For mobility challenged individuals who need a way to go up and down a flight of stairs in their homes, there are several different types of stairlifts available. The most recognizable type is the straight stairlift that attaches to the stair treads by way of a straight rail on which a chair can glide up and down. These lifts are suitable for those users who can walk, but not climb, and don’t need to transport anything up and down but themselves, and maybe items that can be held on their lap.
The standard variation of the straight stairlift is the curved model that has a rail that can fit the shape of a winding or curved staircase. Both the straight and curved stairlift most commonly have a seat that is either fixed, folds up and down, or swivels toward or away from the wall. The kind of seat installed will depend both on the needs of the user and the space available on the stairs and landings of a particular home.
stairlifts can be operated either by battery or by a home’s electrical system. While batteries will have to be replaced every few years, those running on house current will never need that type of maintenance. On the other hand, electrical lifts won’t work if there is a power failure.
The standing stairlift is a variation of the lift device. It can be used by people who can’t sit but are able to stand. In order for a standing stairlift to operate effectively, there must be enough headroom in the staircase for a standing individual to travel safely. The standing lift is also suitable for homes with very narrow staircases or ones that for some reason can’t accommodate a seated lift.
Platform stairlifts are another variation. They are designed to be large and strong enough to hold a wheelchair, or in some cases, a small or mid-sized scooter. They are appropriate for individuals who can’t transfer from a sitting position in a chair or scooter to a chair in a standard stairlift. They are also ideal for older and disabled people who are wheelchair bound and need to stay in their chairs no matter what floor they are on.
Finally, although not considered a stairlift, per se, the vertical “through floor” lift has a track that can attach to a wall as it traverses through a hole in the ceiling/floor. It is an option for a home that cannot accommodate an ordinary lift, for example, one whose staircase is too narrow or has a spiral shape design.
At Pacific Mobility, we will help you choose the best stairlift option for your home by carefully explaining the benefits of all the different types we offer.
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)