Many seniors face the risk of mobility issues in the home. Even with the help of doctors, therapists, and loved ones, we never see some of the challenges coming our way until they present themselves. One of the most basic challenges is height differences in the home. Stair lifts offer a mobility solution for multilevel homes, but what about a one-story home that doesn’t have a ground level entrance? In these instances, a vertical platform lift may be the solution to your accessibility needs.
For use in the home, a basic platform lift can be bought for around $4,000.00. These lifts can handle a load weight of up to 600 lbs., varying slightly among manufacturers, and are ideal as an accessibility solution for garage or porch steps that would normally bar entry for a wheelchair or scooter. Automatic folding ramps with non-skid surfaces offer easy “roll over” access to the lift; the platform also folds in during transit to prevent a chair or scooter from rolling off while the lift is in operation.
If you have a larger distance between the ground and your home’s entryway – particularly common in houses built on stilts to avoid flood damage in coastal areas – accessibility lifts up to 12 feet in height are available. The maximum load limit is comparable to smaller lifts, with many of the same features available. These models are typically sold for around $7,500.00
Many homes have multiple entrances above ground level, and you may not want to purchase a platform lift for each one. In this case, look into purchasing a portable lift. Most portable wheelchair lifts will clear a 4 foot height, and have lockable rolling feet for repositioning the lift unit in a different location. This is also a great feature if you want the store the lift when it’s not being used. Hosting a party and don’t want your lift device to clash with your flower arrangements outside? Just unlock the wheels and roll it to a more clandestine location. Portable lift models tend to fall somewhere between the basic and extended models in price – around $5,000.00
When buying a vertical lift, consider the level of durability you need. If the lift will be used outdoors and exposed to the elements, make certain you choose a lift that can withstand harsh weather and is rain-resistant. If you are concerned about the reliability of the lift controls, check to see if your manufacturer of choice offers any wheelchair lift models with emergency manual operation. And as with any major purchase, always consult your financial adviser before agreeing to any financing or loan arrangements with a manufacturer to make sure you are receiving an equitable deal on your new lift. Make a list of must-have features before contacting a salesperson, and make sure the lift you choose will meet your needs. If a salesperson can’t answer those questions, find another dealer. Being informed and prepared will help you make a smarter purchasing decision and get you the platform lift you need to make your way around the house.
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