Incline Platform Lifts and Vertical Platform Lifts

Wheelchair users, both at home and away, usually have trouble with areas that have stairs. Areas with stairs can be very difficult for those using wheelchairs to access. Around the home, this can greatly decrease accessibility, as most homes have a staircase on the front of the home and may also have one inside. To help increase accessibility at home, many people use vertical platform lifts and inclined platform lifts, both of these devices greatly increase accessibility by allowing a wheelchair user full access to their home.

What are Vertical Platform Lifts?

wheelchairLiftVertical platform lifts, which are commonly called wheelchair lifts, are most often used on the front steps of a home. The entire unit is basically an elevator, with a strong lifting motor, elevator shaft, and lifting platform all rolled into one single unit.

A wheelchair lift is placed next to the landing of a staircase. A large metal rectangle or square is provided, which the wheelchair user drives their wheelchair directly onto. The platform then raises vertically to the top of the landing and back down again. Depending on what type of vertical platform lift is used, there are many safety features available. For instance, many include locking doors on the platform, to reduce falls. It is also common for a door to be placed at the top of the landing.

Vertical platform lifts can usually support a minimum of 500 pounds, although this can vary by model, with some supporting more than 700 pounds. Due to their weight capacity, vertical platform lifts can be used by those with manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and mobility scooters. It is also often possible for multiple people to use the wheelchair lift at once, providing they do not exceed the weight capacity of the device.

While wheelchair lifts work very well on the front of the house, they do not always work on interior staircases. This is because the lift must be placed next to the landing and then raises the user up to the top of the landing. For many interior staircases, this setup just simply does not work.

Inclined Platform Lifts

inclinedplatformliftTo provide interior access to a home with an interior staircase, it is often necessary to use an incline platform lift. Inclined platformed lifts provide a metal track that is attached to the wall of the staircase and runs its entire length. The wheelchair user is carried up the staircase on a platform, which is attached to the metal track.

Inclined platform lifts can be used on most types of staircases, including curved ones. However, they do take up a good deal of space on the staircase. This is because the platform that carries the wheelchair user must be large enough for the person and their wheelchair, while also containing guard rails and an electric motor. So, an incline wheelchair lift may not fit on smaller staircases.

Inclined wheelchair lifts can usually be used by those in manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs, as well as people using mobility scooters. An incline platform lift operates very similarly to a stair lift, which is used by seniors who have difficulty using the stairs.

Both vertical platform lifts and inclined platform lifts are very popular in commercial settings, such as schools, churches, and office buildings.