Elevators, Ramps, and Lifts: What Would be Most Beneficial for You?
There are a variety of accessible equipment that is available on the market. You should know what is available before you purchase the item to ensure that the equipment is the best fit for you. There are also different types of elevators, ramps, and lifts that can be suited for your needs.
GoUniversal currently offers the Stiltz. The Stiltz is a home friendly elevator (see the picture below). The Stiltz (2021) home elevator is a great alternative to a stair lift to allow you to go from one level to another. This elevator does not require hydraulics or supporting walls, which makes it easy for any placement in your home. Since the elevator is not powered by a hydraulic, it does not produce loud noise like most elevators. The elevator can also has features to allow you to enter from one side and exit from the other side. The Stiltz has various elevators and is wheelchair accessible for individuals who want to continue to access different levels in their home.
Ramps provide an accessible route and can be designed to blend in with your home’s landscape. They can range from being a temporary or permanent solution. Ramps can be made out of concrete, brick, aluminum, pressure-treated wood, and more. However, a brick ramp is the least desirable due to the uneven surface. The material of the ramp is essential depending on where you live. Having a ramp that is waterproof is vital for traction. For example, a textured broomed finish to concrete can improve the traction of the ramp. There are common mistakes when choosing a ramp. Errors include a too steep slope, failure to provide landings, absence of curbing, and inappropriate surface materials. Ramps must be a minimum of 12 inches for every one inch of rise. Straight ramps are preferred for decreased difficulty maneuvering mobility devices on the ramp, but ramps can be designed in a curved pattern. Also, you must keep in mind that if you want a ramp, but you already know that it will be long, there must be a landing for every 30 inches of ramp rise (National Home Builders Association, 2017).
Home Depot (2021) E-Z Access (2016)
3. Chair Lifts and Platform Lifts
Chair lifts can be beneficial for you if you are no longer able to access your home's various levels. A chair lift allows you to sit on a chair and transport you to an upper-level or lower-level floor and come with a swivel seat for easy entry and exit. The chair lift can also be folded when not used to allow for increased space. A chair lift can be especially beneficial if your bedroom and bathroom are not on the main floor. If your laundry room cannot be moved to the main floor of the home, you may also want to consider a chair lift, which will make it easier for you to access the different levels of the home. The chair lift can go up straight or also curve with your curved staircase. Similar to a chair lift, a platform lift is an option that allows a wheelchair to be transported up or down the stairway. However, there must be an appropriate amount of space at the end of the steps. The wheelchair can exit off the end or side (National Association of Home Builders, 2017). This is a great cost-effective option compared to an elevator.
Chair Lift Platform Lift
Harmar (2021) Harmar (2021)
4. Patient Lifts
Patient lifts can provide caregiver relief. A lift can be placed throughout your home wherever you think would be of benefit for you. A lift such as a floor lift can be used for short-term use or provide you with living at home longer. A ceiling track system can be installed to allow the lift to be attached, which gives you access to different areas within your home, such as going from a bedroom to the bathroom. Various types of lifts will provide some assistance or full assistance. For example, a standing transfer aid (see below) can allow individuals to complete their transfer with minimum assistance from the caregiver (Savaria, 2021).
Ceiling Lift Ceiling Lift
Savaria (2021) Savaria (2021)
5. Vertical Platform Lift
A vertical lift is another choice to have if you want to be transported from one level to another. These can be installed inside or outside. Vertical lifts come with safety features such as gates, a complete enclosure, and emergency stop buttons. They are typically require to be permanently installed (National Association of Home Builders, 2017).
Vertical Platform Lift Enclosed Vertical Platform Lift
Harmar (2021) Harmar (2021)
EZ-ACCESS. (2016). Question to ask when choosing a home ramp. Retrieved from https://www.ezaccess.com/blog/post/question-to-ask-when-choosing-a-home-ramp
Harmar. (2021). Lifts for life. Retrieved from https://harmar.com
Home Depot. (2021). How to make stairs handicap accessible. Retrieved from https://www.homedepot.com/c/ai/how-to-make-stairs-handicap- accessible/9ba683603be9fa5395fab9016d1560ac
National Association of Home Builders. (2017). Marketing and communicating with the aging in place client (CAPS I). Washington, D.C.: NAHB.
Savaria. (2021). Patient handling. Retrieved from https://www.savaria.com/patient-handling
Stiltz. (2021). Introducing stiltz home elevators. Retrieved from https://www.stiltzlifts.com