Stair lifts can have a little bit of a bad reputation. They are seen as devices that the elderly may bring in as a last resort when the stairs become too difficult. Many couples and older consumers may be put off from looking at stair chairs lifts because of the stereotypes of stair lifts for seniors. However, there are many potential benefits to owning one – and they aren’t just for people over a certain age. The main aim with a stair lift is to improve the mobility of the user. They allow people to gain better access to the top floor of the home, in a pain-free convenient manner. This means that they are perfect for all those that struggle with back pain, joint issues and other disabilities.
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Top rated stair lifts are those that provide this increased mobility with a number of additional benefits. First and foremost, they need to be able to travel the length of the stairs in a smooth manner, where users have no problem getting out at the other end. Then there are the comfort features and ergonomic in the chair – from the padding on the seat and back, to the foot and arms rests. Others will look at other features, like folding parts and the controls.
Stair Chairs for Seniors That Want a Little More Independence
1. Harmar Stair Lift
Stair chair lifts are a great choice in homes where couples are beginning to struggle with mobility issues. Perhaps one resident still has full mobility and can manage the stairs with ease, but the other finds it a little more painful, or has some balance issues while climbing. In this situation, a small, simple chair lift can provide a great aid. They act as a great modification to the home, without transforming it completely. In this situation, it helps to find a model like this Harmar Stair Lift. This model is simple and easy to use, and doesn’t require too much transformation of the staircase.
This Harmar model is a top rated option in this situation because it is functional and helpful, yet doesn’t take up too much space or require too much installation work. This custom-made model runs on an aluminum track along the staircase – not fixed to the wall. This means that it shouldn’t take long to fit and can be made to suit the space. It has a wide padded seat, arm, rest and a foot rest for comfort as users ascend the stairs. There are also different settings to the backrest, in case different users want to take advantage of this machine. It is a great support service for elderly users, without taking over the home. It is a simple, helpful adaptation that couples will appreciate.
2. AmeriGlide Horizon Standard Stair Lift
Another great option for this demographic is this AmeriGlide model. One of the great benefits with this model is that it so compact. A concern with some of these chairs is in finding the best size for the space. On the one hand, users want enough room to sit down in a sturdy seat. This is especially true for larger user. On the other hand, it cant take up the entire staircase if there are other, able-bodied occupants in the house. This stair lift chair is ideal for this situation. It doesn’t have too much of a footprint on the staircase while in motion. This is because there is such a thin seat and backrest, as well as the small arms and the foot rest.
When not in use, it all folds up nicely out the way. Furthermore, there is the 300lb weight capacity, so no concern about it being sturdy enough.
This is ideal for homes where there are residents with limited mobility as well as those with normal mobility. It isn’t a complete transformation of the staircase, but it does enough for its users. The benefits continue with the ease of use with the assembly and functions. It can be called for from either the bottom or top of the stairs, and responds pretty well. There is also a swivel to the seat, to allow users to climb in and out more easily and it plugs into the wall outlet with no need for an electrician.
3. Nautilus Stair Lift
The addition benefit of some of these chairs with the strong, wide seats is that they can provide a great transport system for items other than people. This is what some people do with this Nautilus model. The ease of use of the remote control, and the space on the seat, means they can load it up with items rather than carry things up the stairs. This is great for families with disabled parents and children. Parents can place clean laundry, forgotten school books and other items on the chair and send them to the child, rather than continuously climb stairs as they run around after them. This is a great example of why these strong, mobile chairs need to provide functionality for users of all ages.
There are other elements to this chair that highlight the potential for younger families with children – not just seniors. To begin with, this is a grease free model that mounts to the stairs not the wall. This should mean a smooth process without anything messy. Children, grease and painted walls don’t always go together. Then there is the lifetime warranty. Again this is perfect for those with long term disabilities that see this stair lift chair as a long term solution. Finally, there is another helpful folding design, so it doesn’t get in the way of the children also using the stairs.
4. Outdoor Stair Lift by Jameson
Then there are the stair lifts for single occupants that want to have a little more independence in their own home. single occupants, perhaps divorcees or widows/widowers, can feel pressure to move out of a beloved home when they start to struggle with the stairs. The extreme answer with mobility problems is to relocate to a single storey home, or sheltered accommodation. This doesn’t have to be the first response if homeowners are otherwise healthy enough to stay at home Those that are fairly fir and have strong minds can hold off from moving home by adapting their current home with a stair lift.
There are lots of top rated stair chair lifts out there that can provide a great means of independence for users. One great example with a difference in the Outdoor Stair Lift by Jameson. This chair has a similar look and mechanism to the indoor options seen across the guide here. The shape and motions are pretty much the same. Yet, there are some key differences here. This model has the strength and cold weather protection to work outside. This means better protection to the gears and good upholstery. There is also the option of a simple customized rail for different sized stair cases. This is great for those that lift in properties where the exterior space is on a lower level to the entrance way. It takes independence in the home to a different level.
5. Legacy Classic Stair Lift by Jameson
Jameson is a brand that provides plenty of different models with independent living in mind. They all share many key features in the ease of use, comfort and features. This Legacy model is yet enough to be mentioned in this guide to the best stair lifts for seniors. There are two clear priorities with these chairs for those wanting more independence – the ease of use in any situation and the comfortable ride. The comfort provided by this chair is clear in the high back and padding on the seat. This is another wide seat with plenty of room for larger users, with a 350lb weight allowance. There is also that handy folding design once again. It was made to “glide” up and down the stairs with ease, and users seem to agree with this notion.
Then there is the ease of use for those living on their own. This starts with the inclusion of two wireless remote controls to call the chair to the right level of the home. There are also simple controls on the armrests too, so users should have few concerns about operating this alone. It is a battery operated machine, so no concern if the power goes out. Finally there is the added peace of mind from the seat belt – for those that are operating this chair with nobody else in the home.
6. Jameson - Elegant Stair Lift in Walnut
Finally, there are those with disabilities that will require a little more support in the home. Stair lifts are often associated with the elderly, but they aren’t the only demographic to benefit from them. There are plenty of younger users that can appreciate the advantages of installation if it will help them get upstairs. This means middle-aged users that have symptoms of back and joint issues. Young users may want to live in a large family home despite their limitations. Then they are those that lose mobility due to accidents and sudden illness. Ideally, these stair lifts will be just as easy to use, supportive and perhaps even attractive in the home as those for the elderly.
Attractive stair lifts aren’t always a guarantee. There are lots of models that have a lot of plain plastic covered cases, and beige material on the padded seats. They aren’t stylish additions to the home. This model at least tries a little to rectify that – it has a more elegant shape in the tall back rest and a nice dark walnut color to the materials on the seat, back and arm rests. Like many others in this list, it folds up neatly out the way what not required and can be customized to fit the dimensions of the staircase. Another interesting detail here is the different weight allowances. It can go up to 500lb and 600lb for larger users.