4 Functional considerations to select the best stair lift

There are many things to keep in mind when purchasing a stair lift. Milwaukee homeowners turn to BILD for helpful advice when selecting a stair lift. Selecting the proper stair lift provides freedom and peace of mind for safe mobility within a home.

With that in mind, here are 4 things Milwaukee and Illinois homeowners consider when purchasing a stair lift from Milwaukee-based BILD:

Verify the seat to floor height for safe transfers

Often times stair lift companies under-appreciate the functional aspects and different methods that end users use to manage safe transfers to and from the chair. Stair lifts are a significant investment and knowing the seat to floor height is important to managing the transfer safely and independently.  It may vary for someone who is doing a scooting transfer, a squat pivot transfer, or a standing pivot transfer. The height and style of the stair lift also may vary for different manufacturers as well, which can affect which system will work the best for you. If you are undergoing therapy, it is a very good idea to work with your therapist and verify what optimal seat to floor height works best for your transfers, and the height of the footplate to allow for comfortable and safe support as you’re riding up and down the stair lift.

Know options other than stair lifts

Knowing the alternatives to stair lifts will be helpful for you as well.  Stair lifts are typically very reliable and a good option, however if you have unique needs and cannot manage a transfer independently, there are other lift options that may work better in certain situations. Visit our stair management options page to learn more about other solutions for safe stair management both inside and outside of the home. Other solutions may provide different advantages or disadvantages versus a traditional stair lift, but are worth exploring before you make your decision. Purchasing a wheelchair lift solution such as a vertical platform lift, inclined platform lift or elevator can require added space and cost, but eliminate the need for performing transfers to and from the lift.

What type of control  works best for Milwaukee homeowners

Limited hand and arm strength can be limiting for many individuals with disabilities.  Stair lift manufacturers offer different styles of controls and joysticks that may work better or worse depending on the abilities of the person being transferred. Stair lift systems also have remote controls as well, and we have modified remote controls in ways that have made it easier for individuals to control their stair lifts even while they’re seated in the chair.  It’s important to know the options and limitations of your stair lift before you make a purchase.

A folding rail will keeps the pathway open for our Wisconsin and Illinois clients

Typically for straight stair lifts, the stair lift rail will extend roughly 10-12″ beyond the bottom step of the stairs and can often encroach on a lower pathway or walkway due to the railing length. The automatic folding railing system lifts the railing up out of the pathway as the wheelchair rides up the stairs. This specialized system allows for safety with the lower pathway, and sometimes may allow for installation of a stair lift into situations where it may otherwise not work.  Once the lift is at the bottom of the stairs the user can send the stair lift partially back up to fold the railing using a remote control for moving the stairlift from a distance.  The Harmar automatic folding railing system is a patented system that automatically latches with the chair, and is the most reliable system on the market.

Test ride a stair lift first at our Milwaukee showroom

To understand how the stair lift is going to work the best for you, it is best to test-ride the stair lift and practice transferring to and from it. Doing this will give you peace of mind that the stair lift is going to work out best for your needs. BILD has examples of demo stairlifts that can be test driven at our accessibility showroom at 9209 W Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We have also had past customers offer to show their stair lifts to individuals who are considering purchasing a new stair lift for their home.

Milwaukee based BILD is a nationally recognized and locally owned and operated accessibility company that provides accessibility solutions including stair lifts, accessible remodeling, wheelchair lifts, and transfer lift solutions. We provide home safety and accessibility products throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.  Our company seeks to bridge the need of therapists and our skilled technicians and installers, and—as national accessibility educators—we identify a number of different considerations for stair lift functionality that other companies often miss.