Wheelchair Lifts Tips

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What considerations do I need to make when looking at wheelchair lifts?

Considerations For Getting Wheelchair Lifts

Sometimes, ramps just won't do. Where level changes occur and mobility or space is an issue, getting wheelchair lifts is an ideal solution. Here are some issues to think about when looking around for wheelchair lifts.

  • When considering a wheelchair lift, remember some operate with just the user while others operate by carrying the user and wheelchair up at the same time.
  • When shopping around, always check the weight limitations of a wheelchair lift model. Keep in mind your wheelchair weight as well, if you're going to be using it along with the lift.
  • Size is an issue when installing a wheelchair lift. You'll have to assess how much space the wheelchair lift will occupy as well as how big you need the platform to be in order to accommodate your wheelchair and be comfortable.

What stair lifts are best for kids?

Stair Lifts For Kids

You wish you could yell at your child, "Don't run up and down the stairs!" Good news, Dad, now you can yell, "Don't ride that stair lift up and down--you'll wear it out!"

You know that stair lifts will take away some of the insecurity and awkwardness kids can feel about being different. Whether you have curved staircases, straight staircases or those combo ones with a landing, "stair chair" wheelchair lifts can help your child get upstairs, then stall for thirty minutes at bathtime.

If your job transfers you, you might face a little more pressure in the wallet from curved stair lifts, which are more customized and take longer to design and install. Luckily, Medicare has paid for your child's electric wheelchair, so wheel chair lifts don't seem so daunting. You might want to choose electric stair lifts, which are less expensive and have a battery backup in case of a power outage.

Afraid your child will outgrow the lift as she does everything else? A wheel chair lift is designed to handle wheelchairs no matter what the size or the child's size.

Now, as we've said, the only problem with stair lifts is getting your child to stop riding them up and down ten times!

How do I accessorize my wheel chair lift?

Customizing Electric Wheel Chair Lifts

You accessorize your scooter. You accessorize your wheel chair. Did you know you can accessorize your wheel chair lifts with two essential don't-leave-the-ground-without-them accessories like:

• Telephone Jacks
• Automatic Door Openers

Why would you need telephone jacks for electric wheel chair lifts when you have a cell phone? Just as with power wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs, cell phones can interfere, so leave them on the ground. It's a good idea to have a phone available with a long cord.

Automatic door openers work well if you're in an electric wheelchair or manual wheelchair with limited use of arms. Think of it—the door opens Star Trek-style as you boost yourself up to your doorstep.

Some portable wheel chair lifts such as the Ascension VIRTUOSO have a compression feature and casters so you can get them through narrow school auditorium doors. You don't have to read a wheel chair lift guide to see the advantages that that offers.

Never underestimate the power of wheel chair lifts, the human spirit...and accessorizing!

Can you tell me about some of the wheelchair lift manufacturers?

Wheelchair Lift Manufacturers For Scooters And Wheelchairs

You can choose from a number of wheelchair lift manufacturers to transport your scooter or wheelchair along with your vehicle. You'll find models suited for car use as well as van use. When researching wheelchair lift manufacturers, take into account:

  • Models of mobility lifts based on the size of your scooter, power wheelchair, or manual wheelchair.
  • The variety of lifts and mobility assistance products, including stairlifts, platform lifts, automotive seating, and wheelchair lifts for your vehicles.
  • Does the manufacturer carry lifts for outside as well as inside attachment to your vehicle?
  • Do you need models for varying weight limitations?

Can I get a lift chair to accommodate a heavier weight?

Heavy Duty Lift Chairs

Depending on your physical size, you may need a different type of lift chair. Many lift chairs accommodate weights up to 375 pounds. If you need a heftier chair, consider some of the heavy duty lift chairs. You can find a range of styles that will accommodate 500 pounds to 700 pounds in weight. Many heavy duty lift chairs have dual motors to reduce wear and ensure efficient functioning with use of the recliner. If height is also a consideration, you can find models of heavy duty lift chairs to accommodate you as well. Conversely, if you need a smaller chair, petite models of lift chairs are also available.

What are lift cushions used for?

Lift Cushions For Assistance

Lift chairs are one way to get the assistance you need to stand up, but for a compact, transportable alternative, try lift cushions. Lift cushions operate by only giving you help when you need it. As you sit down, lift cushions ease into sitting position. When you get up, life cushions help elevate anywhere from 80% to 100% of your weight with a lifting mechanism, but allow you to use as much of your muscle strength as you're comfortable with to get up on your own. You can use a lift cushion with most chairs to turn them into lift chairs. When you're done, simply fold it flat and take it with you.

What are the basic types of lift chairs?

Types Of Lift Chairs

There are a range of lift chairs to choose from, depending on your personal tastes and needs. When selecting lift chairs, you can make an initial selection based on these basic types.

