Mobility is important, since we want to be able to go see people, shop, and explore new places. However, since mobility is often severely limited for those who depend on a wheelchair or a walking aid, many people can’t enjoy these simple experiences. In an era when many adults have reached an age where walking up and down the stairs is a challenge, then it’s no surprise many are looking into having wheelchair lifts installed. Should you be in the market for a wheelchair lift, whether for yourself or a loved one, then be sure to keep the following considerations in mind.
Depending on the configuration of your home, consider whether it would be to install the lift on the inside or outside of your home. Our first pick is always to install in a garage area or inside the home so it is protected from the unpredictable weather we sometimes get in the New Jersey area. If the lift is to be installed in the garage, you may want to consider whether your car can still fit in the garage, as a lift will often occupy a 5′ x 5′ area, plus the room in front of the lift to enter/exit the lift. If the lift is to be installed on the exterior of the home it will often meet up to a deck or the front steps of your home. Ensuring that the configuration of the wheelchair lift is appropriately placed can help increase mobility and accessibility — the ultimate goal of the wheelchair lift.
The next thing to consider is how the lift will be configured in the area you have selected. It is often best to put the vertical platform lift tower against a wall area so it is easier to secure the tower against the wall or floor joist. If it’s being placed in a garage, you may want to build a wood platform that the lift can go up to, as well as build stairs for others to use when the lift is in use.There is normally a dedicated electrical line that is required to be run the the lift, typically a 20AMP 110 Volt line with a fusible, lockable disconnect. Keep in mind you can sometimes use an outlet that a fridge is plugged into because this is often a dedicated line in a garage! But, still be cognizant of the placement for the wheelchair lift as there are a variety of factors that affect it’s functionality.
Other Noteworthy Thoughts
On the exterior of the home, a 4″ thick concrete pad will have to be poured to support the lift structure, as well as a sidewalk or walkway leading up to the lift.
Be sure the lift platform is large and strong enough to take on the weight of a wheelchair and the person in it— typically lifts come with a 750 lbs weight capacity.
The wheelchair lift should be easy to use, ideally not requiring anyone but the occupant of the chair to engage in its workings.
Pay attention to how the lifts are made. Like anything, material quality, fabrics used and so forth will vary from maker to maker. Understand what elements are used to manufacture a lift that meets your needs. It is not a good idea to buy a vertical lift online because you won’t have anyone to service or care for the Vertical Lift after the install and may be tough to get parts. That’s why utilizing Able Care can give you the peace of mind knowing that not only was it installed effectively, but it will be maintained or serviced when necessary. A good way to tell about the quality of a lift is whether or not the wheelchair lift comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. If there’s no warranty, then find a new provider. We often recommend the Bruno Vertical Platform lifts due to their reliability and warranty.
Do Your Homework
Don’t take any chances. Do your homework and then make a decision based on facts, not just on appearance. Explore our platform lift installation services and see how we can help you increase mobility and accessibility within your home, or contact us today with any questions or concerns. Able Care installs platform lifts for folks throughout Central and North New Jersey and much of New York.