Though buying stair lift is not rocket science, but if you wish to get the correct device at a proper price, then you should take this guide seriously. The handicap lift is meant to help provide an automated transfer for the disabled or elderly users along a flight of stairway. Most of the products available on sale perform more or less the same functions. We advise that buyers exercise precaution when shopping and not be influenced by compelling sales pitches.
In order to get the suitable product for your home, you need to assess the product from several aspects. As each handicap lift device can easily cost a few thousand dollars, it is better to get a holistic view of the product before any commitment. The difference between choosing a good and bad model can have a long run impact on your lift. The right stairlift can last you a good four to five years with minimal operation problems whereas the wrong equipment can give you problems as early as the first year. We will discuss the major points for buyer consideration below.
Find a Good Manufacturer and Customer Support
The industry has many manufacturers and each of them has their own unique proposition. It is not necessary to pick a branded manufacturer which is costly, but the key is to pick a brand which offers you what you need at the correct price. There are big name manufacturers like Invacare which produces a wide range of assistive devices from stairlifts to electric wheelchairs. There are pros and cons for each type of manufacturer. Large manufacturers can offer price advantages and support whereas small specialist manufacturers can give dedicated and efficient support service. Manufacturers will market their own range of handicap lifts and you should be familiar with them.
You can do more research online for the credibility of a manufacturer and get first-hand experience from customers. You should also find out from others the quality of post sale customer service provided by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers have poor customer service and slow response time which will prolong the down time of your device. A good customer support is important to solve your problems promptly with minimal interruption to usual activities. A rich source of information online can be found in discussion forums on disability. You can engage in lively discussion with users of handicap lifts and know from them the recommended brands.
Must have Safety Features of Stair Lifts
A stairlift should be well equipped with safety features to protect the users. You should carefully review the safety features built into each stairlift and place them side by side for comparison. Equipments with advanced safety functions will be more costly. They can be sensors to detect collision, seat belts, and swivel seats to alight safely and alarm systems. Your tight budget may not get you first class safety but it should be sufficient to buy one with acceptable level of safety functions.
Easy Availability of Stair Lift Parts
The stairlift is made up of electrical and mechanical components and it is natural for them to experience wear and tear after prolonged usage. You will need to replace some of the parts after some time. The stairlift you select should have parts which are common and can be easily sourced from the shops and online. Try to avoid stair lifts which have too many proprietary parts for good reasons. First, the cost may be higher since there are no alternatives. Second, there are limited channels or sellers where you can get these parts. Lastly, delivery time will be longer and your disabled users may not be able to use the lifts while waiting for replacement parts to arrive. In any case, the right thing to do is to always keep a spare set of the replacement parts at home and change them when needed, you can replenish them later.
The points mentioned above are just some of the factors you should review when selecting a stair lift but they are the priority ones. There are other factors for consideration not in this guide, they include the motor specifications, type of drive belt system and control system. This guide should still be relevant in your selection process. Always do enough due diligence to help you in making the right purchase decision.