Are Chair Lifts A Good Idea?

Are Chair Lifts A Good Idea?

Singapore has an Aging Population

If you were to take a ten year trip into the future, you would find that Singapore’s citizen population would be very different. In all likelihood, your neighbourhood park and malls would have many more elderly folks strolling through. This is because, fueled by the reaching of seniority age by the baby boomer generation, by the year 2030, one in four Singaporeans would be aged 65 or older.

Advancements in healthcare have enabled people to live longer while several elderly friendly technologies have become increasingly mainstream. One such technology is that of the stair lift. Commonly also known as chair lifts, stair lifts are mobility aid devices that are designed to help those with physical disabilities to travel up or down a flight of stairs. Yet they do not solely cater to the wheelchair bound or people with walking disabilities.

Exploring the Usefulness Of Chair Lifts

If you have ever seen the now classic Disney Pixar movie “Up”, you may have noticed that the main protagonist Carl, utilizes a stair lift to manoeuvre up and down the stairs in his home. Carl, who is in his seventies, is perfectly capable of walk with the aid of his four legged cane yet uses the chair lift to help alleviate the challenges posed by inaccurate depth perception and visual impairments. Given that generally as we age, our eye sight becomes less precise, stair lifts then offer great value for aiding us with staircases.

Carl’s usage of a chair lift is a fine example of how many elderlies walk a fine line between independence and mandatory assistance. On most days, these folks are perfectly capable to performing their daily tasks and moving with perfect freedom. However, little chinks in their armor such as the aforementioned depth perception inaccuracy puts them at risk of a medical emergency. A tumble suffered down a flight of stairs may result in serious injuries that in turn mandate advanced care.

How do Stair Lifts Function?

Stair lifts involve the use of a motorised chair to bring users up or down a flight of stairs. Several tracks are first laid over a flight of stairs and connected to serve as a guide to the chair unit, not unlike that of a train track. A power supply is then supplied to the chair lift system either in the form of a mobile battery or a dedicated electrical circuit. Occupants can then summon the chair lift either to the top or bottom of the stairs by pressing on the call and send buttons.

Once a chair has being called to the user, he or she need simply strap the seat belt on and use the movement controls found on the arm rest or leg rest areas. Should any obstacle be in the way of the chair, an automatic emergency break will be activated, safely stopping all movement. Users are also able to brake without any sudden jerks.

Can A Chair Lift Be Installed In All Houses or Buildings?

Given the relative complexity of the product, is natural for people to approach stair lifts with doubt. Most commonly, this doubt manifests in whether their building foundation or structure is suitable for the operation of the stair lift.

Generally speaking, this is hardly ever an issue as the tracks of the system are supported by brackets that reduce pressure placed on your stairs. Additionally, steps are usually built to handle a great amount of pressure – think about all the furniture that was previously carried up to higher floors of your building via your staircase. It is also worth noting that the system is not attached to your wall, as such it will not damage hollow or flimsy walls when installed correctly.

A second equally common question is whether curved or zigzag staircases are also able to host a stair lift the system. The answer to both cases is a resounding yes, though special technologies and products will be needed to cater to them. If you intend to have a chair lift installed on atypical stairs, then you need to inform a chair lift Singapore vendor ahead of time. Specific measurements and calculations will need to be taken before the product can be delivered and installed.

What Safety Precautions Are Needed?

Firstly, all users should remember to buckle up their seat belts no matter the amount of prior experience they have with the product or the speed at which the chair travels. The seat belt ensures that a user does not lose balance while the unit is in operation. Additionally, in the event of a dizzy spell or a blackout, the occupant will be kept safe from falling down the stairs.

Secondly, extra caution should be paid during mounting and dismounting of the stair lift. Most chair lift systems start and end near the designated flight of stairs, as such users should be wary of the risk of tripping and falling down. Furthermore, individuals who tend to not have a good sense of balance when they have kept still for a period of time need to be extra careful when dismounting. Should you be aware of such a trait, then extra rail length for the system should be considered to make the end area safer.

Thirdly, the stair lift is not a toy or a fanciful gadget for horseplay. You should never load multiple people on board or attempt to overload its weight limits. Additionally, when not in used, the chair lift should be folded and locked up to prevent children from horsing around with it.


Stair lifts are an excellent investment for homes or buildings with elderly inhabitants. It acts as a form of insurance against possibly bad injuries and allows users to proceed about their daily routine with minimal fuss. While the process for understanding the installation and operation of the chair lift may be daunting, but information is readily available from stair lift vendors.

How Tai Hee Engineering Trading Can Help

Tai Hee Engineering is one of the leading chair lift companies in Asia. Since 2006, we have been bringing the latest accessibility equipment and technology from Europe to Asia. Over the course of more than 500 private and commercial projects, we have successfully provided mobility solutions to our clients. We provide sound advice for all clients and recommend the appropriate product that best caters to their needs. Enquire about our chair lift Singapore solutions today.

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