The installation of a stair lift often provides a safe and more convenient way to navigate the stairs to access a bedroom upstairs, or a basement for a single family.
However, for this recent stair lift installation in Ocean City, MD we had the opportunity to help six families with one curved stair lift!
At Lifeway Mobility, we take pride in providing solutions that make families’ lives easier at home and enable them to remain independent.
While the process to get the lift approved for this project was an uphill battle for our local team and the customer, it was well worth the time and effort as we wanted to help these families be able to continue to enjoy their home near the beach.
In sharing this story, we hope it will lead to you or someone you know identifying a solution that can provide independence at home, and also to learn about the process of getting a stair lift installed if you live in a condo.
This story was picked up and featured by HME News - "Lifeway Mobility Completes Unique Stairlift Installation"
Background & Challenges - Limited Mobility & Balance Issues
Bill, a retired army colonel, and owner of a six-unit condominium in Ocean City, MD, reached out to Lifeway because multiple families living in the building were having a difficult time navigating the stairs due to limited mobility or balance issues. For some it was just one flight of stairs, but for others on the top level of the building, it was multiple flights of stairs.
Walking up and down the stairs alone was becoming a chore and unsafe for the residents, and there was no elevator in the building. Lugging groceries up the stairs was especially difficult. For some of the families, a safer and more convenient way to access their unit needed to be provided or they would be forced to move.
Bill wanted to provide a solution and help the residents, and the installation of an elevator was not an option. He thought of a stair lift but knew that getting the project approved for a six-unit condo would be difficult. However, he was willing to go through that process as it was only the potential solution for the families living there.
Approvals & Passing Inspection
Having a stair lift installed on the shared staircase in the condo required approvals from both the City Permit Department and the Local Fire Department. The lift also had to pass inspection from the building inspector.
Initially, the lift did not seem like a feasible solution to the Fire Marshall because of his concern that the lift could be an obstacle and tripping hazard in the case of a fire, if the stairlift chair was left in the middle of the stairwell. The Fire Marshall did not think that there was a way to prevent the lift from being left in the middle of the stairs on occasion.
Solution for Obtaining Approval of the Stair Lift for Condo in Ocean City, MD
When Bill received the news from the Fire Marshall, he was concerned the stair lift would not be approved. However, William Moore, one of Lifeway’s local accessibility consultants, had an idea that could get it passed by the Fire Department.
One safety feature of a Bruno stair lift is that it will beep when the chair is not left at charge point, which is the top or bottom landing, or a mid-park position (optional upgrade). This beep is a reminder that the unit is not at a charge point.
This information is mentioned in Bruno’s owner’s manual for stair lifts, but the Fire Department and Bill were unaware this was a safety feature on the unit. William provided Bill with the Bruno stairlift manual to pass along to the Fire Department and City Permit Department, and in response, they officially approved the installation of the stairlift!
Another factor in obtaining approval was that William offered to provide additional remotes for the stair lift so that every resident had a set. The additional remotes allow for the chair to be sent to a charging point with the push (and hold) of a button.
Bruno Custom-Curved Stairlift
The curved stair lift installed in the unit was a Bruno commercial-grade custom curved stair lift that was built with a couple of rail options. There was a 180-degree park added at the bottom landing of the stairs and a 90-degree park at the top landing.
Rail park positions for curved stair lifts extend the rail away from a staircase for added safety for exiting and entering the chair at the top of the stairs and can help prevent the rail from becoming a tripping hazard.
The entire process from initial contact to the actual stair lift installation ended up being a 4-month journey. Our local team enjoyed working with Bill and others throughout the entire process and were happy to have been able to help six families remain in their home.
Why Lifeway Mobility for the Curved Stair Lift?
Bill started his research online for a stair lift and contacted multiple companies to obtain quotes. He received a quote from 5 local stair lift companies, and while the price received from Lifeway was not the lowest, several other factors made the decision to choose Lifeway for the stair lift a “no-brainer” for him.
According to Bill, Lifeway was the only company that took the time and effort to assist him in attempting to overcome the obstacles to get the installation of a stair lift approved. The Lifeway Baltimore team assisted with sending in multiple drawings, recommendations, and owner’s manuals throughout the process. He appreciated the consistent follow up from the team as well, as that’s what allowed for William to present an idea to overcome the Fire Marshall’s safety concerns.
Bill even took the time to share his positive feedback about our local team in an online review on Google, citing the team’s high-level of knowledge, expertise, and customer service. Most importantly, he was happy to have worked with a company that was most concerned about helping the six families remain safe and independent at home.
Learn more about stair lifts by visiting one of our resource pages listed below, or contact us to schedule a free consultation!
- Stair Lift Guide
- Stair Lift Installation & Service
- Compare Stair Lifts
- Stair Lift Reviews
- Can a Stair Lift be Installed in My Condo?