A stairlift is a mechanical device for lifting people and wheelchairs up and down stairs. Stair Chair Lifts have been around assisting the mobility impaired for a long time, but are a mystery to many. Following are a collection of questions and answers on these wonderful inventions.
Who used the earliest recorded chairlift?
King Henry V111, a 420lb Monarch, when injured in a jousting match, had servants haul him up and down stairs in a chair attached to a block and tackle system.
When were Stair Chair Lifts Invented?
In the 1920's a self taught engineer, C.C. Crispen created a seat that climbed stairs, in an effort to assist an ailing pal.
When did stair-lifts become commercially available?
Some of the first stairlifts to be produced commercially were advertised and sold in the USA in the 1930s.
Who were the first users of stair chair lifts?
The first user group were victims of polio.
What are the popular types?
Wheelchair Platform stairlifts
What is the common power source?
Primarily powered by conventional AC, but some models are DC powered by accompanying batteries.
How safe are mobility lifts?
All commercially available units have passed stringent safety tests. All models are equipped with "safety edges" that should the lift hit an obstruction will cause the lift to stop and travel in the opposite direction, (similar to a garage door opener.)
What are some popular brands?
In no particular order:
Are stair chair lifts expensive?
It depends on how you view it. Though most models will run into the thousands, many people facing mobility challenges assert that it is a lot cheaper than moving.
What are the travel speeds?
Most models incorporate a "soft start" feature, that gently propels the chair with no jerking effect, and will generally reach about 30 ft per minute.
Stair Chair Lifts will enable you to comfortably negotiate up and down stairs, and are a very practical alternative to moving from your home, and in fact will make your home work for you.