What is a Stairlift?

A stairlift is a mechanical device for lifting people up and down stairs. For sufficiently wide stairs, a rail is mounted to the treads of the stairs. A chair or lifting platform is attached to the rail. A person gets onto the chair or platform and is lifted up or down the stairs by the chair which moves along the rail.

Stair lifts are motorized. The rider should be able to get on and off the chair independently, or with assistance in the form of a walker or cane only.

Stairlifts are known variously as stair lifts, stair-lifts, chair lifts, stair gliders and by other names.

Some of the first stairlifts to be produced commercially were advertised and sold in the USA in the 1930s by the Inclinator Company of America. Many users at the time were victims of polio.

Now they are seen for use in elderly, fall-prone individuals, and the disabled who are unable to navigate stairs safely.

Why a Stairlift?

The effects of illness or aging can cause a person to have great difficulty climbing stairs, and fall accidents are still the leading cause of injury and death among people over age 60.

Stair lifts are an ideal solution for multilevel homes where mobility-impaired people reside. Stairlifts offer disabled people the freedom to continue enjoying every floor of their home without the worry of falling and suffering an injury or not having help on hand in the event of an accident. When not in use, the stairlift chair easily folds up and out of the way.

Most of us would prefer to live in our homes forever, but health and mobility issues force us to think about downsizing and moving into smaller, single-story homes. Aging in place refers to the ability of a person to live in the residence of his or her choice, independently and safely.

Stairlifts are affordable, convenient and a cost-effective alternative to moving to a new house or apartment.

Clovgate Elevator Company and its principal partners, Acorn Stairlifts and Terry lifts, offer;

  • FastTrackĀ® easy next day installation.
  • Stairlifts that fit to the stairs, not the wall.
  • Stairlifts which are easy to use with low running costs; they are powered from rechargeable batteries and use direct current (DC). The DC stairlifts will continue to function during a power outage, provided the batteries are sufficiently charged; and have a ‘chargepoint’ where the unit will ‘park’ to charge its batteries. Some straight stairlifts have the ability to charge continuously no matter where they are left along the track.
  • Affordable stairlifts; installed quickly and built to last.


Modern stair lifts and wheelchair stairlifts can be found with a wide variety of features such as adjustable seat height, battery isolation switches, call stations, ‘flip-up’ rail, key switch, folding step, speed governor, seatbelt, soft start and soft stop.

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