stair lift

Considering Investing In A Stair Lift? A Quick FAQ To Help You Get Started

stair lift

Approximately 6.8 million Americans use assist devices to aid their mobility. One of the most popular types of mobility aids for those residing in homes with multiple levels is a stair lift. Before you invest in your own personal stair lift, it’s important to understand its capabilities. Here are some answers to common questions about stair lifts.

How does a stair lift work?
A stair lift is simply a chair-like lift installed with a motor to transport riders between the various levels of their home. The stair lift typically lifts along the railing of the stairs while keeping the rider safe and comfortable. Various models have been used through the years, but the current and most popular design is proven to be safer, more reliable, and easier to maintain.

Does a stair lift only work with straight staircases?
No — again, stair lift technology has greatly expanded to meet accessibility standards over the years and can now be installed on virtually any type of staircase. Even if your staircase is longer, narrower, or more winding than most, stair lift professionals can almost always help to find a solution that works for you and keeps you comfortable.

Does installing a stair lift cause damage to your staircase?
When installed properly, a stair lift should not cause any damage to your staircase or the surrounding area. The two to three hour installation process has been optimized to be as minimally invasive as possible while providing safety, comfort, and mobility to its users.

How do stair lift users get off at the top or bottom of the stairs?
Stair lifts come equipped with a swivel mechanism in the seat to allow for quick and easy motion. This mechanism allows passengers to exit at either the top or bottom of a stairwell with ease, and without risk of tripping or getting stuck in the seat. Rest assured these products are some of the safest of their kind.

What electrical components are required for stair lift installation?
Typically, all that is needed to get your new stair lift working is a nearby electrical outlet of standard size.

Ultimately, understanding these essential answers about stair lifts is the best way to make the right decision regarding your mobility needs. For more information about outdoor stair lifts or curved stair lifts, contact Access NSM.

patient lifts for home use

Hone In On The Home: Top Tips To Help Facilitate Aging In Place

patient lifts for home use

The majority of seniors (upwards of 90%, in fact) aged 65 and over want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. But certain adjustments need to be made in order for a house to be safe and comfortable for its inhabitants. Whether you are currently experiencing mobility issues or you simply want to plan ahead for the future, here are the most important areas of your home that will likely need some upgrades.

The front door
Long-term accessibility starts with your home’s main entryway. You might not currently be bothered by stairs leading to your front door, but without a ramp, you’ll have a tough time coming and going. If you intend to keep your stairs in addition to your ramp installation, you should make sure to install a railing and stair treads for traction. Once you actually get to the front door itself, you may encounter another challenge: an entry that’s far too narrow for a wheelchair or walker to fit through. ADA door requirements require front entries to be at least 32″ wide with a straight-on approach. You may need to carve out a wider doorway to accommodate you or your visitors.

The bathroom(s)
HomeAdvisor’s 2016 “Aging in Place Report” found that 48% of homeowners over the age of 55 agreed that the number one area they’ve considered modifying in their home is the bathroom. That’s no surprise, considering that it’s a spot we all need to use — and it comes with many safety hazards. Grab bars are definitely a must here, as they’ll often prevent falls in the shower or around the toilet. You may also want to think about installing hand-held shower heads, shower seats, or walk-in showers or tubs. Raised toilet seats (accessibility standards are 19 inches in height) are often a good choice, as well.

The stairs
Of course, the stairs in your home can quickly become problematic if you don’t plan ahead. Make sure you have handrails on both sides of the stairs, rather than relying on a wall for support on one side. You should also consider installing additional traction and low-glare overhead lighting, as these additions can keep you steadier on your feet and give you better visibility. It may also be a good idea to explore patient lifts for home use. Even if you have no current need for stair lifts, you may find you eventually do or have others who might benefit from patient lifts for home use.

The kitchen
In the kitchen, countertops should be lowered to allow for wheelchair use. You should also make sure there’s enough room to maneuver with the added bulk of a chair, walker, or other mobility aid. It’s also a good idea to install faucets with lever-style handles and opt for pull-down or pull-out shelving. You may also want to remove lower cabinets or adding in a motorized sink that can adjust to a user’s height automatically. Finally, be sure to cover up plumbing and other sharp objects to prevent injury.

You may not require safety bars, widened doorways, or patient lifts for home use right now, but if you want to age in place, you’ll need to plan ahead. By focusing on these key spots in your home, you’ll be in a much better position to make the changes you need before you actually need them. That way, you can have the peace of mind you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way — right there in the comfort of your own home.

wheelchair lifts

How To Choose The Right Wheelchair Lift For Your Lifestyle

wheelchair lifts

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:

Incline Lift

Incline lifts
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.

Vertical Platform Lift

Platform lifts
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.


Scalamobil Stair Climber

Scalamobil Stair Climber

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.

Wheelchair Lift For Vehicles

Auto lifts
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.

medical lift chair

Hospital To Home: Helping Your Senior Loved One Transition

medical lift chair

After a surgery or medical procedure, having impaired mobility can be difficult for an aging individual. This can be especially true when they transition from the hospital or rehab center back into their home. As a family member, you have an important role in helping to ease this transition. By helping your loved one use medical lift chairs and other mobility aids, you can ensure both their independence and safety.

Step 1: Speak with their doctor and healthcare team.
Before your loved one leaves the rehab center or hospital, take the time to speak with their doctor and healthcare team over their specific medical needs. You may even request want to request a home evaluation.  Understand the extent of their mobility restrictions and the details of their medications. The healthcare team may also have recommendations for accessible products for the home such as a wheelchair ramp, stairlift, porch lift, bathroom accessibility products or other solutions for the home.

Step 2: Identify household hazards.
For older adults, over 50% of falls happen at home, so it’s important to prevent them as much as possible. Whether your loved one is moving in to their own home, or they are living in yours, take the time to identify the risks in every room. These can be everything from slippery areas, rugs to wires on the floor. Clean the home and remove these hazards before your loved one moves home.

Step 3: Purchase the necessary equipment.
Look into home accessibility standards and purchase the appropriate equipment to help your loved one get around the house. Find a trusted provider and schedule installation of grab bars, lift chairs, handicap door opener button, and other equipment ahead of time. Test out the equipment ahead of time to ensure that it is working properly.

Step 4: Teach your family on how to use a patient lift.
Lifting a person without the ability to assist can be a challenge. If a patient lift was provided, be sure to learn how to use it and help your family members learn how to operate it as well.  As soon as your loved one arrives home, you can get them feeling comfortable right away. Be patient and practice using the lift multiple times.

Step 5: Take care of emotional needs.
Mobility equipment is all about monitoring physical needs, but remember to take care of your loved one’s emotional state as well. Sit and chat with them regularly to check in about their recovery. Having impaired mobility can be detrimental to their mental health, so be aware of this.

By taking your loved ones mobility needs and independence seriously, you can help them feel in control as they recover from their procedure or come to terms with a permanent disability. No matter their physical ability, your loved one will certainly benefit from appropriate accessibility products and a safe home environment. The feelings of safety and independence will help them feel more in control of their life.

Welcome to the new AccessNSM website

We are excited to launch our new website!  AccessNSM looks forward to sharing many great resources as well as highlighting our multiple branches across the country. AccessNSM is a division of National Seating and Mobility which has providing complex rehab products such as power and manual wheelchairs, standing frames, seating and positioning products and many more high end mobility products for residents across the U.S.

Stay tuned as we will have weekly posts covering many topics such as:

Make sure you check out the latest information at the branch in your area