Many people need a stair lift as they grow older and are no longer able to navigate steps. For elderly couples, finding a lift that meets each persons' needs can be challenging. If both you and your spouse struggle to climb up and down the stairs in your home, a local stair lift installation company that works with multiple manufacturers is most likely to have a model that can accommodate both you and your spouse's needs.
Balancing Multiple Considerations
Finding the right stair lift for one person is challenging enough. Looking for one that will work for two people is doubly difficult. There are many considerations to balance. Here are a few that you may want to discuss with a salesperson or installation technician before settling on a lift.
First, you or your spouse might suffer from back pain. Even if you don't have back pain now, the American Chiropractic Association estimates that 80 percent of people will have back problems at some point in time. To reduce the strain that using the lift places on your or your spouse's back, you might want to look for a model that features soft starts and stops. Stairlift-Tips.com notes that this can help users who suffer from lower back pain.
Second, if you or your spouse suffers from dementia, you might need a stair lift that has a key lock. Key locks prevent anyone who doesn't have a key from operating the lift. While they may still press the lever or button that moves the lift, nothing will happen unless the key is inserted into the lock. Silver Cross notes that key locks are primarily included on stair lifts that are used in commercial or public spaces, but they can also help prevent dementia patients from endangering themselves by operating a lift in their home without supervision.
Finally, you'll need a lift that is rated for both your and your spouse's weight. If one of you is significantly heavier than the other, whether because of a medical condition or simple gender differences, you'll need a lift that can support the heavier person's weight.
Working with Multiple Manufacturers
Most stair lift manufacturers make more than one model, but some don't offer many different features. To find a stair lift that meets all of the criteria that both you and your spouse have, you'll probably have to compare multiple manufacturers' offerings. The easiest way to do this is by talking with a salesperson at a local installation company that carries lifts from several different manufacturers -- one that's like an independent insurance agency.
Stair lift installation companies can be compared to auto insurance agencies. Just as some agencies work with only one insurer, some installation companies only carry stair lifts from one manufacturer. Other, independent, agencies offer insurance policies from multiple carriers, and other local installation companies carry stair lifts from several makers.
When you go to an independent installation company's showroom, you'll be able to see many different options in one place. If one manufacturer's offerings don't meet all of your and your spouse's requirements, your salesperson can show you another maker's lifts. If you were to shop for a lift at an installation company that only worked with one manufacturer, then you would either have to settle for a model that didn't have all of the features you wanted, or you'd need to drive to another company's store to see other options.
If both you and your spouse need a stair lift, contact a local installation company that works with multiple lift manufacturers. They'll have the most options to choose from, and you'll have the best chance of finding one that meets both your and your spouse's needs.