Adapting the home for years to come

Lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has highlighted many daily difficulties. In particular those that some people with reduced mobility living in a two-storey residence have had to face. Many are those who have indeed been forced to settle for a limited space for several months without being able to receive visitors or leave their homes.

This type of situation has highlighted the usefulness of adapting the home for the years to come in order to have more autonomy. The installation of a stair chair is one of the first steps to take for this.


Why buy a stair chair/stairlift?

A stair chair, also called a lift chair, is a device that allows an individual to move from one floor to another without taking the stairs. This system offers more autonomy to the elderly and/or people with reduced mobility who live in a two-storey residence. They are therefore less dependent on carers and can stay at home for several years. It is indeed more beneficial, fulfilling, practical and economical to live at home.

The lift chair makes it possible to avoid many accidents and falls which can be fatal for people who suffer from specific diseases such as hypertension or vertigo. In addition, the device usually has a safety harness to restrain the individual in case of problems along the way. The risk of falling is thus reduced.

The stairlift is also useful, even essential, for people who suffer from arthritis or any other disease causing muscle pain or shortness of breath during movement. This equipment allows them to move freely throughout their home without hurting themselves. It is essential that they continue to live and practice their usual activities to maintain their well-being and good morale. It should also be noted that there are lift chairs suitable for all types of stairs.


How to choose a stair chair?

It is important to choose good quality equipment that suits the free space available and the infrastructure.

It is also essential to know that the models suitable for straight and curved staircases are different. It is strongly recommended to inquire with the seller or manufacturer to find the appropriate equipment.


What is the importance of choosing an RBQ-approved device?

The Building Code requires that any elevating device or elevator installed in Quebec have the approval of a member of the Order of Engineers who then forwards said “approval” to the RBQ (Régie des Bâtiments du Québec). Note that this equipment does not cost more than non-approved devices.

The chosen contractor must also have an RBQ license to be able to carry out the work. This one risks heavy fines by installing non-approved devices. In the same vein, companies that have an RBQ license do not intervene to uninstall or reinstall an unapproved stairlift in the event of a disaster, for example. Moreover, it is the surest way to benefit from regular maintenance service according to the standards required by the Safety Code.


In brief

The stair chair is an interesting option to consider to make life easier for the elderly and/or people with reduced mobility in their upstairs home. This device is suitable for indoor installation only. It is also important to note that a lifting platform would be an interesting and practical option for an individual who uses a wheelchair. This will be adapted to accommodate this equipment. The most important thing is to respect the law and therefore to choose devices approved by the RBQ in order to guarantee optimal safety and ensure maintenance according to standards.