Being confined to a wheelchair makes mobility difficult in all aspects of life, not the least of which is going anywhere in a car. Depending on the disability, it may be impossible for the wheelchair confined person to transfer himself or herself to a car or other vehicle without depending on other people. This can become burdensome and dangerous when lifting someone several times a day.
Even if the disabled person can easily move from a wheelchair to a car, it's rarely convenient to carry the wheelchair, and certainly not convenient to leave it at home. Wheelchair lifts for your vehicle can change all of this. These lifts can be used for transporting the wheelchair while occupied, or simply for storing the vehicle while going from one place to the next.
There are different types of wheelchair lifts depending on the reason for installing one. Some are easily installed into the trailer hitch of any car or truck on which the wheelchair can be stored externally for travel. Other wheelchair stair lift for storing wheelchairs only can be installed internally and include swinging arm lifts (like a crane) and platform lifts.
Lifts Intended to Place Wheelchair for Storage
External lifts make it easy to store a wheelchair during travel and take up no room in the vehicle. In addition, swinging arm lifts for a trunk store the wheelchair there, requiring no internal space for the storage of the lift or wheelchair. These are ideal if the disabled person has limited mobility allowing him or her to easily move from a wheelchair to a vehicle seat.
Internal lifts that store a wheelchair inside the vehicle are also a good option if there is plenty of room. These can be installed at the rear or the side of a handicapped van. Internal lifts intended to simply place a wheelchair into the vehicle for storage does require room for it to sit during travel. Platform lifts will usually result in the loss of at least one seat.
Lifts Used While Wheelchair is Occupied
Other platform wheelchair lifts are designed to lift the wheelchair into the vehicle while the wheelchair is being occupied, and in some instances, the wheelchair will remain locked on the platform during travel. These lifts can be installed for entry through the rear of the vehicle or for entry through the side of a van or minivan.
The needs of the individual that is disabled are the determining factors for which type of wheelchair elevator is used.