Since it was first invented in the 1500s, the modern-day stair lift offers a practical solution for those faced with physical challenges. Not only do stairlifts offer better mobility, they have helped more people stay in their homes and continue to lead independent lives.
5 Things You Should Know About Stair Lifts
Before you purchase a stair lift system for your home, the following are some things to keep in mind.
#1 – Buy your stairlift from a reputable company.
#2 – Know your budget.
More often than not, fitting your home with a stair lift is a viable, cost-effective option compared to having to restructure your home or move somewhere else entirely in order to accommodate a mobility challenge. However, you still want to weigh the cost and inquire as to what your insurance may and may not cover. You may also be able to claim your stairlift on your taxes.
#3 – Know the installation options and requirements.
A mobility specialist or representative from the stairlift company will come out to your home to inspect how and where the stairlift will fit in. He/she will take measurements and may be able to recommend a specific type of stair lift that is better suited to both the layout of your home as well as your mobility needs.
#4 – Know the features of your stair lift.
Most stair lifts are fairly uncomplicated in design. There are options available to you, however. For example, consider whether you want a foot rest, whether you want the chair to be foldable, whether you want your stair lift to have a send-call feature, etc. Your mobility specialist can review all of these options with you as well as make recommendations.
#5 – Know your stairway.
Does your home have a curved stairway? More than one set of stairs? Do you live in an older home with a narrow stairway? These are questions you’ll want to keep in mind as you go through the purchase process.
5 Fun Facts About Stair Lifts
FACT #1 – King Henry VII Commissions a “Chairthrone”
The earliest recorded stair lift dates back to the mid-1500s. It was invented for the then 420 lb. King Henry VIII, who commissioned a “chairthrone” to help him travel up and down 20 feet of steps at his London palace, following jousting accident.
FACT #2 – C.C. Crispen Invents the “Inclinator”
C.C. Crispen, a Pennsylvania entrepreneur, was said to have invented the precursor to the modern stair lift in 1923. It was called the “Inclinator,” and it operated using a chair connected to a rail. The chair was pulled on small wheels or rollers via a chain/cable system. Crispen got the idea while visiting a sick friend, who was confined to an upstairs bedroom in their home.
FACT #3 – The Inclination Company of America is 1st to Use Stairlifts on a Larger Scale
The first widely-used stair lift was by the Inclination Company of America in 1924.
FACT #4 – Earliest Recorded Use of a Modern Stair Lift is in the USA
When it comes to using stairlifts, the United States goes down on record as being the first ever to use a modern stair lift.
FACT #5 – Stairlifts Have Been Featured in Movies/Shows
Famous movies and TV shows have scenes that have featured stairlifts. Most notably, look for stairlifts in films such as “Gremlins,” as well as in popular TV shows like “Seinfeld,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”.
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