Despite handicap accessible laws and ADA door requirements in public places, getting around with a wheelchair can still be a challenge. Because public and private staircases and vehicles are designed for able-bodied people before those who are disabled, finding a way around these obstacles can be frustrating.
Fortunately, wheelchair lifts for home life and wheelchair lifts for vehicles can help to make mobility in the public and private sphere that much more promising. However, because there are a surprising number of wheelchair lifts available to those who need them, it can be difficult to choose which kind is right for you. Here are some of the most common wheelchair lift types to help you make the right choice for your lifestyle:
Up to 50% of falls experienced by older Americans take place in the home. One of the worst obstacles in a home can be the stairs because of their steep incline. Incline lifts help you navigate the staircase in your home by allowing you to travel diagonally along the stairs in your wheelchair to get from the bottom floor to the top floor or vice versa.
These types of lifts can be incredibly useful if you don’t have a lot of room in your home or if you want a lift that’s able to be lifted up and out of the way for other relatives or friends to use the stairs as well.
Platform lifts go by many names including “vertical platform lift” and “porch lift.” These types of assistive lifts allow for a wheelchair user to be transported from one floor to another. However, unlike the incline lift, the platform lift transports vertically like a personal elevator.
The user enters onto the platform and closes the door. After the user pushes a button, the lift then transports the user to the next floor. The user can then exit the device by simply opening the door and exiting the platform.
The Scalamobil is a great mobility device for those looking for a lift that will stay with them while they’re on the move. However, this type of equipment requires the assistance of a relative, friend, or caregiver. A Scalamobil attaches to the bottom of a wheelchair and allows the wheelchair user to essentially “climb” the stairs with the help of the second person. This is also a great solution for very narrow staircases.
Auto lifts come in a variety of options and can enable you, as a wheelchair user, to drive any type of vehicle you want while taking your wheelchair along for the ride. However, the type of car you drive determines where you can store your wheelchair. For instance, you may either store the wheelchair externally on the outside of the vehicle (as in a truck bed or platform) or internally via an auto lift.
Wheelchairs are incredible assistive devices that allow those who use them to maintain their independence and mobility. With a wheelchair lift installed in your home or vehicle, you can improve your independence even more by getting rid of the limits set against your wheels.