Platform lifts and elevators can dramatically increase the value of your home and provide a safer means of travel between floors in addition to serving as mobility aids for the disabled. Although platform lifts require more space and are trickier to install than the alternatives, they are also the best in terms of longevity and some operate so quietly you'd hardly even know they were there.
Platform elevators are available in either traction or hydraulic types, and many can be installed with the machinery inside the lift shaft which minimises the space needed, although this does also increase the difficulty of performing maintenance and repair.
A variety of methods are available for automated lifting of wheelchairs up staircases or across steps in multilevel floors. Some wheelchair lifts will be fitted into an alcove in smaller staircases and others are attached as a fold-away platform over existing stairs. Fold away types are convenient in situations where many people may need to use the staircase regularly as they require very little space. Wheelchair lifts are also available with curved tracks for effortlessly navigating multi-storey staircases.
Popular with the elderly, stairlifts are usually simple chairs attached to a runner over an existing staircase and they provide an easy method of climbing stairs when it is no longer physically possible to do so without aid. A wide range of chair lifts are available and there is usually an option to suit all tastes and budgets. Certainly a cheaper and simpler option than a full platform lift installation, chair lifts can usually be fitted in a day with very little hassle.
For vehicles, tail lifts provide an easy way to load and unload heavy wheelchairs with their passenger. Simple to fit and a relatively affordable solution, tail lifts should be a priority for those who regularly transport disabled passengers. Tail lifts can easily be installed on larger cars and people carriers as well as mini buses and coaches and are available in vertical column or cantilever designs.
When shopping around for a mobility lift, it is important to check first that any manufacturer or supplier you are considering adheres to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) regulations and can help you to do the same. This can help you to get it right first time and avoid the scenario where equipment must be modified or replaced later on.
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