Swimming pool, spa and boat access.

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.

Picking the right pool lift...which one is for you?

Below is a summary of 3 different pool lift styles.  They each function differently, have unique features, and provide a peek into the pool lift world!  You will find a short discription of their functions, features, and requirements, along with a list of things consider when choosing the right lift for you.


Considerations when choosing the right lift for you!
**Although only 3 lifts were presented here, there are many options and variations of pool lifts. 
  • Personal Factors
    •  Who will be using the lift?
      • Their personal desires for type/style/use of the lift.
      • Weight - each lift has a weight limit 
    • What is the user's physical strengths/weaknesses
      • Upper extremity and lower extremity range of motion
      • Trunk control
      • Fine motor coordination
      • Can they transfer into the lift independently or do they need assistance?
      • Can they swim independently once in the pool or do they need assistance?

    • What is the user's level of cognition? 
      • Can they operate the lift controls independently?
      • Ability to follow the appropriate steps in the lift process
      • Can they problem solve if something goes wrong?
      • Can they make good judgements while operating the lift?
    • Can the person see the buttons on the controls?
    • Does the user have intact depth perception?
    • Do they have intact sensation in their lower extremities to know if they are touching the water vs. the side of the pool if they cannot see it?
  • Environmental Factors
    • What type of access is it being used for?
      • Underground pool? Above ground spa? Both?
      • Boat access? 
        • Not all lifts are appropriate for boat access - for the lifts described above, only the Power EX by Aqua Creek is appropriate when the optional wood deck anchor system is purchased.
    • Does the lift need to be portable or not?
    • Location of lift
      • Transfer space - recommended to have 5'x5 'turning radius for approach to lift and positioning before transfer
      • Rotation space - each lift has different rotation capabilities
      • Location in regards to pool depth
        • Recommended pool depth of at least 4' where lift enters pool
        • Mesh seats can be used in shallower water

No power needed...just an extra person

EZ Manual Pool Lift by Aqua Creek




USE:
Under-ground pools and spas only.
May be used on wood deck/dock for boat access with separate wood deck anchor system purchase.

POWER SOURCE:
None.  It is a manual lift that requires a second person to position the user over the pool, then activate the lift via pumping a lever attached to the hydraulic system in the boom.

PORTABILITY:
If detached from anchor and attached to another anchor in a different location by the pool/spa. 

REQUIREMENTS:
**A second person to operate the lift for the user**
Recommended at least 6in. of concrete for the standard anchor system.
Check with local codes for additional installation requirements.
Regular cleaning needed.
Seasonal storage in dry area away from pool chemicals to prevent rusting.
Can be exposed to the outdoor elements of rain and sun, but it is recommended that it is covered for longevity.

OPTIONS:
Rigid seat, storage cover, wood deck anchor, safety straps

PRICE:
$1,700.00 for lift only

Power, Height, and Independence

Splash! Hi/Low by S.R. Smith




USE: 
Underground and/or above spas (maximum height of spa = 48")

POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable 24V battery.
Battery needs to be fully charged when attached to lift, as it will not hold a charge.
Battery charger is powered by a standard wall outlet.
Battery life upon full charging = 30 lifts

PORTABILITY:
If detached from anchor and attached to another anchor in a different location by the pool/spa.  The boom weighs approximately 200lbs.  It is recommended that either 2 people move the boom and/or purchase the optional caddy with wheels to prevent injury to those moving the lift.

REQUIREMENTS:
User may operate the lift independently for both rotation and height!
Must be anchored to concrete...NO WOOD DECKS.
Regular cleaning needed.
Seasonal storage in dry area away from pool chemicals to prevent rusting.

OPTIONS:
*Comes with seat belt, foot rest, and arm rest upon purchase.
Additional purchase options: seat with a cushion, larger seat belt, stability belt, spine board attachment portability caddy, storage cover.

PRICE:
estimated: $5,200 for lift only



This One Has It All (or does it?)
PAL (Portable Aqua Lift) Hi/Low by S.R. Smith



USE: 
Underground and/or above spas (maximum height of spa = 48")
Freestanding lift with a self-contained counter-weight system.

POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable 24V battery.
Battery needs to be fully charged when attached to lift, as it will not hold a charge.
Battery charger is powered by a standard wall outlet.
Battery life upon full charging = 30 lifts

PORTABILITY:
One person can easily move the lift for relocation near the pool or for storage.  Not to be moved with user in the lift.

REQUIREMENTS:
Comes with assembly instructions and assembly video is provided online, so no private contractor is needed for installation/assembly.  PAL assembly video
User may operate the lift independently for both rotation and height!
For use on concrete only...NO WOOD DECKS.
Regular cleaning needed.
Seasonal storage in dry area away from pool chemicals to prevent rusting.

OPTIONS:
*Comes with seat belt, foot rest, and arm rest upon purchase.
Additional purchase options: seat with a cushion, larger seat belt, stability belt, spine board attachment, storage cover.

PRICE:
Estimated: $7,000


Custom Boat Lift:
During my research I came across a custom lift made for an individual who wanted to have access to his fishing boat while remaining in his wheelchair.  The boat and lift were both custom made to fit his needs; very cool! 
Custom Boat Lift Video


*Note: Information was primarily gathered from Aqua Creek and S.R. Smith's websites.  Phone calls were made to company customer services for specifics regarding their pool lifts.  Each customer service representative advised that for exact price of the lift, it is important to call local lift dealers/contractors, therefore the prices given above are only estimations and are not applicable for all geographic locations.

2 comments:

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