Examining the Types of Wheelchair Lifts

There are different types of wheelchair lifts that are available for individuals who are wheelchair bound. These include vertical lifts, step lifts and stairlifts. Each type offer advantages for individuals who are wheelchair bound to help increase mobility and ease of movement.

Lifts are manufactured and distributed by a variety of specialty manufacturers who specialize in durable medical equipment for disabled, handicap and wheelchair bound individuals. The equipment must (or should) meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act in terms of function, design and operability.

Vertical Lift

Vertical lifts are not as commonly used as other types of wheelchair lifts. This is because vertical lifts require a lot of space in order to operate properly. A vertical lift may be found in homes where they were incorporated as part of the space plan for the home. For a home that has the space that permits its installation, a vertical wheelchair lift is the best option to have.

A vertical wheelchair lift, or elevator as it is more commonly referred to in the United States, is a small elevator that allows an individual who uses a wheelchair to easily navigate between floors in a multi-level home. The vertical lift that you will find installed in a home are by no means as large as those found in commercial or retail facilities like office buildings or shopping malls. Most vertical lifts for the wheelchair bound have open fronts and can be easily operated by the individual bound in the wheelchair.

Step Lift

Step lifts are a smaller version of a vertical wheelchair lift that raises the wheelchair several feet in the air. The step lift is designed for outdoor use where an individual has to be lifted from the home’s steps to the front or back door. It is designed specifically for exterior or outdoor use and is a commonly used type of wheelchair lift.

Stair Lift

Stair lifts are a piece of durable medical equipment that is installed in many homes. A stair lift is operated by a pulley and chain mechanism the glides the wheelchair bound individual up and down the stairs. The systems are installed by professional installers and designed to gradually guide the individual up and down the stairs with as much comfort and ease of use as possible.

Most stair lifts are designed to accommodate the shape of the stairs so bends and curves in the wall usually do not pose an issue for the operation of the stair lift. In most cases, stair lifts are paid for by Medicare for those individuals age 65 or older and also by private insurance.

Investing in any of these pieces of equipment is a sensible thing to do for individuals who need assistance in moving freely throughout and in and out their home. As mentioned, much of the costs associated with purchasing and installing wheelchair lifts is covered by Medicare or private insurance, reducing much of your out-of-pocket cost to increase mobility.