There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in at least one way or another – and will continue to do so for years to come. But, people with disabilities have faced the biggest challenges – from the loss of essential services and support to a lack of understanding of their needs in public spaces.
As many businesses and public areas have put in one-way systems to aid social distancing, this has meant that previously unused spaces (including staircases) are in use more than ever before. Stairs are a hazard – and not least for wheelchair users. Negotiating steps can be incredibly difficult for those with reduced mobility or an illness meaning, without assistance, they won’t be able to access varying floor levels.
Luckily, several solutions exist to make things that little bit easier. Here we look at just a few of the alternatives to stairs:
When the staircase becomes a challenge, a straight stairlift can give you the freedom to access different floor levels – either in your home, at work or in public – with ease.
As its name suggests, it’s perfect for straight staircases and should, in most cases, be quick and easy to install. Depending on the model (and how much space you have available) the straight rail is attached to the wall or the stairs themselves.
In the past, stairlifts like these have run on mains electricity. However, most of them are now battery operated so aren’t affected by power failures.
Curved staircases are more sophisticated than traditional straight staircases. But, unfortunately, they don’t make it any easier for you to get up and down.
For narrow staircases that go around at least one tight bend or corner, a curved stairlift is an excellent choice. Made bespoke to follow the unique curvature, these inclined platform lifts enable users to travel between varying heights safely and comfortably. And the best bit? The platform can be folded away neatly – taking up minimal space on the stairs.
Though inclined platform lifts are brilliant for wheelchair users, you may prefer a more convenient alternative, like an open platform lift, cabin lift or hidden step lift.
A wheelchair lift is the safest, most comfortable way for someone with a disability or mobility problems to move between floors in a multi-storey building. Most are easy to operate – allowing users to gain a sense of autonomy.
The great thing about wheelchair lifts is that they can be used indoors and outdoors. And – depending on the model – they can travel anywhere between two and six stops.
The best one for you will depend on your requirements – whether you need it inside or out, the maximum capacity and any special features (i.e. quiet operation, touch-sensitive operational buttons, etc.).
Level Access Lifts is a leading UK provider of wheelchair lifts and has an extensive range for you to choose from. All of our lifts are designed with the needs of disabled, elderly or injured passengers in mind and make a fantastic alternative to tricky staircases.
Why not take a look at the different types of lifts we provide and click on the ones you like the look of? Here, you will find technical details and features to help you to determine the best one for you.
And remember, if you have a question or would like an expert opinion, you’re welcome to get in touch with us at any time. Just give us a call on 023 8081 4924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.