There are many different challenges that people can encounter in their lives. When the physical health of a person is compromised in some way, it can be especially challenging as they have to adapt to going about many aspects of their life differently. Some physical challenges are inevitable, as the effects of age typically take a toll on the body, causing it to experience difficulties. Physical challenges may also occur earlier in life, such as in cases where a person has some sort of disability. The ADA defines disability as “…a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” For both elderly citizens and those who suffer from a disability, there are many solutions to dealing with the challenges everyday life may present, such as car wheelchair lifts and stair lifts.
After being injured from jousting, King Henry VIII was hauled up and down stairs with a chair on a block and tackle system by his servants at the ancient Whitehall Palace in London. Stair lifts for elderly citizens and those with disabilities have evolved significantly since this time. For stairs that are sufficiently wide, a rail is mounted either to the treads of the stairs or on the wall beside the stairs. A chair lift for stairs or a platform is then attached to the wall. In some cases, a wheelchair ramp, which is an inclined plane, is installed in addition to or instead of stairs.
Also known as platform lifts, wheelchair lifts are devices that are designed to raise a wheelchair and its occupant. Car wheelchair lifts are a very commonly used form of wheelchair lift. When using a car wheelchair lift, an individual can be raised and lowered into a vehicle conveniently. Though some aspects of life may be more difficult for the elderly or those with disabilities, there are many solutions available that can help them overcome these challenges.