Saturday 30 April 2016

Stairlift Information For The Wheelchair User

Do you know what wheelchair stairlifts are?

Maybe these mechanical devices are new to you, so to help you understand the definition of a stairlift for wheelchairs, it is the perfect invention for disabled people who are wheelchair users and who prefer to stay in their chair around the house, yet still continue to use the staircase and access all the other floors.

Installing a personal elevator or home lift is very convenient for people who are having a hard time climbing the stairs, but they can be very costly to install and also may need quite considerable building modifications in order to fit into the space, or there just may not be enough space to put a lift shaft. Also to consider, is if the building is listed or has various changes of levels and outdoor steps, such as in many churches or private care homes.

The majority of people that buy a regular stairlift or a chairlift, as they are also known, are usually older and disabled people and it is bought for residential use. While the wheelchair stair lift, which can be known as an incline platform lift, is most often retrofitted in blocks of apartments, commercial premises or listed or municipal buildings. 

It is often installed so that a hotel can comply with the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act 1995) to ensure that wheelchair users can still access all areas, and not have their rights and liberties overrun or be confined to just the ground floors. For new buildings, the Part M section of the Building Regulations pertains to what is required to meet accessibility needs, so will always have some kind of lift access built in.

The cost of a wheelchair stairlift can vary, but is usually cheaper than a glass or metal sided commercial lift. For installation, the lift track can be mounted onto a load bearing wall for support, or if this is not possible, such as in outdoor ecclesiastical installations, steel support posts can be drilled into the ground to carry the track.

Predominantly for straight runs of steps it is also possible for curved platform lifts to be installed, if there are corners on the staircase. A safety rail comes down over and around the occupants, and the lift will not move unless it is securely in place. They can also carry passengers standing as well as the wheelchair, for instance to allow for a carer to accompany the user into the building.

You've Parked Too Close!

I'm sure you have heard stories of car park rage where a non-disabled person has parked in an easy access space at the local supermarket and in doing so prevented a legitimate wheelchair user from getting their shopping. When that happens there's a risk of being hit by a car driver, as they have to wheel themselves far away from the store entrance, with the possibility of not being seen between the rows of parked cars. It doesn't bear thinking about.

We can't guarantee that a disabled space will be empty when you need one, but whenever and wherever you are parking, the last thing you need as a wheelchair user is for a car to park too close to you, effectively blocking access to the boot or side door, which you need for getting in and out with your chair.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Our friends at WAV-Compare which is a price comparison website for Wheelchair Adaptable Vehicles have produced some useful stickers (pictured) to help get the right message across. We've received a brand new batch and have some available in the showroom, so just call us or email us to get a free sticker that will give you more room, and help prompt other drivers to be considerate when parking near to your vehicle. These are also useful for customers of ours who might not have a wheel chair, but find getting our walkers and scooters out of their vehicle difficult if hampered by other road users parking too close.

We have a wide experience of the whole lifts marketplace for homes, commercial premises and even vehicle lifts to help you put your scooter or wheelchair into your car. Also if you need a lift for a care home, hotel or church then please get in touch and we can put you in contact with the best providers in the UK.
Please call 0800 007 6959 today.

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