Platform Lifts & Lifting Platforms

Platform Lifts and Lifting Platforms – Vertical Platform Lift, Inclined Platform Lift

Many disabled people are simply looking for an independent life. Technology has made it possible for a disabled or wheelchair bound person to fit into society and function independently. There are many different types of wheelchair lifts and each have their own purpose. The cost of a wheelchair lifts is no longer a factor in holding anyone back because they are more affordable now than in the past. Also, the installation is simple because they come mostly assembled.

Platform lifts aid and assist people with disabilities. Platform lifts allow access into a vehicle, as well as the ability to go up and down a flight of stairs. Without a platform lift a disabled person is often confined to one general area or room. There are several different types of platform lifts, but in general the lifts are either built within the chair or one can simply wheel themselves onto the lift. The lifts can be battery operated or electric. The platform lift will raise a person up into the place they would like to be, whether it is up the stairs or into a vehicle.

The purpose of a platform lift is to give disabled people a sense of independence. Many people with disabilities still have the use of their arms and are able to operate a vehicle. A platform lift helps them into the driver’s seat so they can drive themselves instead of always relying on someone else for transportation. Another purpose of a platform lift is simply the convenience factor. If a disable person is fortunate enough to have a platform lift in their home, then they are not limited to buying a ranch-style home. They have the opportunity to live life in the home of their dreams, even if it is a two-story home with a basement. The platform lift gives them the accessibility to any floor or room they choose. Platform lifts help them maintain their independence, which is important to those whom are disabled. Lastly, platform lifts in businesses give disabled people equal opportunity within the work force. Without platform lifts disabled people are limited to where they can work. Platform lifts within the workplace give disabled people equal opportunity to choose wherever they would like to work with ease and accessibility.

There are many different types of wheelchair lifts, but here is a list of the most common. First, there are vertical platform lifts. This is the most common lift and the type that is required on public transportation. The vertical platform lift has a flat surface that acts like a drawbridge. It works on both pavement and curbs. A vertical platform lift can usually lift larger and heavier loads. They also take up more space, weigh more and require more room. A Second type of lift is an inclined platform lift. This lift is similar to an escalator. The user is able to drive their wheelchair or scooter directly onto a platform, which is then raised vertically to another level of the home. Rotary lift/swing lift is another type of lift. This type of lift has a platform that swings out on a post and lowers to the ground. The rotary motion can be a problem for some people with poor balance. The lift takes up floor space in the vehicle and cannot handle larger and/or longer wheeled mobility aids. The rotary/swing lift is only used on personal vehicles. A fourth type of lift is a hoist lift. This lift has an arm and straps. The wheelchair or scooter is attached to the arm by the straps and is hoisted into the vehicle. These lifts are not common for lifting an individual seated in the wheelchair or scooter, but are used more often to lift an unoccupied mobility aid into the vehicle. Lastly, there are under vehicle lifts. This lift is stored under the vehicle in a metal enclosure. The platform slides out and rises to the height of the vehicle’s floor and then to the ground. Under vehicle lifts do not take up space in the passenger area and are generally installed on full-size vans, some full-size pickup trucks, and buses. However, this type of lift may require modification to the vehicle’s exhaust system.

There are several factors that determine the cost of buying/installing a platform lift and they do differ from one person to the next. The Veteran Administration may have programs that cover all or part of a veteran’s expenses, depending on the nature of the disability. Insurance companies and workman’s compensation may also cover or reduce the cost associated with platform lifts. Another factor that can affect the cost is the type of lift. There is a wide variety of lifts to choose from. The simple models cost less and the more advanced models are understandably more expensive. Another factor in determining the cost of a lift is its condition. A brand new lift will cost more as opposed to purchasing a used lift. Lastly, the manufacturer can affect the cost of the lift. When it comes to the manufacturer, the more popular, respected and trusted brand will typically be more expensive. There are some companies that offer deductions and advice in order to buy a less expensive unit.

Installing a platform lift usually goes very smoothly once the prep work is done. To prepare for a platform lift there must be a solid base to support the weight of the lift and anyone using it. If the lift is being installed outside, there must be adequate drainage so water does not collect under the lift when it rains. It is also important to consider the way the water runs off the roof since most wheelchair lifts will be installed partially under the roof overhang. Once the prep work is done, following a few simple steps will complete the job. Some platform lifts require no assembly at all, but most come in a few pieces. If assembly is required, it is usually very simple. After the lift is assembled, it is necessary to move it onto its base. If the base is made out of concrete, it will be necessary to use anchor bolts into the concrete. If it is a wooden base, it is simply a matter of screwing the bolts into the wood. Once secured to the base, the wheelchair lift can simply be plugged in and it is ready to go.

Platform lifts can give any disabled person a sense of independence. There are many different types of lifts to choose from. An educated decision can be made after careful research. Each person is unique in terms of their own needs. Thankfully there are platform lifts to meet each need. Although platform lifts can be quite expensive, there is help and assistance available for each person’s situation.

Vertical Platform Lifts: This article describes several different types of lifts, including residential wheelchair porch lifts, high tower wheelchair lifts, commercial wheelchair lifts and portable wheelchair lifts.

AmeriGlide: This article describes several different types of lifts, including their prices and measurements.

Accessibility Guidelines for Lifts: This article discusses the guidelines and applicable state or local codes for building platform lifts.

Care Cure Community: Q & A forum regarding platform lifts and lifts in general, including corresponding links.

Platform Lifts:  This article discusses vehicle lifts and ramps. Including a list of Q & A of frequently asked questions.

Acorn Stairlift Pricing: This article describes their 120 different types and descriptions of them.

Vertical Platform Lifts: This site describes lifts features, the options you have and also has videos, photos and a list of related links.

NYU Dept. of Public Safety: This article discusses people with disabilities and helpful hints for people in wheelchairs and the accessibility of getting around in public places.

Lift Me Up: This site shows lifts that were designed in a student design competition. Also describes the different types of lifts and how they work.

Automated Transport and Retrieval System (ATRS):  This article describes a newer type of chair lift (ATRS). This lift can be moved in and out of different cars. Also includes corresponding links.

Space Requirements for Wheeled Mobility: This article discusses the proper requirements for building and having lifts in public places.

Spinal Cord Injury Information Network: Includes a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of chair lift companies.

Universal Access in Historic Buildings: This article discusses building codes, wheelchair accessibility, and state accessibility code to name a few.

Farming Following a Spinal Cord Injury: An alternatives for farmers who have had spinal cord injuries and are in a wheelchair. Lifts that help with farming.

Smart Wheelchair: Article describing in detail the Automated Transport and Retrieval System (ATRS). Including information on how it works and the details of how it was made.

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