Homeowners have a lot to consider when it comes to making their homes safe and accessible for everyone living in them — especially when there are mobility issues involved. One solution that can significantly improve independence and safety around the home is the installation of a vertical platform lift (VPL). 

What exactly is a VPL? Is it possible — and affordable — to install one in your home? 

Introduction to Vertical Platform Lifts

A vertical platform lift is essentially a personal elevator designed to help people with mobility issues move between different levels of a home or reach an entrance/exit. It consists of a platform where users can stand, sit, or place their wheelchair or scooter and the powered lift moves the platform up and down.

Unlike traditional elevators that require a closed shaft, VPLs are more flexible as they can be installed indoors or outdoors and do not require a lot of space. They are also significantly more cost-effective than elevators, making them a popular choice for residential settings.

Whether it’s installed for an older family member or someone with physical limitations, VPLs provide a safe and convenient way to move around the house or travel outside the home. They can be especially helpful for enabling seniors to age in place in their homes.

Types of Residential Vertical Platform Lifts

There are several types of residential VPLs:

  • Enclosed vertical platform lifts are walled on all sides and are ideal for outdoor installations to protect against weather elements.
  • Unenclosed vertical platform lifts are suitable for minor elevation changes like a step or two, typically indoors.
  • Shaftway vertical platform lifts fit into existing shafts or openings in a home, much like traditional elevators.
  • Open vertical platform lifts come with an open-platform design with partially enclosed sides and top.

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a VPL

There are several important factors to think about before purchasing and installing a vertical platform lift, such as:

Lift Capacity

Different lifts have different weight capacities. Choose one that can comfortably accommodate your needs, especially if it’s going to be used with a mobility scooter. 

Safety Features

Look for functions like emergency stop buttons, safety sensors that stop the lift if there’s an obstruction, and seat belts for maximum safety.

Size and Space

The lift should fit in the available space in your home without causing obstructions. It’s very helpful to consult with a professional contractor who can evaluate your space and take accurate measurements.

Easy-to-Use Controls

Controls should be simple and easy to operate, particularly for older adults or anyone with limited mobility. The easier to use, the more independent the user will be.

Backup Power Options

In case of power outages, your lift should have a backup power source.

Benefits of Having a Residential Vertical Platform Lift

Vertical platform lifts are a popular choice for home accessibility because they are relatively affordable, easy to install (by a professional), and require minimal maintenance. They are also a good option for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their homes as they age.

Here are some of the benefits of using a residential vertical platform lift:

  • Accessibility — Vertical platform lifts provide safe and reliable access to all levels of a home, even for people with limited mobility.
  • Independence — VPLs can help people with disabilities and mobility challenges maintain their independence and stay in their homes longer.
  • Safety — VPLs are equipped with a variety of safety features to protect users from falls and other injuries.
  • Convenience — VPLs are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.
  • Value — Adding a VPL to your home can increase its salability, especially for potential buyers looking for an accessible home.

Learn More About Home Modifications From Omicelo Health

At Omicelo Health, we prioritize making homes safer and more accessible for everyone. We guide homeowners through the process of making modifications such as installing vertical platform lifts. Our team cares about helping older adults age comfortably in their homes.
If you have any questions about vertical platform lifts or other home modifications, contact us today. We’re here to help guide you through the process and make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your home.