Two Position Lift Chair – A two position lift chair has a normal sitting option and a reading option (slight recline) as well as a lifted or standing position. These types of lift chairs are the most economical.

Three Position Lift Chair – In addition to the options of the two position lift chair, you also get a napping recline position.

Infinite Position Lift Chair – You get all the position options of the three position lift chair as well as a full recline position. In the full recline position, your feet are elevated above the heart level. This chair can be used for sleeping and allows you to operate the footrest and the back independently of each other.

Can you tell me how a lift chair and assist me?

Get A Lift Chair For A Boost

Getting up comfortably from a chair can be possible for those who just need a little extra boost. The lift chair has a mechanism that pushes up from the base of the chair, propelling you up along with it. A lift chair comes in a variety of styles, colors, and fabric choices to integrate with the look of your home. In addition, you'll find some that have features like heating and massage to increase your comfort and stimulate circulation. Less expensive lift chair models start at about $350, while more heavy-duty models can cost over $2,500.

Which is better, hydraulic or electric stair lifts?

Water or Electricity?

Hydro power or electric power? This isn't an alternative energy source debate. You're deciding whether to use an electric wheel chair lift or a hydro wheel chair lift for your staircase. Of course, it depends on your usage and your home energy system. Some considerations in selecting either wheel chair lift:


• Are you conserving electricity? Hydraulic stair lifts use water power for fluid and smooth movement.

• Afraid of rolling blackouts? Hydraulic stair lifts won't stop working in case of an outage or blown circuit.

• Spiral staircase with lots of twists and turns? Hydraulic stair lifts can even out sudden curves and jerks.


• Been good this month with your electricity usage? Reward yourself. An electric stair wheel chair lift costs less than a hydraulic wheelchair lift.

• No time to waste with complicated repairs? You just need a good electrician and a company with a great repair/warranty policy.

• Safety-minded? Battery backups won't strand you or your child in mid-lift.

You've selected the hydraulic lift because you're staying put in your green, eco-friendly house. Now if only you could solve the question of the nation's energy supply so easily.

Do I have to install an electric van wheelchair lift myself?

Extra Auto Expenses: Wheelchair Lifts

You just bought car insurance, premium fuel, an upgrade on your stereo system...now you have to think about actually getting into your new Yukon or Caprice. Electric wheelchair lifts cost extra, to say nothing of the installation. You can spend $700 to $3,000 just for the lift. Fortunately, car dealerships aren't out to nickel and dime you. Yes, you read that right.

The salesman may have a loud tie, but pay attention when he tells you the dealership will install that electric wheel chair lift for no cost. If you choose a dealer of specialty accessible cars or trucks, you can be doubly assured--Freedom Motors' vehicles have high-powered transfer seats in the middle row, and an Auto Entry System that turns the entire van into a wheelchair lift.

But if you don't need a high-end or specialty vehicle, just negotiate with your car dealership. Tell the salesman you like his tie.

How does a manual wheelchair lift work?

Manual Wheelchair Lift

A manual wheelchair lift operates without any electrical power at all. You can operate it by using just a few pounds of force. For instance, Mobil Lift CX, offered by Planet Mobility, allows the wheelchair user to roll onto a platform. An outside attendant operates a crank to raise the platform. With this model, five pounds of force is necessary to lift 150 pounds of weight and eleven pounds of force is needed to lift 300 pounds of weight. The manufacturer lists a time of 20 seconds to reach the maximum height of the manual wheelchair lift. The wheelchair user simply rolls off the platform onto a bridge ramp once he or she reaches the appropriate level.

What is the difference between electric wheelchair lifts and hydraulic wheelchair lifts?

The Difference Between Electric Wheelchair Lifts And Hydraulic Wheelchair Lifts

There are two different types of powered wheelchair lifts – electric wheelchair lifts and hydraulic wheelchair lifts. If you're deciding between the two, here are some of the differences.

Electric wheelchair lifts may be pre-wired models which will simply plug into an available 110 volt outlet. Electric wheelchair lifts allow you to use a back up battery in order to continue operation in case of a power outage. This type of wheelchair lift tends to be less expensive than its hydraulic counterpart.

Hydraulic wheelchair lifts use fluid pressure in order to power the lift. Hydraulics allow the lift to operate in a smooth motion, unmatched by the electric wheelchair lifts. You can also find a battery back up for hydraulic models in the event of a power failure.

Can I install my home stair lift by myself?

Do-It-Yourself Stair Lifts

You didn't give up that "weekend home-improvement warrior" spirit when your fibromyalgia or ALS worsened so why give up now? You're planning to install one of the high-powered stair lifts but are having doubts as to whether or not you can do it yourself. As with many things, you can't do it on your own—what would your husband or wife, who knows everything about home improvement do? You can't leave them out of the project.

