People who need new stairlifts - but have no idea where to start - need to understand the  the different types of stair lifts and what to consider when purchasing.Purchasing a stair lift means elderly or disabled people will not have to face the pain of walking up and down the stairs.Straight or curved staircasesThe first thing to know is that there are two main types of stairlifts - straight and curved.Straight stairlifts, for staircases which contain no bends, are fairly easy to install and reasonably priced.However, curved stairlifts take much longer to install and are noticeably more expensive.The stair lifts have to be taylor-made to suit the staircase - simply because curved staircases are all different.Other types of stairlift include pre-owned stair lifts, wheelchair platform stair lifts and outdoor stairlifts.Reliability and SafetyMaking a large investment in a stair lift means you want it to last, but, more importantly, reliability is paramount because it directly links to safety.  Reliable stair lifts minimise any potential hazards.A highly beneficial feature of stairlifts is the cut-out switch. If there is a problem with the stairlift it will immediately stop.Specially fitted sensors can pick up items which are blocking the lift's path. The sensors will stop the lift and reduce risk of collision.The type of power supply also needs serious consideration.Running stair lifts from the mains means power cuts could stop the stair lift completely.The costly method for getting around this, is to have a backup power supply.But using a battery only will be expensive because eventually it will have to be replaced.It's important to understand these points when choosing a stair lift.For more information on choosing the right stairlift visit www.multicare.co.uk.

Multicare Stairlifts is an accredited NHS provider of community equipment, specialising in supplying community equipment to help people who have recently been discharged from hospital or who find it difficult to get around the home.

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