In the average American home, a staircase has between 13 and 19 steps depending on the height of the ceiling.
While that may not sound like many steps to take, for people with mobility issues a staircase can be a daunting obstacle. When people need help getting up or down the stairs one of the tools they can benefit from is a powered stair chair.
But this is not a small investment so it’s important to care for your stair chair. In this post, we’ll go over how to do just that.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Powered Stair Chair?
A powered stair chair is a piece of medical transport equipment that can help your patients or loved ones safely get up or down the stairs without any involvement on their part. They can be used by EMTs, medical professionals, trained caretakers, and door-to-door transportation services.
The powered track helps to make getting up and down the stairs easier, smoother, and safer for both the patient and those helping to transport them.
Importance of Powered Stair Chair Maintenance
Your powered stair chair is designed to help transport your loved ones or patients that are alert but are still in need of assistance making it up or down the stairs. The importance of these machines can’t be overstated, which means it is just as important to make sure you’re maintaining them properly.
They need to stay in good working order to protect the safety of both the loved one you’re moving and the operator/s of the stair chair. Additionally, as mentioned, these are not inexpensive machines and so you want to keep them in good condition to extend their usable life.
The powered stair chair has made it much easier to navigate the stairs while moving a person, but the newer technology also adds more pieces to maintain.
Keep the Stair Lift Track Clean and Clear
One of the most important parts of powered stair chair maintenance is taking care of the track and belt. How you care for these will depend on what exact model of stair chair you have. You should be able to find specific instructions in the user’s manual that came with the chair. If you no longer have that, you can search for the model along with “user manual” online.
But in general, to keep your stair chair working properly and safely you will need to check the track and belt for damage at regular intervals. You will need to make sure there is no debris trapped between the belt and track before each use.
Using the chair when there is any kind of debris trapped can impact the safety and smoothness of the transport, and can also cause damage to the chair itself.
You will also need to clean the belt and track regularly. After checking that there’s no trapped debris, you can clean the belt and track using the recommended cleaner for that model.
Disinfect the Chair After Each Use
To keep your powered stair chair in good condition, as well as to keep it sanitary, it’s important to disinfect it after each use. This is particularly important if it’s used in medical facilities or for medical transport for multiple patients.
In cases where it is used only for the same person each time, it is still recommended to disinfect it regularly, but there is more wiggle room.
After each use, be sure to disinfect all surfaces that could’ve been contaminated by the patient. However, it’s important that you use the right type of cleaner. Stay away from anything that is considered corrosive as it can compromise the structural integrity of the chair, and cause permanent damage to the seat.
Always be sure to completely dry the chair after disinfecting it.
Follow All Safety and Use Guidelines
These chairs are expensive and important pieces of equipment, so it’s crucial to make sure that they are only being used for their intended purpose. Misuse of a powered stair chair can lead to damage to the chair itself as well as injury to those involved.
It’s also important that when they’re being operated that all of the use and safety guidelines are being followed. Make sure the patient is secured to the chair and that they know to keep their hands crossed over their chest.
Additionally, the person operating the chair should be trained in how to set it up, secure the patient, and navigate the stairs with the chair. While the stair chair battery helps to propel the chair and the track and belt do a lot of the work for the operator, they still need to know what they’re doing.
Regular inspections are necessary to monitor the condition of the stair chair. The recommended inspection schedule will depend on the exact model of chair you have and how often you use it. Generally, the more use a stair chair gets, the more often you should inspect it.
These are some of the things you should look out for when inspecting your stair chair:
- Any missing pieces
- Excessive wear and tear on the seat and other components
- Any bending of the metal pieces
- If the chair is rolling smoothly
- The condition of the restraints
If you notice any issues, discontinue use of the chair immediately and get the issue fixed before resuming use.
Take Care of Your Stair Chair
Mobility issues can present a massive challenge to your patients or loved ones, but there are solutions available. If you invest in a powered stair chair be sure to put the time in to correctly and safely maintain it.
If you’re in the San Fernando, CA area and are in need of medical transport services, we can help! Contact us today.