There are two types of stairlifts for your home, straight and curved stairlifts. As the names imply, straight stairlifts only go in straight lines whereas curve stairlifts turn around corners ad also loop onto landings. This page will hopefully give you all the information you require when looking to purchase a straight stairlift.
Basics of a Straight Stairlift
As previously stated, straight stairlifts are designed for straight flight staircases. The only factor that changes from home to home is the overall length of the staircase. The length of the track is determined by this measurement. The track is then cut to length, this differs slightly depending on the manufacturer. The track will run along the staircase, parallel with the steps. The distance between the track and steps varies between manufacturers, this usually varies between 0-100mm.
How far the track is positioned from the wall will depend on any factors or obstacles that protrude into the stairs, ie windowsills, dado rails, pipework etc. the distance will be set from the further most point and will be set at equal distance top and bottom.
The start position of a straight stairlift is on the ground floor, with the seat positioned just before the first step. When you are getting on or off the stairlift at the bottom you will always have your feet firmly onto the floor.
At the top of the stairs, the finish is slightly different. The stairlift will finish in line with the top step/landing and the footrest will be approximately the same level as the landing floor. The seat then turns toward the landing allowing the user to disembark safely facing away from the stairs.
The powered swivel options is a motorised aid to the swivel mechanism that turns the seat automatically when it reaches the top of the track. The operation is continuous from the direction control, therefor the stairlift travels up the stairs using the up direction control, when it reaches the top of the track the travel stops then the swivel operation begins within seconds. When the seat turns all the way around it stops to allow the user to disembark safely.
Benefits of a powered swivel seat are:
- Helps to aid users who have restricted mobility
- Helps to aid users who have problem with strength in the lower back
- Overall ease of use with less operations to remember
The powered footrest option mechanically operates the movement up and down of the footrest. How this operates varies between manufacturers. The majority of stairlift, this operated using a button or switch on one of the chair arms. In some instances, though this operation is activated when the seat is folded up and down.
The benefits of a powered footrest are that it makes the overall user experience easier for those with mobility or strength restrictions, especially in the arms, shoulders or back.