Practical help for wheelchair users
Many users of a stairlift are also dependent on walking aids or wheelchairs in everyday life, but can often stand alone for a short time or swing by holding a wheelchair to the stairlift. However, some diseases or infirmities make it impossible to use a stairlift. Then, even if standing for a short while is not an option or the transfer from the wheelchair to a classic stairlift is stressful, the wheelchair lift is used. A stairlift for the wheelchair can be purchased both new and used. When buying a used wheelchair lift you can save up to 50 percent of the original price.
The wheelchair lift – two variants are possible
Wheelchair users can choose between two types of wheelchair lifts, the platform lift and the hoist lift. Both variants have their own advantages. Both lift and platform lifts are suitable for various structural situations. Lift lifts are ideal for overcoming low altitudes, while platform lifts can comfortably accommodate higher altitudes. Which wheelchair lift is best suited for your situation and which advantages the various types of wheelchair lift offer is explained below. If you also want to save on the initial cost, buying a used stairlift for the wheelchair can be a worthwhile option for you. Here too you will find useful information below.
Hoists – Specialists for low heights
The outdoor area in front of a building entrance is the ideal place for the operation of a lift. Here often only a few steps lead to the front door. Even within a house, this wheelchair lift – for example in public buildings – allows the comfortable overcoming of small stairs. If the stage can be reached via a few steps in an event hall, a lift at this point creates accessibility by transporting wheelchair users over the low height.
In order to overcome such minor height differences, the installation of a lifting lift is recommended in every case. It allows wheelchair users to comfortably overcome heights of up to 1.35 m. In addition, only a few conditions are required for its installation, which is one of the advantages of the wheelchair lift.
For the installation of a lift usually only a sufficiently large area is needed, which is flat and stable. Here a substrate made of concrete or natural stone is sufficient. If this foundation is present, only a 230 V connection is needed for the operation of the electric motor and already the two most important prerequisites are met to professionally install such a wheelchair lift. The trouble-free installation of the wheelchair lift is thus one of the important advantages.
Space-saving wheelchair lift
Compared to a concrete ramp, which requires a lot of space, a lift, which is also known as a lift, can be installed in a very space-saving manner. The footprint should be only 90 x 120 cm in size to meet the standard size of a lift. The lift is finally installed on this floor space.
More space is not required because it moves purely vertically from bottom to top and vice versa and not like a platform lift follows the staircase and thus obliquely goes up.
Since a lift does not rely on a masonry shaft or shaft with mullion and transom construction, additional space can be saved.
The lift as wheelchair lift for outside
In most cases hoists are used outside the house. Here they are mainly in front of the front door, when it is separated from the road by a few steps. They are also used behind a building if, for example, the terrace is connected to the garden area via a few steps. Hoists have an extremely high load capacity. As a result, they can also be used without problems as goods lifts. If the wheelchair user still has to carry a heavy shopping bag or a bulky item, that’s no problem for a lift.
Platform lift – Conveniently overcome greater heights
In order to let wheelchair users overcome heights over 1.50 m, platform lifts are the ideal helpers. They are used at higher stairs, which can sometimes run over several floors. Here it is irrelevant whether it is a straight or curvy staircase, because there are platform lifts for both variants.
Like a seat lift, platform lifts are fixed on the stairs and follow the staircase. Thanks to the flat ramp, wheelchair users can easily access the platform. The ramp then automatically folds up so that the wheelchair can not roll off the platform – one of the advantages of the wheelchair lift, which ensures safety and comfort.
Flexible and space-saving
Even though platform lifts require more space than seat lifts because of the size of their platform, they have numerous intelligent functions that save space. So there are models whose platforms are collapsible when the system is not used.
If safety bars are also integrated, they can also be folded down after the platform has been folded down. In fact, platform lifts in sleep mode become compact and space-saving systems that do not restrict other users of the staircase.
The powerhouses under the wheelchair lifts
Depending on the model, platform lifts offer a load capacity of 300 kg or even more. That’s why it’s even possible for users with a heavy electric wheelchair to overcome stairs with this wheelchair lift. A wheelchair user can easily carry heavy shopping bags or bulky items with them.
The high load-bearing capacity and flexibility of its platform, which can be individually adapted to the size of the wheelchair, are thus a decisive advantage in a platform lift.
