It’s not necessarily something that anybody enjoys thinking about, but sooner or later we will all experience difficulty with our mobility. As we grow older our bodies start to seize up, and as a result we may need a hand negotiating some of the things that we considered so easier earlier in our lives – including staircases.
Happily, the solution is simple – curved stair lifts are every bit as effective as their straight counterparts, able to transport anybody struggling with their movement to get up and down the stairs, in addition to slaloming to the left and right wherever necessary. A joystick controlled by the thumb of the user guides a curved stair lift, but this is largely where the similarities to straight stair lifts draw to a close.
The first thing to be aware of is that a curved stair lift will be much more expensive than a straight counterpart. One of the main reasons for this the use of twin motors; while a curved stair life operates from the same 240 volt power supply as a straight equivalent, it needs this dual motor system to accommodate for the curves and changes in direction that such a journey would entail.
Naturally, a curved staircase will also be trickier to lay the appropriate track down upon thanks to this weaving path which will lead to higher expense when it comes to installation; unlike a straight stair lift, which can be made to measure using standard industry parts, a curved stair lift will require a more bespoke touch. Additional charging points may also be needed, depending on the size and length of the track.
The good news is that a curved stair lift will still not require the use of any structural walls within the home, with the path laid directly upon the stairs themselves. Regardless of whether a staircase is pure wood, metal or covered in carpet, it’s not a problem for a skilled installer.
All seats applied to a stair lift come with a seat belt as a standard legal requirement, but if there are many twists and turns between the ground and first floors of a home it may also be worth investing in a safety harness. Operating a curved stair lift isn’t complicated though, as there is no need to time a left or right turn to precision; the motor will take care of this for you, utilising built-in sensors.
The complexity of a curved stair lift does not cross over into the design of the seat itself, though. They will not be any larger or more cumbersome that what you can expect to find on a straight stair life. That means the seat will take up around 35cm of the staircase when not in use, and offer around 60cm of surface space as a seat – which will also accept almost 20 stones of weight, though it will not accommodate a wheelchair.
A curved stair life that is installed by a professional could be the difference between independence or enforced single-story living, and safely negotiating the multiple floors of a home or risking an accident. With the technology reaching an evermore advanced and improved status, there has never been a better time to consider an installation.