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The origins of the stair lift date back to the time of Henry 8th. He is one of the first recorded people to use a stair lift. Historic records show it was basic using simple rope and tackle operated by his servants to get him up and down steep castle steps.
Over the years stair lift technology has changed rapidly new features that make lifts safer, easier and efficient. Developed over time target user’s which are arthritis, stroke or fall sufferers.
Below is a list of features with buying tips:
- Swivel seats; feature enables a user to get off and on the stair lifts chair much easier. This is particularly important at the top of stairs allowing safe exit directly on to the landing.
- Tip: Use manually or powered if you have reduced mobility ask for a powered option. This should also be lockable.
- Seat belts; mandatory on all lifts hold the user in place whilst riding the lift.
- Tip: Sign of a reputable manufacture check this closely particularly on a used lift.
- Self-levelling; seat that rides the rail uses sensors to adjust the ride whilst travelling the rail.
- Tip: Look for this option if you suffer prolong pain to make the ride more comfortable for you. This is important if you plan to ride the lift many times a day.
- Soft start and stop; The stair lifts chair sets of slow gets up to speed then slows as it reached the end of the rail.
- Tip: A good option to combine with the above to avoid jolts and rocking on the lift that may aggravate any pain.
- Remote control; Used to call the lift from the bottom or top of stairs.
- Tip: Better to have two in the house one for downstairs one for up look for big buttons that are easy to use and the batteries easy to change.
- Padded seat; Provides added comfort whilst riding the lift
- Tip: Most seats are the same but look for durability and easiest to clean.
- Safety sensors: Stopping the lift from colliding with any object in the way on the stairs.
- Tip: Make sure sensors cover the parts nearest to travel and that they work.
- Folding arms, seat and footrest; Keeps the lift away when not in use.
- Tip: Go for the one that you like the look of best. Also a removable key is a good option to have when the stair lifts not in use.
Other things to consider
How is it to use? Using the lift two, three times a day or more if it causes you pain to use it, or its controls are difficult to use it is not much help to you.
What if something goes wrong? Like a power cut? breakdown? Good stair lifts have an electric motor that uses a battery so the lift works with no power. Choose a lift with a good reliable engine and battery combination to see through a power loss (there also cheaper to run).
Ask about a stair lifts reliability and how much repairs typically cost. A digital read out is a good idea these show error codes used to find faults resulting in reduction in.
When you are thinking of buying a stairlift, or a stair climber, there must be a good reason for it. Either your strength has been reduced or you have been injured so it is not easy for you to walk up and down the stairs. A home stairlift brings you back the ability to travel between floors effortlessly. You will be able to enjoy your home and your living there again fully.
Additionally, the stairlift accessories might be something to look into. They could further assist you in accomplishing the daily tasks in your home and conserve your energy further.
You will find five stairlift accessories reviews here: Newspaper holders, Grocery carriers, Hinged rails, Sit and stand or perch frame, and Weather tight seat and unit cover.
You want to keep your hands free while riding the stair lift. It is just safer that way. Many stair lifts offer attachments, or add ons such as a newspaper holder.
Some stair lifts offer a large, metal basket as a side attachment to the chair, with several dozens of pounds carrying capacity. Such baskets are perfect for carrying groceries and other heavier items with you. Again, you will be able to keep your hands free while in transport.
Sometimes it is necessary for the rail to extend into the hallway, or over and across a door. This is not desirable as it hinders the traffic through the hallway or through that door. So a hinged end-rails can be implemented. The hinged end-rails will rotate along the hinge back onto the rest of the rail, removing themselves as an obstacle in the hallway or at the door. The rails can be hinged for as long as the stairlift is not in use.
For added convenience, motorized hinged rails are available. The electric motors will help you with extending and retracting the hinged rail as needed.
Sit and stand, or perch frame
This is another very useful accessory for some people. If you are hard of sitting, or if you are having trouble bending your knees to sit properly, a sit and stand or a perch frame is very helpful. It enables you to stand or perch instead of sitting when necessary. The frame consists of a bar that you can hold on to during the ride, and an additional safety rail that you can also use. Another use for the standing or perching frame is when the stairs prove too narrow to be able to sit in the chair lift comfortably.
Weather tight seat and unit cover
The weather tight seat and unit cover mostly makes sense for outdoor stairlift only. It prevents rain, dirt and sand, and wind to affect your unit and reduce its life span. There is no covers available for the rail so to keep it in good shape, frequent vacuuming or sweeping is recommended.
The origins of everyday objects can be very interesting this is also the case for stairlifts.
Stairlifts originate back to 1920 from a very clever guy called CC Crispen. Crispen lived in Pennsylvania in the United States. He had a love for engineering he had built up over the years.
Crispin had an entrepreneurial spirit and had always strived to solve problems. CC Crispin had a friend who had developed and ailment and started to find it difficult getting up and down the stairs in his house.
Crispin’s idea was to create a seat that could climb stairs and enable his friend to access the different floors in his house. He set about building a prototype for this idea. He then named this contraption the inclin-ator and so the first way to get up and down stairs in a chair was born.
A more recent discovery has been made by David Starkey who is a British constitutional historian and a radio and TV presenter. He is a specialist and has spent a long time researching Tudor history. He has previously written a thesis on King Henry VIII’s household.
Back in 2009 Mr Starkey discovered evidence in a list of King Henry’s possessions. King Henry was born 28th June 1491 he reined as King of England from 21 April 1509. Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty. As well as his six marriages he was describe as one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne.
The evidence points to the first stairlift invented to the monarch. The King was a keen sportsman and excelled at hunting, tennis and jousting. It was whilst jousting that he suffered injury. Jousting is played out by two horsemen using long lances. It is often part of a tournament the aim is to ride towards your opponent and knock them off their horse before they do you.
The stairlift was built and installed in Whitehall palace in London. It used a block and tackle system attached to a chair. Servants would haul the king up and down the stairs using the ropes and pulleys.
Stairlifts have come a long way since the times of the Tudors. Stairlifts nowadays can be designed to go up straight or curved stairs with sophisticated safety mechanisms. Servants have been replaced by electrically charged batteries to avoid disruption. But still to this day there primary function is to take any person up or down stairs safely and easily without any assistance.
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