The platform lift as wheelchair lift for outside
In hilly areas, houses are often located on high slopes and can only be reached via long stairs. To make this situation accessible to wheelchair users, the platform lift is the ideal solution. Platform lifts are the experts when it comes to overcoming longer and steeper stairs. Here they are clearly different from the lifts, which are preferred for overcoming low altitudes and a few steps.
What applies to the front entrance of houses, of course, applies to the back and thus for the connection to the garden. If this is connected behind the house by a longer staircase with the terrace, the installation of a platform lift offers itself. As a result, the wheelchair user is again able to reach his garden barrier-free, and can use it again fully.
Outdoor models are equipped with weather-resistant materials. The wheelchair lift in this case is galvanized and powder-coated so that neither moisture nor heat can harm it. In addition to the weather-resistant material is included in many lift providers and a rain cover, which are pulled in winter as additional protection over the system and thus can withstand the weather for many years and ensure proper operation.
A new wheelchair lift is expensive to buy. However, if the stairlift for the wheelchair is needed, you can sometimes save a lot of money when buying it. When you buy second hand you make no compromises in terms of safety, functionality or quality of the lift. Reputable stairlift providers carry out extensive checks, maintenance and repairs before the used stairlift for the wheelchair is sold. Thorough cleaning of the lift is also mandatory.
Use of wheelchair lifts outside in front of public buildings
If the user of a platform lift in the private sector can decide for himself which platform size he would like to have, standard sizes apply to platform lifts on public buildings. Municipalities sometimes use platform elevators in front of their office buildings, so that employees in wheelchairs can access their workplaces barrier-free or even as a service for wheelchair-bound citizens.
The advantage of platform lifts in front of public buildings is that they can be used in a very space-saving way. The long concrete ramps, which are usually located in front of the entrances, are therefore superfluous. If only limited space is available in the entrance areas, the platform lift is the space-saving alternative here as well.
Does the wheelchair lift fit into my living situation?
Since every living situation is different, platform size and rail length are individually adapted to the staircase shape and stair length. For a straight installation, the staircase must be at least 80 cm wide, for a winding installation at least 95 cm. There should be at least 120 cm of space before the first step.
The production of the rail is a tailor made, which is produced only after precise assessment and measurement of the staircase situation. After all, every staircase is different. Even if you purchase your stairlift for the wheelchair used, it can be optimally adapted to the specific circumstances of your living situation. Simply a part of the rail is adapted or supplemented. Ideally you use a non-binding assessment and advice from a lift provider at your home. Thus, many questions about installation options, costs and financing can be clarified quickly and without obligation.
Many providers also offer a free test drive. A non-binding meeting with an existing customer in your area and the provider is arranged for you. You can test the wheelchair lift yourself and talk to the customer about their experiences. As an alternative to the wheelchair lift, the installation of a wheelchair ramp is also conceivable. With this, however, only small differences in height can be overcome, also takes a wheelchair ramp often a fairly large area to complete.
How much is a wheelchair lift?
Depending on the staircase and model, the used stairlifts differ in price from each other. Generally speaking, buying a used stairlift for the wheelchair can often save a lot of money. In terms of quality and functionality, a used stairlift, which was regularly taken into maintenance, is in no way inferior to a new model.
The used prices for a stairlift for the wheelchair depend on the desired model and its new purchase price. The lower the purchase price was, the cheaper is the used model at the second hand purchase.
The costs for lifts on curved stairs are higher, as the individual adjustments of the rail courses are more complex. The prices vary depending on the special equipment. Cheaper alternatives are used wheelchair lifts or wheelchair lifts for rent. But even with used stairlifts you have to expect a curvy model with higher costs, in contrast to the straight used stairlift.
Whether a stairlift is new or used, incidentally, does not matter for the nursing care fund. If a nursing degree is available and the application for the nursing care allowance has been submitted before the purchase, you are entitled to a subsidy of up to € 4,000 for accommodation adjustments. You may also be entitled to other financial benefits, such as grants from the Social Security Office or the respective employers’ liability insurance association. You can find out more about this in our guide to stair lift subsidies.
Used wheelchair stair lift as a cheap alternative
If you decide to buy a used wheelchair lift, you can save up to 25 percent of the new price. The second-hand purchase at a stair lift retailer offers in contrast to private purchase various advantages. If you are a specialist, you will purchase refurbished equipment that meets the highest safety and quality requirements. In addition, you usually benefit from guarantees and warranties. Here you will find more information about used wheelchair stairlift.