Access Lifts Designed for the Elderly, the Infirm and Wheelchair Users
There are various types of lifts available on the market to cater for access problems presented to people with disabilities within the home or work place. Below is a list of the most common lifts available and a brief description their uses and workings.
Home-lifts are through ceiling vertical lifts designed for residential households as opposed to commercial buildings and will carry one passenger either seated or in a wheelchair. These are generally open type lifts with half cars i.e.with 1200mm high sides and door, and without a roof. Home-lifts are space-saving in that they do not require a shaft and travel on guide rails either attached to the wall or free-standing. When the lift is parked upstairs the entire downstairs is left free with only the guide rails remaining visible. Similarly, when the lift is parked downstairs the upstairs is left free and the floor aperture is automatically sealed using a floating trap door which is attached to the upper side of the lift car. Installation takes 3 to 4 days and there is some temporary disruption due to the cutting of the floor aperture and possible re-routing of electric cables and piping.
Stairlifts are motorised seats which travel up and down the stairs on rails that are bolted into the treads of the stairs. They can be adapted to suit all types of stairs be they straight, curved or spiral. They fold neatly away when not in use and are installed in a matter of hours. Most stairlifts are now battery-powered so that they will still perform many trips in the event of a power failure, and the batteries are charged automatically each time a stairlift is left in the parked position.
Step-lifts are designed mainly for wheelchair users to overcome front door steps, garden steps or split level internal steps either within the home or at one’s place of work. They are simple rise and fall platforms with side safety rails allowing a wheelchair user to roll on and off with ease. Depending on local building regulations they are generally designed for rises not exceeding 2 metres.
Wheelchair stairlifts are motorised aritco homelift platforms which climb up and down stairs allowing wheelchair users free access throughout a building. They are generally installed in commercial buildings where the installation of a conventional lift is not feasible and can be manufactured to suit most types of stairs either straight or curved. The platform will automatically fold away when not in use leaving the stairs free for ambulant users. They can be installed in domestic households but only in cases where the stair width exceeds the norm.