Home elevators offer a practical solution for those living with a physical disability, ensuring these individuals can lead independent lives despite their mobility challenges.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there were 2.2 million Australians aged 15-64 years with disability in 2009, up from 1.7 million in 1993. The ABS also found the likelihood of living with disability increases with age. In 2009, the disability rate among 15-24 year olds was 6.6%, 18% among 45-54 year olds, and 31% among 55-64 year olds.

KONE Elevators has extensive experience working with customers who care for the disabled or are disabled themselves, providing them with suitable elevator solutions to help improve accessibility in their home.

KONE continues to work closely with the Australian Elevator Association, the peak body for companies operating in the elevator industry in Australia, to help develop standards for the design of elevators and their suitability for use by people with disabilities. This entails working with the Association of Consultants in Access Australia Inc, which acts as an umbrella group for many of the representative groups for people with disabilities, to ensure the elevator industry continues to design and manufacture elevators that meet their usability requirements.

Given the wide range of options in terms of shapes, sizes and door dimensions available in the home elevator segment, buyers will need to consider several factors before making their selection.

It’s also important to select a home elevator that offers a high level of floor levelling accuracy, critical for those who use a wheelchair or walking frame, which demands a level entrance to their home lift. A maximum tolerance of ±5mm is an acceptable measurement to ensure that wheelchair access over the lift threshold is effortless.

Five tips for selecting the right elevator to enable mobility and independence in the home:

  1. Space efficiency makes a huge difference to the level of ease and comfort experienced in riding in a home elevator, particularly if using a wheelchair.
  2. Wide-opening doors make entry and exit easier for passengers using a wheelchair.
  3. Accessories such as handrails provide support, while mirrors provide better visibility for wheelchair users, allowing them to back out of elevators safely if the elevator cabin is too small to turn around. 
  4. Braille signalisation and audio announcements greatly assist those with hearing and vision impairments.
  5. The latest innovations in elevator technology, such as KONE’s EcoDisc deliver a smooth ride for all passengers with less noise and vibration.

For those who already have an elevator installed in their home and are living with a physical disability, it’s important to consider whether it’s time to reassess and modernise the unit. 

Modernisation keeps the elevator equipment running smoothly for the lifetime of the home, ensuring the home lift works safely and reliably, and saving money in the long run by reducing maintenance and energy costs.