How to Choose a Stairlift for a Narrow Staircase

As you grow older or develop mobility problems, the once simple act of walking up and down the stairs can become surprisingly and discouragingly taxing. Luckily, we can now combat that very issue simply by installing a stairlift. Instead of working your aching joints and muscles to clamber up and down the stairs, you simply sit in a comfy seat that goes up and down for you.

However, some staircases are quite steep and narrow, which can make it tough to fit a stairlift. Tough, but not impossible – here are just a few ways to make it work.

Look for a Single-Rail Design

People are often surprised by the variety of stairlift designs available. For example, you’ll have the freedom to choose between a single-rail design and a dual-rail design. If you’re dealing with a narrow staircase, single-rail is the way to go. Such systems are slimmer and less obstructive, and it’s easier to fit them on either side of your stairs.

Look for Backwards Operation

Most stairlifts travel with your back kept parallel to the wall. That’s fine with most staircases, but narrower staircases often lack the width to accommodate such a setup. If you think you’ll struggle, fit a stairlift that can bring you up backwards.

Look for an Automatic Swivel Feature

Sometimes a stairlift will be installed in a narrower staircase and seem absolutely fine – that is, until someone actually sits down and uses it. It’s common to find that the arms and legs make contact with the walls and bannisters. That isn’t just uncomfortable – it can also be dangerous. The answer is to look for a stairlift that boasts an automatic swivel feature. Your legs and arms will be moved to avoid direct contact with walls and bannisters.


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