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The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, by 2035, older Americans will comprise 21 percent of the total population, which is estimated to be a larger population than youth. Many older adults want to be comfortable and independent in their own space, which is often referred to as “aging in place.” However, many adults experience mobility issues. Approximately 35% of people over age 70 suffer from mobility problems, and nearly all of the population age 85 and older. 

For comfort and safety, many adults consider different types of stairlifts for their home if they have a multi-level property. Falling on the stairs can be very dangerous, and different kinds of stairlifts can help keep a loved one safe as they age in place. Read on to learn more about how stairlifts work, stairlift types, and which recommended stairlifts may be the best choice for you. 

How Do Stairlifts Work?

A stairlift is a stair lift chair that rides along a track that is installed securely to the stairs. Controls on the armrest of the stairlift allow the operator to move the stairlift either up or down the stairwell. While stairlifts do need an electrical outlet to operate, they come complete with battery packs in case of a power outage or other emergency. However, because not all stairlifts are the same, there are different types of stairlifts to outfit different staircases. 

What Is a Curved vs. Straight Stairlift?

If you ask, what are the different types of stair lifts?, the answer is many. However, when it comes to what types of stairlifts are there, two main types are most often used—curved and straight.

Both curved and straight stairlifts are very similar in design. Stairlifts, as previously mentioned, have a seated device that fits into a track on the stairs. A straight stairlift is exactly what it sounds like—a stairlift that goes up a completely straight set of stairs. On the other hand, a curved stairlift has the same design, but the tracks are installed on the stairs to handle the curve(s) of the stairway. Remember, even if you have one curve (such as two steps opening up to a 90-degree angle), this is considered a curve, and you will need a curved stairlift. 

Other Types of Stairlifts

While stairlifts predominantly follow one of two designs, there are different types of stairlifts for certain situations. These include:

  • Outdoor stairlifts. These types can either be straight or curved, but they are built especially for outdoor conditions and are resistant to the elements. They often have a folded seat and a lock and key to keep the stairlift safe. 
  • Standing stairlifts. Standing stairlifts have a special seat that may resemble a barstool. These stairlifts are designed for people that have difficulty standing from a seated position, and standing stairlifts provide extra lift to make standing easier. These also can either be straight or curved. 
  • Platform stairlifts. These are similar to the inclined platform type but can also help lift someone who is using a walker or other mobility device. Platform stairlifts can also be straight or curved. 

One aspect people may worry about is the cost of stairlifts when it comes to stair lifts for sale. However, many companies may have flexible payment plans and trade-in options. You may have the ability to opt for used stair lifts in excellent condition over budget restraints.

To learn more about different types of stairlifts and other types of mobility products, such as wheelchair ramps and chair lifts, that can be life-changing, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives possible.