Published at Friday, 14 September 2018. Stair. By Christina Finke.
In fact, the best time to add a stair lift system may be before it is actually a requirement. There are plenty of seniors who may not be disabled, but who experience intermittent conditions, such as an arthritic knee or hip, that make climbing stairs a challenge some of the time. Stair lifts can be installed in straight or curved staircases. Most models today run on rechargeable DC battery packs that hold a charge for around 8 to 10 trips up and down, depending on the length of the track and the weight of the person it is transporting. Some of these battery packs have chargers mounted next to the top or bottom of the lift track, while others are able to recharge from anywhere along the track. DC powered stair lifts are the preferred style today because they still work (for a while anyway) if the AC power to the household is cut. Many seniors, through no fault of their own, lose the ability to go up and down staircases with agility. And many of them have strong emotional ties to the house in which they live. A stair lift can make the difference between allowing a senior to have significant independence of daily living and having to making the difficult choice of selling a beloved home.
The first stringer can be laid on the floor using blocks and one end of each riser is attached to each bracket so that the risers are in a vertical position in relation to the stringer. The risers are attached to each bracket using blind screws through the holes in the brackets. The second stringer is then positioned over the opposite ends of the risers and attached. A clamp may be used to pull the stringers tight against the riser ends. This one step will eliminate up to 80% of the custom fitting normally required for conventional stairs.
Battery packs come as a sealed unit that is maintenance free. Eventually, however, it will lose its ability to hold a charge and need to be replaced. the battery packs attach to the stair lift or are externally mounted near the charge station. It is a good idea to check the cost of batteries when choosing a stair lift, because they will have to be replaced eventually. Stair lift technology has moved away from the use of household AC power to use of rechargeable DC battery packs. While the batteries recharge on the household current, the lift does not require the household current in order to work, allowing use of the lift during power outages and resulting in a much smoother and quieter ride.
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