A wheelchair lift is, as the name alludes, a device that lifts people in wheelchairs up or down a certain height or a series of steps. This mechanism is used in a variety of ways: from lifting a disabled up a staircase to getting the wheelchair inside a vehicle. It fills in the inequity of wheelchairs in helping the wheelchair-bound to overcome a stair, a floor or any related vertical obstacles. Aside from sparing the patients' caretaker from lifting heavy weight, it also enables the wheelchair occupants to be independent. It increases their self-esteem and prevents them from pitying themselves because of their physical condition. In the long run, it can help in instigating a motivated recuperation.
Types of Wheelchair Lifts
Wheelchair lifts are mostly used in vehicles and in staircases. Wheelchair lifts for vans are designed either as occupied lifts (which permits an individual to get in the vehicle while still seated in his wheelchair) or unoccupied lifts (for putting away a wheelchair or scooter inside or in the back of the automobile).
Lifts in a building could be vertical or inclined. Vertical wheelchair lifts carry the wheelchair directly up to the next floor, sometimes like an elevator. Inclined wheelchair stair lifts, on the other hand, raise (or lower down) the wheelchair while following the slope of the stairway. These wheelchair lifts for stairs may either be used in residential or public buildings. They are better than mere ramps since they are less spacious than the latter.
Choosing the Best Wheelchair Lift
Unfortunately, wheelchair lifts are expensive. The bulk of the expense sometimes does not appear in buying the lift, but on its installation. For instance, installing such a lift on a van requires major modifications on the vehicle's interior. But thanks to different programs that assist disabled individuals, you can avail wheelchair lifts that both have a good quality and a reasonable price. Nevertheless, you should still be vigilant and wise in choosing the best wheelchair lift. The cost should just be the secondary factor. What you, as a buyer, should consider first and foremost are the needs and the safety of the person whom the wheelchair lift is for.
Before buying, you should first ask yourself: what type of wheelchair lift do you intend to have? Are you going to use it in your house or in your car? Which is needed the most? How do you intend to install it? Permanently installed wheelchair lifts are recommended for households that have patients in the house who have a long-run condition of disability, or those who are handicapped since birth. If the patient, however, always goes out, it would be better if you buy a portable wheelchair lift. This lift can be brought anywhere they are necessary.
And then, know the models. Compare and contrast. Where can you be most cost-efficient? Identify the specifications of the unit of your choice. Be sure that they can handle the weight of the wheelchair and the person using it. It is also recommended that you avail a model that offers significant safety features. You must ask for the guide book as well. It contains the nature of the device, the dos and don'ts, and the installation guide. Be sure that you are communicating with a reputable dealer. Know the warranty of the device and the person to contact in case the gadget goes wrong.