Care homes and nursing homes need to meet a range of standards when it comes to safety. We’ve some helpful guidance from the team at Stannah Lifts if you’re considering putting a lift in an existing building or are planning a lift as part of a new project.

What are common lifts for care homes?

For home residents requiring a low threshold of care, user-friendly and accessible lifts are a great way to increase mobility. For residents who require a high level of nursing care, using a lift helps with the safe moving and handling of residents. Lifts also help carers safely fulfil their duties, particularly regarding manual handling. The lift type is typically determined by the residents’ needs and the building’s structure.

Passenger lifts

The most common passenger lifts are 13-person or 8-person lifts. The benefit of a 13-person stretcher lift is it takes multiple wheelchair users or can accommodate a hospital/care bed. In larger buildings, two passenger lifts are provided in case of breakdown, typically a 13-person stretcher lift and the other an 8-person lift (suitable for accommodating a wheelchair).

If you need to use the lift as part of your evacuation strategy, it can only be a particular passenger lift type – an evacuation lift.

Platform lifts

If you can install a passenger lift in your building, you should. However, platform lifts are an excellent alternative for smaller or existing buildings. Although they have a slower speed and are better for occasional use, they can travel up to 12 metres. Platform lifts require less space and building work, making them a cost-effective option. They come in various footprints, with sizes that accommodate a wheelchair and a caregiver. 

On top of building size and number of floors, there are several options you’ll need to consider when choosing unique to this sector. For example, homes with a high number of residents with severe mobility issues may require larger lifts but may also need more lifts to ensure everyone can move as efficiently as possible.

What to consider when choosing a lift:

The right specification is essential, so consider any residents with sensory, cognitive or mobility issues that may present challenges with lift use. We also recommend considering the following:

  1. The interior finish – Mirrored floors and walls, shiny or swirly surfaces, or black or blue floors are not advised. In many lifts, there is an option to maintain a continuous floor from the corridor into the lift to reduce trip hazards.
  2. The lift users – Consider the option of a fold-down chair within the lift car for less-ambulant users to travel seated.
  3. The communication options – Lifts require an emergency communication device to enable users in the lift car to raise the alarm; however, we’d also recommend an induction loop and an emergency button near the floor of the lift car in enclosed lift cars.
  4. The aftercare service and level of cover – Once installed, the owner must ensure that the lift is regularly serviced and examined. A working lift is vital, so ensure you choose a company that can deliver good cover and fast response times 24/7.