Hinged Rail Stairlifts

The option of a hinged rail in a stairlift is ideal when there may be a doorway near the foot of the stairs. When the stairlift is not is use, the rail is neatly out of the doorway or passageway and thus prevents any kind of inconvenience.

If a door at the top or the bottom of the stairs may be blocked by the rail of the stairlift, there are a number of models designed to overcome this problem. Some manufacturers are able to produce a rail with reduced overhang upstairs. So the lift will not protrude as far into the hallway. This may solve the problem at the top of your stairs and is a very cost effective solution. If there is a door or passageway at the bottom of the stairs then it is likely that you will need a folding track or hinged rail stairlift. This means that the bottom section of the rail can be folded out of the way when the lift is not being used, this will allow you to gain access to a door that would be blocked by a normal rail. It also means that there is no tripping hazard if you have an open hallway downstairs. You need to consider if you would be able to fold the rail manually or you would require powered operation. Most people need the powered version as the mechanism can be quite heavy. Unfortunately these options will add to the cost of the stairlift. The only other option is to stop the rail of the stairlift short, to prevent it protruding as far into the hallway. This might make getting off the lift dangerous and is not an ideal solution by any means. Again you must seek advice, preferably from an occupational therapist and an independent stairlift company. You must also take into account that you may be able to use the stairlift this way in the short term. But you may find it impossible in the future. Some firms may not consider it an option as they feel there is too much risk involved and so in these cases it is important to buy a stairlift with a hinged rail.

There is a range of manual and powered hinges available to lift the bottom section of track. It keeps doorways and open corridors clear. Manual hinges fold vertically to the rail while the powered hinge folds parallel. A powered hinged rail is the better option as it does not require the user to manually lift the hinged rail himself. Obviously the powered hinged rail is more expensive but if you can afford it then it is clearly the better option.

Thus a hinged rail is just like a normal stairlift rail, but one that is hinged at the bottom to allow the lower section of the rail to fold upwards when it is not in use. This allows the doorway or passageway to be used normally without the risk of tripping. So it is a basic necessity while buying a stairlift, particularly required for the homes with lesser space. It is also very much required where the stairlift may block the doorway.

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