If you have been shopping for a chair lift lately, you may be finding it a surprise as to how many different models and manufacturers there are currently on the market. There are at least seven major chair lift manufacturers in the United States, and at least 30 different stair chair models currently available. Why are there so many? And how do you choose between all these makes and models?
Some of the reasons for so many models is the number of different functions and uses these manufacturers are now attempting to serve with their chair lifts. For example, there are chair lifts for both regular straight stairs as well as for curved ones. There are stair lifts meant for primarily home use as well as those mean for use in residential facilities or other high use environments. Some models are built with special features to accommodate wheel chairs, the visually impaired or other important considerations to take into account.
Given how much you will be paying for most stair lift models, you will certainly want to be able to narrow your search for a model that is right and the best deal for you or your loved one. Some factors to consider include what kind of access your loved one needs to the chair lift. Will they be able to walk to it, or will they be using a wheel chair or a transfer board to help them into the chair? Will they be operating the controls themselves, or does a caretaker need access to a remote to control the chair?
You will also need to make certain that the chair lift is properly suited for the weight and height of the individual using it. For example, some chair can only accommodate individuals weighing up to 300 pounds, others may not fit those over six feet tall or very small individuals. Chair lifts that are too large present a risk of the individual slipping out during use, while those that are too small make break or simply be too uncomfortable to use.
Be sure to also consider the location the chair will be used by the individual. Will it have easy and constant access to electricity? If not, you should certainly consider a battery operated model instead. The battery models are actually become more popular given the revolutions in the rechargeable battery industry in recent years, and now some of the best models only come powered by rechargeable batteries.
You also make sure the chair lift you purchase has an excellent warranty backing it up. You will want the motor and the parts to be covered, and if possible, labor as well (although this may be more difficult to get covered in many chair lift warranties).
Cost considerations are likely to be a factor as well. Although few buyers would sacrifice any safety features for cost savings, there may be some ways to save on the price of certain chair lift features or installation costs. Unfortunately, unlike some motorized scooters and wheel chairs, stair chair lifts are not generally covered by medicare or medicaid and most private insurers will not reimburse you for their costs as well. On the plus side, they may add value to your home once they are installed.
To get the best chair lift deal, you may want to try negotiating directly with the manufacturer. You may be surprised how quickly the cost of a chair lift will drop when you do good comparison shopping and come prepared with the figures when negotiating with a chair lift manufacturer.
For even more useful articles, visit the Chair Lifts for Stairs homepage.