How stair lifts work for disabled people’s wheelchairs


A stairlift is a lifting system that allows people to overcome architectural barriers and flights of stairs.

It is designed to make daily life easier for people who have mobility difficulties and cannot move independently safely.

Wheelchair lifts for the disabled and elderly have different features based on the needs of the individual.

Those who have an elderly or disabled person at home know how difficult it can be to accompany them upstairs relying on their own strength, just as it can become even more complicated if a wheelchair is present.

Stairlifts are a practical and safe solution and are inexpensive compared to the elevator, plus they offer several advantages that we will see later.

What a stairlift looks like

The wheelchair lift for disabled wheelchairs is composed of several elements:

  • Footboard: is the part intended for the user on which the wheelchair for the disabled can be seated or placed
  • Backrest: attaches to the stairlift rail, not foldable
  • Vehicle: consisting of the resealable part and the backrest
  • Rail: is the fixed part on which the stairlift vehicle slides, depending on the system it can be straight or curved.

How it works

Wheelchair lifts for disabled people to climb stairs are powered by electricity and need an electrical connection.

Consumption is very small and does not particularly impact the amount of the bill. Operation is simple: the seat or platform is moved up and down via a pull system that can be:

  • Rack and pinion: the electric motor powers the stairlift, which moves through the actuation of a toothed wheel that fits inside the rack present in the rail.
  • Adherence: the electric motor starts the rollers that adhere to the pressure of the rail. The rotary motion goes up and down the stairlift.
  • Rope: the seat or platform is attached to a rope pulled by the motor present outside the vehicle.

Types of stairlifts for the disabled

Different types of stairlifts for disabled and elderly people are available, depending on your needs you may prefer for one system instead of another.

Fixed stairlifts

Fixed stairlifts are permanently installed at the staircase. It is installed by trained technicians and can be used independently by the person who needs it.

They are very versatile and minimize clutter. They can be equipped with a chair or platform and be installed in any environment or type of staircase. They can be installed in private homes, apartment buildings and outdoors to overcome architectural barriers.

Mobile stairlifts

Mobile stairlifts enable people to overcome any indoor and outdoor architectural barriers, including stairs of various sizes.

We are talking about track or wheeled stairlifts, they have no fixed installation, can be folded and easily transported from one place to another.

Depending on the model purchased, they can transport the disabled person in a wheelchair by attaching the latter to the structure and using wheelchair seat belts. Alternatively, they may have comfortable seats, ideal for the elderly or those with reduced mobility.

Unlike fixed stairlifts, mobile stairlifts always require another person to be present to use them.

Platform/pedestrian stairlift

The platform or platform wheelchair stair lift for the disabled allows the person to safely and completely independently traverse stairs.

In fact, the facility is equipped with a platform on which to place the wheelchair and the controls to operate it.

It can be installed outdoors and indoors, has a minimal footprint when not in use as the platform can be folded down, and also fits all sizes of disabled wheelchairs and available surrounding space.

Stairlift safety

Stairlifts on the market must be certified according to European standards (EN29001) and international standards (ISO 9001) and have safety devices for transporting people. Here are some basic rules:

  • The platform should be made of a non-slip material
  • There must be an automatic stop in case of an obstacle on the route
  • Operation only with the load present on the platform to avoid accidental starts
  • Presence of seat belts, handrails and armrests

The advantages of the stairlift

Buying a stair lift or elevating platforms for disabled wheelchairs has several advantages, in addition to getting up and down stairs safely, they improve the quality of life for all those people who have mobility difficulties and also their family members.

With stairlifts, elderly and disabled people can move around the house independently; some models, such as those with an armchair or platform, allow them to ascend and descend stairs without the presence of another person.

Stairs are very dangerous areas for those with limited mobility, using a wheelchair lift reduces the risk of injury.

In addition, most stairlift models on the market take up little space and reduce clutter, partly due to the presence of folding parts.

Finally, stairlifts can be custom-made, taking into account the type of stairs, the possible presence of curves and other structural features.

Mobile stairlifts, on the other hand, are the best solution for disabled people who travel in wheelchairs with a companion, because they can be used in any outdoor or indoor space.

WARNING: The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, may be changed or removed at any time, and in no case, however, may it constitute the formulation of a diagnosis or prescription for treatment, and is not intended to and should not in any way replace the direct doctor-patient relationship or specialist visit. It is recommended that you always seek the advice of your primary care physician and/or specialists regarding any reported indication. If you have any doubts or questions about the use of a medicine, you should consult your doctor.

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