A wheelchair lift is essential if you are wheelchair-bound and want a convenient way to get in and out of your vehicle. However, choosing a wheelchair lift can be harder than finding the perfect outfit to wear! There are hundreds of options, each with its own set of features and parameters. Comparing them all can make you feel lost in a sea of numbers -- but there is an easier way. Make these three decisions up-front, and you will then be able to narrow down your options significantly.
1. Do you want a single-arm or double-arm lift?
Answer this question, and you will instantly narrow down your options by half. Both single-arm and double-arm lifts have their pros and cons. Single-arm lifts take up less room in your vehicle, and they tend to be easier to have installed. They are often cheaper. However, they do have a limited lifting capacity, so this style may not be an option if you are a larger person or if you have a very heavy wheelchair.
Double-armed wheelchair lifts can lift almost any person/chair combination. They take up more space in your vehicle and are harder to install, however, so you might not want to go with this option if you're on a limited budget or have a small vehicle.
2. Do you want the wheelchair lift to mount under or inside the vehicle?
Some wheelchair lifts attach under the vehicle and swing out when you need to use them. Others fit inside the vehicle and swing down when you need to use them. The upside of under-mount units is that they do not take up your interior space. However, they only work well on vehicles that are higher off the ground. Interior-mount wheelchair lifts take up more space, but they are a good choice for lower-to-the-ground vehicles. They also support more weight than the average under-mount vehicle.
3. Do you need a remote control?
The final decision to make is whether or not you need a remote control for the lift. If someone else always drives you, then you may not need this device. The driver can operate the lift using controls in the vehicle. If you drive yourself and are installing the lift on the driver's side, a remote control will be handy since you need to operate the lift from outside the car.
Once you've answered these questions, you'll be on track to buying the right lift for you! For more information, contact a company like Alaska Mobility.