If you're moving your elderly parent into your home so that you can offer care and supervision, you might run into a problem if your spare bedroom is upstairs. The solution to your problem could be to install a stair lift. Your parent can move up and down the stairs in a seated position and this would allow your parent to sleep upstairs yet still have full use of your house. There are several stair lifts on the market, and they have various features. Here are some useful things to look for when you buy a stair lift.

Seat Options

If you have a narrow staircase, you probably want a lift with a compact seat that doesn't get in the way. This allows others in your family to have plenty of room to go up and down the stairs unobstructed. Keep in mind, you want a seat that's comfortable and safe too. If your parent is large, you should get a lift seat designed for your parent to sit in it comfortably and be balanced.

Look for a lift that allows you to fold the seat and footrest out of the way, so they don't take up much room when the lift isn't in use. Look for a lift with a swivel seat as these offer some protection when getting in and out of the chair when it is near a flight of steps. Another thing to consider is if your parent will need to move a wheelchair up and down the stairs as well. If so, you may want a lift with a platform that holds the wheelchair or other mobility aid, such as a rolling walker.

Operational Features

A stair lift operates through electricity or a battery. If your home has frequent power outages and your parent will be alone much of the day, you may want a lift with battery power so your parent won't be stuck on the stairs if the power goes out. If power outages are not a concern, then a stair lift with AC power might be the best option since you won't have to worry about weak or dying batteries failing with your parent on the stairs.

A remote control feature is useful to have because it allows you to operate the chair for your parent. A call feature is important because this allows your parent to call for the chair if it happens to be at the wrong end of the stairs.

Safety Considerations

Some safety features to look for include a seat belt, arm rests, sensors that stop movement when something is detected on the stairs, emergency brake, and controls that are easy to operate for someone with limited dexterity. Also, if you put a lift on an outdoor staircase, be sure to choose a lift designed for outdoor use that won't rust and is safe to operate in all weather conditions.

You can have a stair lift installed on any kind of staircase, no matter if it's straight, curved, or if it has multiple landings. A stair lift is a useful investment that will make life easier on your parent and it will save you from having to convert a garage or dining room into a downstairs bedroom.