If your stairs are completely straight with no landings and angles or second flights, you can opt for simple stair lifts that boost you up the stairs with ease. You can relax in your wheelchair with extra back support as you climb up, up, up and away in the stair wheelchair lift you installed yourself. An owners' manual, a Phillips screwdriver, some elbow grease, and you're ready to go. You may need additional tools, so check when you're shopping for stair lifts.

Moving? You can disassemble straight stair lifts with ease--just make sure your new home has a straight staircase.

Like so many home improvement projects, you can tackle this one with sheer confidence and the well-meaning advice of your spouse. You won't even have to read 100 wheel chair lift guides to do it!

How do I get my wheelchair on stage during college graduation?

Graduation Wheelchair Lifts

You've adjusted your cap and gown. Your graduation speech actually sounds like it won't embarrass you. Granted, there will be thousands of people—and you're the one they picked to give a speech.

You forgot one detail: How do you get onstage to give that speech? Someone didn't read their wheel chair lift guide! A portable wheel chair lift can hoist you onstage. It's a dramatic entrance for a dramatic speech about overcoming hurdles and reaching for the stars.

The VIRTUOSO by Ascension is a great investment for your college to make--ask the Office for Students with Disabilities. You are, after all, a pending graduate with student loans.

Plus, when you finally finish your Ph.D. dissertation, the wheel chair lift will still be there.

Are there special lifts just for my scooter or my child's go-kart?

Electric Scooter Lifts

You're scooting around or your child is tearing around in a scooter or electric go-kart. All of a sudden, you're ready to go for pizza, and your neighbor just bought that Escalade that your child says seems farther off the ground than a "Star Wars" vehicle. Your neighbor is five feet, three inches, and so is your caregiver, and both weigh 100 pounds soaking wet. Not to fear, no stopping required, scooter lifts are here.

A wheel chair lift for scooters makes sense. Scooters are, after all, built differently than wheelchairs. They resemble golf carts. But which scooter lift do you choose? And, can you or your child stay in the scooter or go-kart? Your child can't, since go-karts can't strap into a van seat, but certain scooters can strap down, so you can drive right inside the van.

Besides the interior cranes that attach to the floor or to a van's side doors and run off the car battery, you can buy scooter wheel chair lifts in remote-controlled platform models that you drive your scooter onto, just like a ferry or elevator. Once you and your scooter are secure, the remote lifts the whole apparatus into the Escalade.

While your child frets when the go-kart is left in the back, you and your neighbor and/or the child's caregiver feel better knowing the go-kart is safely stowed.

If your neighbor's Escalade is crowded with kids or just plain crowded, you can hook an exterior scooter lift to the rear of the vehicle. Electric power and remote control do the rest.

You or your child can happily disembark for pizza, since electric scooter wheel chair lifts lower scooters or go-karts to the ground. The only problem: you might be asked to deliver pizza in thirty minutes or less!

Can you tell me about stair lifts?

Stair Lifts To Navigate Between Floors

Going up and down the stairs doesn't have to be impossible in a wheelchair. With the use of stair lifts, going from one floor to another can be convenient and easy. Stair lifts work by negotiating a mounted track up and down your staircase. You can find stair lifts to negotiate both curves and bends in your stairway. If mobility is an issue, you can consider the use of stair lifts for either residential or commercial purposes.


Considerations For Getting Wheelchair Lifts

Before you buy a wheelchair lift consider the following: What do you need a wheelchair lift for? Where will you use it? How often will you need it? These questions will help you select the right wheelchair lift model. Wheelchair lifts are one way to create instant accessibility within your home. Additional ways to create accessibility in and around your home include wheelchair ramps, entrance ramps, and roll-in shower stalls.


Lift Cushions For Assistance

Lift cushions work well for a wheelchair user who can push with his or her feet. Caregivers can also use lift cushions when they need assistance moving a wheelchair user to and from the chair.


Types Of Lift Chairs

Lift chairs are mobility aids that can help a variety of mobility users - from those with Parkinson's disease to the elderly. If you find that you have difficulty getting out of a chair and you just need a little assistance, lift chairs are a great mobility aid that will help you gain independence.


Get A Lift Chair For A Boost

A lift chair has the appearance of any normal chair, but gives you the added benefit of a tilt up position to help you get onto your feet. To find a selection of lift chair models, you can go to TheWheelchairSite.com and conduct a search for lift chairs. You will find a variety of links to chair lift sponsors, so you can do some comparison-shopping.


Stair Lifts To Navigate Between Floors

One way to negotiate a curved stairway with an intermediate landing is through the use of two straight stair lifts. Using two straight stair lifts will be less expensive than designing a custom curved stair lift. The one caveat to this is that separate stair lifts would require the user to be able to navigate from one stair lift to the next one.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran