Shopping for a Home Stair Lift

Do you find yourself needing a little help to get up the stairs in your home?  Whether it be a chronic issue or a temporary one; here are some things to consider when shopping for a home stair lift.

bruno elan, home stair lift

Bruno Elan Straight Stair Lift

1. Assess your physical needs:
Take a real honest assessment of your needs when you are thinking about getting a home stair lift installed.  Are you recovering from a surgery that will be a temporary situation where you will fully recover (knee replacement, broken leg, etc.)?  Do you suffer from an ailment that will require physical assistance for the foreseeable future (arthritis, use a cane, etc.).

There are two options when shopping for a stair lift; rent or buy.  Many dealers can install a temporary stair lift for those short term ailments which is a great option for those who don’t require the use of a home stair lift for more than a year.  One thing to keep in mind is (1) the cost of the annual rental vs. purchasing one outright (2) realistic short term need; you may find the convenience of the lift outweigh the actual need for it.  You might like having the stair lift in your home.

2. Research the different manufacturers of stair lifts
There are many companies that make stair lifts; from small mom and pop manufacturers to international corporations.  Take your time and research each company and find the right stair lift for you and your needs.  The most expensive might not be what you need.  The cheapest might not be the best quality.  What are the costs of each; what is the warranty of each, etc.?  Always remember to read consumer reviews of these lifts on crytico.

Bruno is a major player in the space of home modifications.  Founded in 1984, Bruno has risen as a world leader in vehicle lifts for wheelchairs and scooters. Innovation and consistency have been their motto for success when making lifts, transfer seats, and stair lifts.
Harmar is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative mobility and accessibility solutions designed to help individuals increase their independence and quality. 
Acorn stairlifts benefit from contemporary design and the very latest innovations in manufacturing. Acorn was the first manufacturer of stairlifts that powered their stairlifts with the use of DC batteries.
Stannah is a fifth generation family-owned business, recognized around the world for their ability to return independence. Stannah build stair lifts that are renown for their safety sensibilities and expert craftsmanship. 

Harmar lift

Harmar home stair lift – Helix curved

3. What kind of stair lift?
Do you need a straight or curved stair lift?  Do you need an indoor or outdoor lift?  All of these options bring a variety of manufacturers and prices.

4. Installation Options:
Most manufacturers of home stair lifts use a dealer network who sell, install and service the lifts.  These local dealers are certified my the manufacturer to ensure uniform and safe installation.  Just like with doing your due diligence of the actual lift, ensure you are looking into the installer.  Does the local dealer sell multiple lifts, or just one manufacturer?  Have they installed 5 or 50 lifts?
Some manufacturers sell the stair lift direct and have company installers come to your home.  While this may save a little money; what happens if the lift breaks down?  What is their repair policy, timeframe?
What type of reviews do these mobility dealers have?  Ensure you look on Crytico.com and hear what past customers have to say about their work and customer satisfaction.

Older animals love to catch a ride!

Older animals love to catch a ride!

A home stair lift can bring back independence in your home.  What might start out as a need will soon turn into a huge convenience.  Animals will hitch a ride; getting heavy laundry upstairs, etc.  You will find countless uses for your home stair lift.

 

 

 

How Does Crytico Work – Part 1: Rate and Review products and services

We’ve received some interesting questions since “opening our doors” in September of 2014.  Crytico.com is a multi-faceted website and while reviews is at its core, the site has so much more to offer.  In the age of social media and being able to tap into information in seconds, why should the mobility industry be any different?

Review us on Crytico - Mobility Reviews

The first in our multi-part series is writing reviews:

Rate and Review a local mobility dealer / provider

Buying any type of mobility equipment involves an experience with a local retailer, which are called a “provider” or “mobility dealer”.  Whether you’ve purchased a mobility scooter, portable ramp or wheelchair van, you’ve done business with at least one local mobility provider.  How was your experience with them?  Did the recommended product fit your needs and budget?  Do they treat you with respect and put you first?  Regardless of your answer, telling your peers about your experience will help steer them in the right direction.  Whether you would recommend or tell someone to stay clear of your local dealer, it’s valuable information that we’re sure you wish you had prior to buying from them.

How do I rate and review my local dealer?
1. Go to www.crytico.com
2. Click “Register” at the top right of the page.  Since every reviewer is authenticated for legitimacy purposes, everyone must register with Crytico.
3. Log into Crytico with the username / password you created
4. From the Crytico home page www.crytico.com enter your zip code into the “Find and Review Local Dealers”
5. Find your dealer/provider in the list of dealers and click on their location
6. Enter in a star rating from 1-5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best)
7. Give your review a title like “Outstanding Service” or “Not Recommended” etc.
8. Lastly, write your review and hit the submit review button
9. You will get an option to share your review on Facebook which we recommend

Rate and Review your mobility products / devices

You may own one mobility product like a home stair lift.  Or, you may own dozens of mobility solutions like a wheelchair, transfer seat, driving controls, accessible truck, etc.  Crytico gives you the opportunity to rate and review any and all of your mobility products.  Do you love a certain feature of your wheelchair that you want to rave about?  Does that home ramp make your life and home easier to manage?  Are you driving with hand controls?  Any feedback you have is vital to future consumers of those products.  Help your peers find great products or stay away from bad products by leaving your feedback on Crytico.

Bruno Stair Lift

Bruno Stair Lift

How do I rate and review my mobility device / product?
1. Go to www.crytico.com
2. Click “Register” at the top right of the page.  Since every reviewer is authenticated for legitimacy purposes, everyone must register with Crytico.
3. Log into Crytico with the username / password you created
4. From the Crytico home page www.crytico.com you can enter the brand name or manufacturer into the search bar at the top of the page.
5. Find your product in the list that appears and click on it
6. Enter in a star rating from 1-5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best)
7. Give your review a title like “I love my handicap van” or “Not Recommended” etc.
8. Lastly, write your review and hit the submit review button
9. You will get an option to share your review on Facebook which we recommend

As a consumer, you know how confusing the process of buying mobility equipment can be.  Help your peers by rating and reviewing products and services in the mobility space.

Coming up in Part 2 – Reading Reviews on Products and Services

 

Crytico.com – The Yelp of Mobility

Tea, SD – January 1, 2015  Launched in September, Crytico.com is the first and only review website that is 100% related to mobility products and services that mobility dealers provide.  December marked an end to the pilot phase of the site which was an integral part to the overall framework and foundation of the website. One major milestone celebrated during this pilot phase was surpassing 1000 consumer reviews.

Crytico

During the pilot phase, feedback was gathered from participating manufacturers, mobility dealers and customers to ensure the final version of the site is easy to navigate, informative and most importantly, a positive experience for the customer.  An Advisory Board, made up of industry professionals, was formed to assist the pilot phase and will remain in place through the launch of the website.  The Advisory Board’s purpose is to strengthen Crytico.com and the community it serves. The Board exists to advise, assist, support and advocate for Crytico.com, it’s users and partners.

Crytico Advisory Board

“Crytico.com was built for consumers get unbiased information on products unique to them,” said Monique McGivney, a mobility advocate for Crytico.   “Never in the history of the mobility industry has there been one website to display information on every product that our industry serves, which is estimated to be over 5,000.  In addition, this is the first review site designed specifically for consumers with mobility challenges, so we are cognizant of the website functionality; the customer experience is of utmost importance.”

Consumers are able do one of two things on Crytico.com; write and/or read a review.  Reviews can be written on mobility equipment dealers and the services they provide as well as a variety of mobility products like hand controls, home stair lifts, manual or powered wheelchairs and wheelchair accessible vans.  Then in turn, customers who are in the market for a product or service can read those reviews and hear what their peers have to say.  Each reviewer on Crytico.com is contacted to ensure their review is authentic and legitimate.

About Crytico

Crytico.com was created by industry experts who have worked in the mobility product arena for several decades, recognizing a void of opinions on products and services customers purchase. Crytico.com is the first and only premier review site that is 100% dedicated to mobility products and services mobility dealers provide. For more information contact Monique@crytico.com.

 

 

How To Write a Thorough Online Review

For some people, the thought of writing an online review is scary and intimidating.  We wanted to share some tips to help you overcome any obstacles you may have with writing a review.  Remember that online reviews are merely your opinion, and everyone’s opinions are different; not better or worse, just different.  Reviews don’t have to be “perfect” but they should be genuine and factual.  Your opinion matters and is important to share with your peers, just as other reviews were integral in your search of products and services.

Here is a great article on How To Write an Online Review and it says, “Every good online review should include a few things, including the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How of your experience. It’s also important to keep other customers in mind when you sit down to write your review. Think about what you look for in online reviews and write in a similar manner.”

Mobility Review

In another informative article, How Writing a Good Review Can Help a Business You Love, it says, “If you ever have had a really bad experience at a restaurant, doctor’s office or other business, you may have quickly gotten online in order to write a negative review of the company or product so that you could warn others.  When you have a pleasant experience at a business, however, you might not think about doing so, but you should.  Positive reviews are just as important as negative ones, and writing good reviews can really help out a business that you love.”

Crytico Tips:

  1. Think before you write – whether your review is positive or negative, using the 24 hour rule is always a good idea to ensure you have some time to thoroughly think out what you want to say. You want your review to be helpful, collect your thoughts and take your time.
  2. Include important information and leave out the fluff – what specifically made your experience with a product or service great or not so great?  What features delight you or frustrate you?  If you owned the business in which you are reviewing, what would you like to know from your customers?
  3. Accuracy – keep in mind what exactly you are reviewing and focus on that specific product or service.  If you are reviewing a local mobility provider, ensure you are separating product issues that may be beyond their control and focus on the service they provide you irregardless of a product performance.  If you have a product you would like to review, find that product on Crytico.com and write an additional review on your experience specifically on that product.  There are many products that are “add on” equipment, like transfer seating or wheelchair conversions on minivans.  These are products that were added onto a van, like a Honda Odyssey or Dodge Grand Caravan.  Try to review only the mobility equipment that you purchased or had installed vs. the original car or van that it was put on.  The original vehicle is made by Honda or Dodge and many features are not in the control of the “add on” equipment manufacturers like VMI or Bruno.  If you are reviewing a wheelchair accessible van, focus on the features of the ramp, wheelchair maneuverability, etc. and things that are unique to the conversion.
  4. Uniqueness – some usefully information is what makes your experience unique to you.  Because Crytico is a website filled with products and services for people with mobility related issues, tell your story.  Are you a C4 Quadriplegic, or are you just needing a little help getting around?  These types of details will help future consumers of the product or service you review more educated since we know each person with a disability or mobility issue are very unique.  Click here to read a great review where someone described how they use a particular product.
  5. Timeframe – are you writing a review on a new product or used?  Did you visit the dealer/provider recently or was your experience in the past?  This information is very useful to future consumers as products and businesses are constantly changing and improving.

electronic word of mouth

Your voice and opinion is important; not only to future consumers of products like wheelchairs, stair lifts or wheelchair accessible vans, but also to the providers who sell them and the manufactures who make them.  Write your review today on Crytico.com!

Cool Adaptive Products for 2014

Besides being a great resource for reading and writing reviews, Crytico is also a unique website where thousands of mobility products and dealers/providers are in one place; like these cool adaptive products.  No longer do you need to go to 10-15 different websites to find products and services for your specific mobility challenges; Now you can hang out on Crytico.com.  Another benefit is that Crytico may introduce you to products you didn’t know existed; you can’t google what you don’t know to google:-)

Here are some fun and interesting products that you can find on Crytico that help people with different levels of mobility challenges.

1. Wijit
Do you own a manual wheelchair and sometimes get tired after hours of pushing your wheels?  Then Wijit is a product for you!  It is a lever system that can be adapted to your current wheelchair and gives you all the features of a powered wheelchair but at a fraction of the cost.

Wijit Wheelchair

2. Automatic Door Opener
The Otodor is an automatic swing door operator.  This is a great product for all levels of mobility issues; from an elderly person to someone who uses a wheelchair.  This device can be installed on interior doors and with a push of a button, open sesame!  It’s a perfect use for use of the door from your garage entering into your home.

3. Jaco
A robotic arm?  Yes!  For those of you who may have significant physical limitations, this robotic arm can assist in daily tasks that may be difficult for you to perform.  With help eating to picking up objects; if you can control a wheelchair, you can control the Jaco!

Jaco, Robotic Arm

4. Standing and Lifting Aid
Are you a caregiver or know someone who is?  The Sara 3000 is a lifting device that aids caregivers lift family members or patients out of bed, out of their wheelchair, etc.  The health and safety of caregivers is so important and this product helps with ensuring they don’t injure themselves or the person they are helping. Click here to read reviews on the Sara 3000.

Patient Lift Sara 3000

5. Driving Aids
Want to get behind the wheel and experience driving again?  With limited modifications to your vehicle’s dash, this is a great option for people who are in the market for hand controls.  The Autolock features allows you to lock the device so people who need to use your vehicle (mechanics, valets, etc.) can’t misuse the driving device.  As with any driving device or hand controls, always get a  professional driver evaluation to ensure safety and recommended products for your capabilities. Read reviews on this SureGrip driving device.

6. Monoski
Winter is around the corner, ever thought about using a monoski and hitting the slopes?  This Torino model has bells and whistles that’ll help you make the most of your skiing experience.  Here is a great article on ski resorts that specialize in adaptive skiing. http://www.disabled-world.com/sports/snow/resorts.php

7. Mobility Ventures
For those of you who are looking for a wheelchair van, the MV-1 may just be your ticket.  Many times, the transition from a full-size accessible van to a wheelchair accessible minivan isn’t very exciting.  You may want to take a look at the MV-1 as it’s sort of a mix between a minivan and full-size van with lots of interior headroom and the option to position the wheelchair in the front passenger position.

8. Veloped
This walker was designed with the active person in mind.  Have you been wanting to get in shape, but fear  stability with cracks, gravel, snow and grass?  This particular assistive device is an outdoor walker built for support and comfort.  Get in shape and be safe when hitting the trails and gear up with the Veloped!

Veloped - Walker

9. Rodeo
For parents with children who have a disability, this is a great option if you need a pediatric wheelchair.  Made by Convaid, this wheelchair is customizable and with different reclining positions to grow with your child.  Along with tons of functionality comes a little fun with color options like “sassy purple” and “apple green”. 

10. Stair Lift
Are the stairs in your home getting tougher and tougher to manage?  The Elan stair lift by Bruno may be a great solution for you.  With its continuous charge and 300lb lifting capacity, introduce this to the seniors in your life who need a little help with getting to different levels of their home.  When the stair lift is not in use, it can be folded so it only protrudes 12” from the wall.

Crytico does not endorse one product over another, our goal is to educate and introduce you to some products you may not know are out there.  Email us with any suggestions or comments – info@crytico.com.

Local Mobility Event

Small local mobility events are great ways to get introduced to products and people in your community.  I recently attended an open house at a mobility equipment dealer in Phoenix, Performance Mobility.

Performance Mobility

This particular event was open to the public and there were many incentives for customers, both new and old, to visit these type of mobility events.

Mobility Open House

Usually the food is great!

Mobility Dealer

 

Secondly, there is manufacturers representatives that fly in from corporate offices.  The benefit to you as a consumer is that you get to talk to the experts of the products on display.

Full size handicap van

Third, there are multiple products on display for you to get in or test.  Many dealers who put on these events bring in products from all over to ensure they have a good representation of everything they sell.  Anything from driving controls, to scooter lifts, wheelchair vans, and stair lifts is on display.

Crytico

Lastly, there is free stuff!!  From pens to tv’s, many of these mobility events have some great give-aways, raffles and prizes.  Do some checking in your area and see if and when some local events may be occurring; it’ll be worth your time to attend.

 

Safety Tips for Seniors and Their Homes

We recently came across this article that had some great tips and information for home improvements that can be made for our aging population.

Bruno Stair Lift

Bruno Stair Lift

This article was recently posted in US News and it was written by Geoff Williams:  

If your parents are getting up there in years, you may have had the discussion about whether it’s better for them to stay put or go to an assisted living facility. It’s a pretty safe bet that your parents prefer to stay in their home: According to a 2011 AARP research report, almost 90 percent of people over age 65 would rather remain at home as long as they’re able, and 80 percent of older Americans have firm plans to stay put.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of home renovation projects that can help your mother or father stay at home. Here’s a look at some of them, starting with the more pie-in-the-sky improvements and moving down the list in cost.

Elevator. Installing an elevator will be a challenge and costly. “Elevators are highly regulated. The structural work required to create a proper, isolated channel can run up a hefty carpentry bill alone,” says Sabine Schoenberg, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based home improvement blogger at SabinesHome.com.

ThyssenKrupp Home Elevator

ThyssenKrupp Home Elevator

The cost, Schoenberg says, depends on the length of the elevator and how many floors it goes to – just the second floor, or the attic and basement as well? As a general rule, she says, expect to pay $30,000 and possibly quite a bit more.

Stair lift. These are also expensive. “They often require a custom fitting to the staircase. The track is the most costly element of stair lift systems,” Schoenberg says.

Still, as prices go, it’s no elevator. You can find quite a few stair lifts online for less than $3,000, but they also run $10,000 and up. And don’t forget installation, since this is a project you probably don’t want to do yourself. According to Mr. Handyman, the national handyman service, the estimated labor to install a stair lift using its franchise averages between $400 and $500.  Click here to read the article in it’s entirety.

Review us on Crytico - Mobility Reviews

Keep in mind to check reviews on Crytico.com prior to purchasing any home modifications for seniors.   And then after you purchase your elevator, stair lift or ramp, come back to Crytico to write a review on the product you had installed.

My First Online Review!

For those seasoned online reviewers, do you remember the first review you posted on Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, etc.?  What spurred you to take the time to write the review; did you have an incredible experience or did the restaurant/product fall short of your expectations?

As more and more reviews are coming through Crytico.com, it made me reflect back to my first online review.  As a lover of all things social, I hadn’t written an online review until last year, which is strange.  I asked myself why I hadn’t written reviews online, because I definitely read them before heading out to a new restaurant or purchasing new headphones, etc.  Did I not want the Websites to have my information?  Did I not want to get spammed with a bunch of junk email?  To this day, I am not sure of the reason, but the point is mute since I am now an avid online reviewer!

yelp and amazon reviews

My first review came after a wonderful experience at a neighborhood bar & grill while I was traveling for work.  I was staying in an area close to the Milwaukee airport which was littered with hotels.  There was only one decent restaurant in walking distance of all these hotels, and it was okay.  I went the first night and the whole crowd was travelers from the hotels in the area.  I really didn’t have any complaints, except I wanted something more authentic to Milwaukee; not just a restaurant that caters to one time guests and business travelers.

Mobility Reviews

On my second and last night in Milwaukee, I went online and did a search of other restaurants in the area and I found a neighborhood bar and grille that was a little over a mile away.  I went onto Yelp and read the reviews and decided to check it out.  The place wasn’t anything great, but it didn’t portray itself to be anything other than a neighborhood bar and grille, which is what I wanted.  I sat at the bar and enjoyed the lively conversation among the customers and the football that was on tv.  I ordered my food and a drink and by the time I left, I felt as if I was one of the family.  The food was okay, the ambiance was so-so, but the people is what made my experience so wonderful.  I felt that I would be doing my fellow travelers a disservice if I didn’t write a review on this place.

Use Crytico.com to tell your peers about products and services that make your lives a little more mobile!  Do you have a stair lift in your home that has made your 2nd floor easy to access?  How has your scooter or wheelchair made your life easier?  Tell your peers on Crytico.com.

Crytico