For people with health issues that make navigating large staircases troublesome, multi-level homes or offices are a challenge. For those using wheelchairs and scooters, even stairlifts only partially allay the problem as their wheeled transports still need to be brought up to where they are going. For these individuals, vertical platform lifts or VPLs are a solution that makes sense.
VPLs are devices that perform a simple, direct task. To transport an individual and their wheelchair or scooter to upper levels of homes or small offices. Just as reliable as elevators but more economical and not requiring major construction that could quadruple the price and might not be possible. While VPLs do require installation and might require minor preparatory construction, most can be installed within one day.
The design of the VPL is very straightforward, consisting of
- a platform that is capable of raising and lowering up to 750 lbs
- a motor-driven hoist column that moves the platform smoothly and quietly
- entrance/exit doors that do not open unless the platform is stopped at the top or bottom of the hoist
- A small ramp on the front of the lift platform to make entering the platform in the low position easier. When the lift platform is at its highest point, the floor of the platform is aligned with the floor of the upper level.
- VPL power is supplied by standard AC power and can have battery back-up to ensure emergency use during a power outage to allow users on the upper floor to return to ground level in the event the building must be vacated.
VPLs can be installed both inside of a home or office as well as outside. VPLs are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions while still operating safely and efficiently. Operating VPLs requires no technical training beyond understanding which button to push to go up or down. The doors to the VPL platform will only open when the platform is stopped at the bottom or top points.
There are some restrictions regarding the proper use of VPLs, which ensure that the unit stays in solid working order and prevents unnecessary injuries. VPLs are not designed for transporting multiple people, either using wheeled transport or standing, simultaneously. VPLs should not be used for transporting anything other than people and their wheelchairs and scooters. While people who use walkers, canes or crutches can use the VPL to avoid using stairs, no more than one person at a time should be on the platform.
While following the directions in terms of proper installation and use of the VPL, it is a mechanical device that will require preventative maintenance on a regular basis to keep the unit in proper working order. Purchasing your VPL from a company that also does the installation and provides maintenance and repair services, like Patriot Mobility, will ensure that your VPL will provide a long period of efficient, reliable service.