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It isn't only stairs inside the home that cause problems for some people. Steps up to a porch, front door or deck can be equally difficult to climb.
The Sterling 1000 Outdoor stairlift is fully waterproofed and designed to overcome the problems caused by external straight runs of stairs.
Like all Sterling stairlifts the outdoor model has a key switch to prevent unauthorised use of the lift, which means it can be isolated when not in use.
Supplied with UV protected Slate Gray upholstery the Sterling Outdoor stairlift also comes with a waterproof cover to keep it protected from the weather so it is always ready for use.
The decision to install a stairlift is sometimes a difficult one to take but when compared with the alternative of moving house, or living on one level of their home, many people have found it to be their preferred option.
The idea of selecting a stairlift and having it fitted may be daunting at first; however they can usually be fitted in a couple of hours and this guide will help explain what you need to think about when choosing your Sterling stairlift from Handicare.
We hope it will make choosing the stairlift that is right for your needs, both now and in the future, much easier.
Unless you know someone who is already benefitting from using a stairlift you may be a little unsure of what is involved in owning and using one.
It is a common misconception that stairlifts are fixed to the wall. This is rarely the case with domestic stairlifts which are usually fitted directly on to the staircase itself.
A stairlift has three basic components. First, a track is fitted to your stairs and a power pack (the drive unit) is fitted to the track. Then the seat that most suits your needs is fitted to the power pack.
All stairlifts are operated by a switch or toggle that is held in the direction of travel to make the lift move. When it is released the lift will stop moving.
All Handicare stairlifts are battery powered meaning they can still be used during a power outage.
While stairlifts are very simple to use they are mechanical devices and do benefit from annual servicing and maintenance.
Stairlift tracks fall into two basic categories; straight and curved. This page will help you decide which type you need for your staircase.
Straight stairlifts are suitable for use where a stairlift only needs to travel in one straight line; for example from the hall to the landing as shown in diagram A.
Sterling offers a range of straight stairlifts to suit your needs: the Simplicity Series and the Sterling 1000 are detailed on pages 9 - 12.
Curved stairlifts have tracks that are specifically designed to suit staircases that turn corners or are spiral; the staircases shown in diagrams B, C and D are examples of the type of staircase that curved stairlifts can be used on, but there are many more.
All Sterling curved tracks are made to order following a survey of each individual staircase.
Sterling's curved stairlift system is called the Sterling 2000. It is a versatile system with some of the tightest track bends available; it can accommodate a wide range of staircase configurations and will hug the edge of your staircase. The twin rail system provides a safe and smooth ride and while available in two colors as standard, light grey or gun metal, it can actually be supplied in any color to match your decor.
State of the art survey and manufacturing processes mean that Handicare manufactures Sterling custom tracks in market leading timescales.
Straight stairlifts cannot travel around any bend or corner.
Sterling curved stairlifts can travel around corners, across intermediate landings and even up spiral staircases! They are designed for your individual staircase so you know the track will fit snugly while giving you a smooth ride.
All Sterling stairlifts have safety sensors on the power pack and footplate; these are designed to stop the lift if it meets any obstruction. Once stopped it can only be moved in the opposite direction to the obstruction. All Sterling stairlifts have a diagnostic display so that you can monitor the status of your stairlift, for example if a safety edge has been activated.
Your stairlift will also come with a seat belt as standard for additional peace of mind. On the Simplicity+, 1000 and 2000 our easy release retractable seat belt gives the added flexibility of allowing you to fasten it to one side or centrally, whichever is easier for you or other users. The Simplicity comes with a clip belt as standard.
All Sterling stairlifts are operated by pressing or holding the large, robust toggle switch in the direction of travel.
Located at the end of the seat arm it can be easily operated by the hand or arm and leaves the arm rest clear to provide unhindered support when getting on or off the seat.
In order for the seat to get low enough for the user to sit on it is necessary for the track to extend beyond the staircase to the hall floor. Some houses will have a doorway close to the bottom of the stairs and the track may intrude across this. In these circumstances a hinged track should be fitted. This means that the track can be folded away from the doorway giving clear access.
The Sterling Simplicity, Simplicity+ and 1000 are available with a manual hinged track. This means you will need to raise and lower the track manually. However the gas strut assisted hinge is designed to make manual operation as easy as possible.
The Sterling 1000 and the Sterling 2000 are both available with an automatic hinged track. When operating the stairlift from the toggle, the hinge will lift/lower automatically.
When the stairlift is not in use the hinge is folded by holding a button on the remote control which means you do not need to move the track yourself. When the button is pressed your stairlift moves up the track and parks; the hinge section then moves automatically leaving the doorway clear.
Hinge tracks should always be raised when users go upstairs for any period of time, particularly if they are enabling access to the front door of a property or creating an obstacle for other users of the household.
The Slide Track is a ground breaking solution available only from Handicare for use with a Simplicity or Simplicity+ straight stairlift. This unique solution removes the need for a hinge. Instead the track moves up the staircase at the same time as the seat is moving, leaving the doorway at the base of your stairs unobstructed.
Similar to a powered hinge, the Slide Track works automatically when the toggle or remote control is activated.
A Slide Track is slightly shorter than the length of your staircase. When you start to travel up the staircase the track will move with you. The track will reach the top of your stairs before the stairlift, it will stop while your stairlift continues on its journey to the top where you can safely dismount. When you come downstairs the track will travel down with you so you can dismount safely at the bottom.
The Slide Track is fitted with safety sensors at either end; these will halt the track if it encounters an obstacle during use. Your stairlift will continue to move towards the obstacle if desired where, if safe to do so, you can remove the obstruction and continue your journey. Alternatively the track and stairlift can be moved away from the obstruction. The Slide Track also offers safety benefits over a traditional hinged system by removing any risk of an object becoming caught in the hinge.
When you arrive at the top of the stairs you will need to swivel your seat round so that you exit onto the landing safely.
If you have a manual swivel you will find a handle at either side of the seat. By pressing either handle down, or pulling it up*, you can swivel the seat around to face the landing, where it will lock in place, allowing you to dismount safely.
* The Simplicity swivel operates by pressing down only.
If you choose the powered swivel option the swivel is operated by continuing to hold the toggle when you arrive at the top of the staircase. The seat will move automatically while the toggle is activated. Our powered swivels have a manual override for emergency release to improve stairway access if required.
The footplate and seat can be folded up to increase
available space leaving the staircase as clear as possible
for other users.
Lifted and lowered by hand, manual footplates are fitted with an easy fold mechanism that minimizes the strength required to fold the footplate up or down.
If you choose the powered footplate option it will remove the need for you to bend down to fold or unfold the footplate. You can choose to have a footplate that folds automatically when the seat is folded and unfolded, or that is operated separately to the seat by a switch in the seat arm so you can raise and lower the footplate while seated.
All Sterling stairlifts come with two remote controls*, so you can have one upstairs and one downstairs. This means you can send your stairlift up and down the track without having to sit on it. This not only allows you to park your stairlift at the top or bottom of the stairs, it is ideal for multi-user situations as your stairlift can be called between levels, just like an elevator.
* Outdoor stairlift comes with one as standard.
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