Platform lifts and elevators are super similar. They both are designed to carry people from one level to the next, bypassing stairs. Elevators are often thought of as being only found in commercial buildings, hotels, or apartment buildings, but truthfully, they can likely be installed in your own home. Which brings us to the following question: If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair, will a platform lift or an elevator best suit your needs?

Able Care Group offers expert installation for both platform lifts and elevators (as well as ramps and stairlifts) for people and businesses in New Jersey and New York. We’re here to break down when each of these mobility solutions will work best. Whether you’re ready to set up an installation day or simply need some more questions answered, give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.

Platform Lifts

Platform lifts differ from elevators only in that they can move in different directions, and usually aren’t enclosed (though enclosed platform lifts are possible). By this, we mean that platform lifts can travel up stairs by being put on a rail, but vertical platform lifts (which only travel up and down) are the most common type of lift. Typically, platform lifts have four sides, but aren’t completely enclosed in the way that an elevator is.

Here are a couple instances where a platform lift might work best.

You only need to cover a short distance.

Oftentimes, businesses or homes might have short landings that are only a couple of steps. A platform lift is best in this instance because it can more easily be installed to traverse a short distance. It won’t only be easier for installing, but it will be a quicker ride for you than an elevator would offer.

You are comfortable with an open lift.

Some people feel more secure in an elevator. If you feel more comfortable in an enclosed elevator when moving up and down levels, a platform lift might not be your best bet. But for many people, they feel fine with the open concept of a platform lift. If you don’t care about your head being covered by a ceiling (though again, enclosed platform lifts are available), a platform lift is a great choice.

You want to save some money.

Both platform lifts and elevators can run anywhere from $10k and up, but traditionally, platform lifts are less expensive than elevators. If you’re looking for a more cost-efficient mobility solution, a platform lift is probably your best bet. As always, feel free to call Able Care Group for a free quote!

Elevators

While still very similar to platform lifts, elevators definitely have their own unique set of advantages. Take a look to see if an elevator is a better option for you.

You are caring for a child who uses a wheelchair.

Many people feel more secure in an elevator when traveling with a child than they do in a platform lift. There can definitely be an added sense of security with an elevator, and our models that we offer at Able Care Group are designed to fit one parent and one child. The reverse can also be true — if you’re traveling in a wheelchair and your child is not, you might feel safer with them in an elevator than in a platform lift.

That being said, it should be kept in mind that as your child grows, so will their wheelchair. What might work when they’re younger likely won’t accommodate you both as they get older. Take their cognitive and physical growth into consideration when thinking about a wheelchair, and, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to Able Care Group with questions about sizing.

You’re looking for something sleek.

When it comes to aesthetic appeal, elevators are first in class. Especially with the Wessex models we offer, you’ll likely love the sleek and modern look that comes with this elevator. Platform lifts are more functional than they are aesthetically pleasing. If that doesn’t bother you, then a platform lift will do the job just fine (and then some). But if you’re looking for something a bit more timeless and intuitively designed, then an elevator is a better option.

No matter what you go with, both elevators and platform lifts are incredible examples of mobility solutions technology. And the other thing that’s great about them is that while they’re designed for people in wheelchairs, you don’t have to use a wheelchair to get them installed. If you’re simply trying to avoid a catastrophe on those outdoor steps that lead to your deck or don’t feel comfortable with navigating the landing in your multilevel home, an elevator and a platform lift can make traveling easier for anyone.

Have other questions about which one will work best in your home or business, or ready to set up an installation? Get in touch with Able Care Group today. We thank you, as always, for your loyalty!