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Why Would I Want a Platform Lift?

In addition to residential stair lifts and elevators, Next Day Mobility provides and installs platform lifts. What’s the difference?

A platform lift, also known as a vertical platform lift (VPL) or a porch lift, is meant to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter. A residential stair lift, by contrast, has a seat built in for the user and will not transport a wheelchair. So with a platform lift, the user stays safely in his or her wheelchair or scooter with no worries about dangerous falls while transferring from one seat to another.

And while some home elevators may accommodate a wheelchair, platform lifts often are designed to travel a shorter vertical distance. That’s one reason they’re sometimes called “porch lifts;” they’re often used to transport a wheelchair-bound occupant just a few feet vertically. You’ll frequently see platform lifts in the vestibule of a church where there are perhaps five to eight steps up to the sanctuary level. Depending on the layout of a home, though, platform lifts can be designed and installed to move an occupant the equivalent of a full flight of stairs.

One of the main benefits of platform lifts are their compact footprint, which often makes them a more practical alternative to handicap ramps. Consider that the maximum slope for a ramp is one inch of rise for every twelve inches in length. If a wheelchair user needs to access a front porch that’s four feet above grade, that’s 48 linear feet of ramp, which has to be at least three feet wide. That much space can be hard to come by.

Other benefits of platform ramps include easy and quiet electrical operation, capacities of up to 750 pounds, and gates to keep the wheelchair occupant safely in place during movement.

Platform lift, stair lift, home elevator … which one is right for you? We’ll help you make the right decision.

Questions about mobility products for your home or the home of a loved one? Contact Next Day Mobility.

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