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Will a stairlift affect other people in the house?

Families quickly get used to lifts and almost forget they’re there. But there are a few points to consider:

Stairlifts run on a track, which cuts down the amount of space for other people climbing the stairs, especially at corners. The track may stick out at the bottom of the stairs and the seat or footplate may be a hazard. However, stairlifts are designed to stop immediately if they encounter any object or person on the stairs.

Through-floor lifts and wheelchair platform stairlifts have safety devices that stop anyone from being crushed when the platform comes down. If you think you may have trouble with young children or pets there are models that can be turned off with a key. Safety devices on all lifts prevent children from being trapped, and fingers are protected from moving parts by guards. Be aware that the positioning of the track usually means you can’t put a safety gate at the bottom of the stairs.

Using a lift with a helper

You may need a helper to use a lift. After a few tries you and your helper will probably develop a smooth, trouble-free routine. One thing to note is that at some point the helper will need to get past a stairlift so they’ll be in a position to help you off at the other end. It’s usually better for the helper to get past at the bottom of the stairs, in case of a fall.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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