Like most of us, people with physical disabilities want to enjoy life. It doesn’t matter if they want to travel on the adventure of a lifetime or go to the shop, they want to be independent. In the recent years, the UK has seen significant development in public areas and transport, giving people with physical disabilities access without having to rely on someone else. However, we still have a long way to go.

Just like public areas, private offices and houses also need to ensure accessibility for people who aren’t able-bodied and may be confined to a wheelchair. One of the most challenging everyday tasks for wheelchair-bound people is going up and down the stairs, whether in their homes or elsewhere.

In smaller premises and homes, where there is no elevator, a stair-climber or stair-lift can be the best solution. However, choosing the right equipment can be a daunting task.

Let’s explore how a stair-climber works and how you can choose stair-climbers for disabled people in your family or workplace.

What is a stair climber?

This is compact and electrically powered mobility equipment that can help wheelchair-bound people to ascend or descend stairs at home or in public buildings. The compact size makes it easier to carry the stair climber wherever you go.

You can also charge the stair climber quickly and safely. Usually, they are designed for all age groups, ranging from disabled children to adults. You can also find advanced stair climbers for disabled that are designed to provide support as the user grows older.

How to choose a stair climber

There are different types of climbers with dozens of features. Here is a guide to picking the one that will work best in your situation:

1. Check the types of stair climber

Although there are different brands and models available, you will need to consider two primary types when buying a stair climber for disabled people.

The first type comes with an integrated seat
The alternative comes with an attachment for wheelchairs.

The climbers with integrated seats are suitable for older people who may be unsteady on stairs and also for disabled people who can move from one seat to another. The narrow and compact design can fit in small spaces and narrow stairs. You can easily dismantle it for travelling.

The climber with a wheelchair attachment is more suitable for wheelchair-bound people who find it difficult to move from one seat to another. You can quickly attach the climber to the wheelchair. You can also dismantle the stair climber for travelling. It works with most types of stairs.

Today, almost all stair climbers for disabled people are battery-powered. However, you will need a second person to attach or assemble, and then use the stair climbers. Both types of climber come with an excellent braking system that helps you to control the movement easily on the stairs.

2. Measure your staircase dimensions

Before buying a stair climber for an elderly person, you should consider the dimensions of the stairs in your home. The climber you choose needs to fit properly on the stairs, especially if you have a narrow and confined space.

Before deciding to buy, measure the width of the staircase and the average height of the stairs. You will also need to take into account if your stairs are straight or go around one or more corners. The more measurements you have the better!

You’ll need to know if the climber can be used easily on a curved flight of stairs. If you have more than one flight of stairs, the climber will need to fit in the space with the operator when transferring the disabled from one flight to the next.

3. Check out the climber features

You should take the most important features of the stair climber into account when choosing one. For example, check out which braking system is used in the climber.

The battery is also an important feature of electrically-powered climbers. Make sure to check how quickly the battery gets charged and how long it lasts. This feature is especially crucial if you frequently take your loved one outdoors, where a charging facility may not be available.

You should choose a compact climber, which you can fit into a carry-case when travelling. It should also be easy to put together and dismantle after each use.

4. Check your home environment

When buying a stair climber for an elderly person you will also need to consider your entire home environment. For example, you need to think about the width of doors and the flight of stairs both internally and externally.

If there is uneven flooring or raised steps around the house, these all need to be taken into account. Make sure the stair climber can help your loved one to move around the house without any hassle.

If your disabled family member goes to work outside the home, you will need to consider the accessibility features available in their office as well. You will need to choose a climber that can work in all these environments.

5. Ask for a home visit

The best way to make sure you are buying the right stair climber for an elderly person is to ask the manufacturer or supplier for a home visit. Most professional stair-climber suppliers are more than happy to arrange a home demonstration.

The home demonstration will help you understand how to use stair climber in the actual environment. Make sure to operate the climber with the company representative to help you understand how the controls work. If more than one person from your family is going to operate the stair climber, make sure they are also present for the demonstration.

6. Consider the costs

The last, but the most important aspect, is the cost. While you can find several types of stair climbers, not all of them will fit your budget. Usually, the cost will depend on a variety of factors, such as the quality of battery, spares, warranty, and delivery charges.

Some suppliers may also include training charges in the total cost, while others may offer it for free. You may also have to pay extra for the annual maintenance and servicing. Sometimes, elderly and disabled users may also qualify for tax exemption.

Make sure to get a detailed breakdown of the cost from the vendor before making the final decision. You can also ask if there are financing opions available and whether you are eligible for one. Remember, as the stair-climber is going to be a long-term investment, you should think carefully before you make that final decision.

Conclusion

Buying a stair climber for disabled people can provide your loved one with a safe and secure way to go up and down the stairs. It also makes life easier for everyone without having to make any home improvements. However, you need to choose the right stair climber to maximize the benefit it offers.

Of course, we can help you find the right solution quickly. Get in touch with us today on 01787 728221 to arrange a free home assessment or send us a message to find out how we can help.

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