What could be more frustrating than attempting to install a device with little-to-no assistance? Make things easy on yourself and buy from a qualified and reputable vendor that provides professional installation.
Before you leap into a purchase or deal on mobility devices, consider whether the savings is worth it. After all, it is imperative that mobility aids are safe, work properly, and are maintained, and second-hand equipment may not guarantee these provisions. Furthermore, second-hand vendors may not provide the thorough needs assessment to pinpoint the most practical device for you and your distinct living situation, which could result in equipment that is not as useful or user-friendly as you had hoped.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)