Wheelchair Lifts: The Complete Guide
Disabled people might need a little special care in things in the life. Especially if the person uses a wheelchair, moving around can be very difficult without improvements in regular things like buses or any public services, also in buildings too.
With the improvements in technology, wheelchair users started to gain many different advantages around the public services as well as in their homes. Also with the mass productions and other different improvements, wheelchair lift prices went down to reasonable numbers.
What is Wheelchair Lift?
Wheelchair lift also known as platform lit, is an electric powered utility to raise disabled person and wheelchair to designated level. It usually used in busses, vans, stairs and other obstacles around public services or residential areas.
Wheelchair lifts can be used buildings and vehicles, both. It’s been usually used by municipalities in public buses or train services, public service buildings and many different areas. It is also very common in footbridges with stairs.
This utility is not only used by municipalities. It’s been also used by public buildings like shopping centers, stadiums and many other places. Wheelchair lifts are also common in many commercial buildings around the world.
In the modern world, almost every company is very sensitive about equality for handicapped people. With this equality movement, they started to use many different utilities to provide easier life for them. In these utilities, wheelchair lifts are the most essential one.
Many countries of the world are required wheelchair lifts or similar utilities to help handicapped people. For instance, in the United States of America, a pass called ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, required all public and mass transit vehicles are obligatory to use wheelchair lifts after 1993. Other than wheelchair lifts, almost every single mass transit vehicle in the country are equipped with powered and not powered utilities like ramps and bridges.
There are similar laws and requirements in Europe too. Especially in Western European countries, it is obligatory to use wheelchair lifts or utilities with similar properties in all mass transit vehicles, public buildings like shopping centers and all commercial buildings with handicapped employees or not.
Purposes of Wheelchair Lifts
A wheelchair lift has a simple and clean purpose which is raising a wheelchair and user of it to overcome a step or similar obstacle. Those devices are electric powered and can be used in both vehicles and buildings.
In commercial buildings, it can be used on stairs or any other possible obstacles for wheelchair user. Commercial wheelchair lifts can be used at outdoor or indoor. It’s very common practice to install commercial wheelchair lifts to stairs in train stations, flyovers, shopping centers and many other buildings.
Wheelchair Lifts for Home
Recent developments in technology affected wheelchair lifts too. With mass production and other improvements combined with tax reductions for utility products for handicapped people, many handicapped people installed wheelchair lifts or similar utilities in their homes.
The electric powered, fully automatic wheelchair lifts are very big elements of comfort. It improves the person’s life greatly and helps to move without any boundaries, freely. Especially in houses with multiple floors, wheelchair lifts are good alternatives other than ramps or any similar bridges.
Wheelchair lifts allows the occupant move freely around his or her home. This is the most important advantage of a wheelchair lift it is a main factor of choice for handicapped people.
Wheelchair Lifts for Stairs
The main purpose of wheelchair lifts are elevating the wheelchair and its occupant on stepped areas and stairs. Especially the electricity powered wheelchairs lifts have been using in stairs for years both in homes and public buildings.
There are many wheelchair lift models around the market and every model has different properties. One that needs wheelchair lift must check the power of the lift first. Some wheelchair lifts has less power to operate with long stairs that might cause problems for handicapped person or even shorten the lifespan of the utility. Also don’t forget to include main user’s weight to your search so you can choose a lift with desired power capacities. It is common to stumble into that factor might cause because of over weighted handicapped people.
Wheelchair Lifts for Vans
Other than home and commercial use, wheelchair lifts are very common in vans too. It can raise the wheelchair and its occupant to desired level within seconds without any trouble to anyone. Even there are very special wheelchair lifts to allow handicapped people get in cars by themselves without any help from outside.
When choosing the best wheelchair lift for the vans, consider its weight and size before everything else. Vans are not like homes or buildings. You have less space for utilities so choosing a compact wheelchair lift might help you greatly.
Speed is not important when it comes to wheelchair lifts for vans. Despite stairs, you only need to lift wheelchair for height of a car step. That can only take a few seconds more or less. Do not spend a fortune for that and try to stick with compact wheelchair models.
Differences Between Commercial and Residential Wheelchair Lifts
Commercial wheelchair lifts are designed for more intense usage. They are like elevators in crowded building. It has many users, it works in rush hours too many times. Because of those, commercial wheelchair lifts are designed for intensive usage. Some commercial wheelchair lifts can be used at outside in dense weather conditions like rain or snow, or even temperatures under zero. That makes commercial wheelchair lifts more expensive and durable.
Residential wheelchair lifts are not designed for intensive use. They are less durable but their lifespan is longer. Also they are silent than commercial ones, also residential wheelchair lifts are cheaper.