by Peter Wingrave, Director @ AAT GB- the stairclimber people
Whether just a sign of getting older, or because we’ve had an illness that has affected our mobility, dealing with steps and stairs is a daily issue. It’s an issue that can have a huge impact on our quality of life, whether something as simple of going upstairs to the bathroom, or out and about.
Even if it’s a short term problem, the consequence of being unable to get up and down stairs affects us mentally.
All too often, short-term, the advice/answer is to move a bed downstairs. That affects not just your feeling of privacy, but impacts on other members of the household too, and the whole family’s ability to live life. Depending on your home, you may not even have a WC downstairs, with the consequence you may have to use a commode.
Even if short term, whilst a more permanent (and disruptive) adaptation such as a stairlift or through-floor lift, goes through the process, it could still be months of inconvenience and lack of privacy. That’s assuming your home’s design, layout and footprint can accommodate a stairlift or through-floor lift….
A huge number of us also live in homes that have at least one step to navigate in order to go beyond the front- or back- door. Limited mobility can make even a single step an insurmountable barrier to our ability to enjoy the garden.
We are by nature on the whole sociable animals, who want, and need to interact with others. Stairlifts and through-floor lifts enable us to still have a quality of life at home, to still access all areas. They do not enable us to venture into the wider community.
Until your mobility is reduced, you don’t realise how many shops, cafes, restaurants etc are still not “accessible” i.e. have either level or ramped access.
Stairclimbers are growing in popularity, and increasingly becoming the first choice for “inter-level transfer” by healthcare professionals. (As an aside, they are widely used by ambulance crews as the best means of moving a patient up and down stairs.
It’s an added bonus that such equipment means one person, or ambulance team, can safely move a bed-ridden and/or morbidly obese person eliminating the need to send two crews to phsyically, manually manage the transfer.)
Stairclimbers can accommodate almost every design of staircase, even accommodating narrow flights, turns and landings having the smallest turning circle available in such equipment.
The battery powered unit features patented kinematics that continuously and smoothly power the unit and its passenger up and down stairs, without effort from, and at a pace set by, the operator. When not in use, it folds compactly away to optimise space within the home and minimise inconvenience to other family members using the stairs. The kit is light and compact enough to fit in a car boot, and can be used outside.
The latest version to come to market is the tracked Roby, which transforms a standard wheelchair into a stairclimber.
People who have stairclimber love the independence they bring. Paul Wray has had one for ten years for his 24 years-old daughter April. His AAT S-Max stairclimber has moved to three different homes with the family, each time coping with the varying stair configuration (currently with a turn). Paul says:
“The stairclimber is essential, I wouldn’t be without it, there’s no other way of safely getting April up and down stairs,” said Paul. “Carrying her up and down stairs was a recipe for disaster. The stairclimber made it safe, for me and April. It’s good for the whole family: when we’re not using it, the S-Max stows away. With three other children too, it can be a very full house at times! It doesn’t visibly impact on the household like a stairlift or through-floor lift would. One of the other beauties is we can pack it into the car for family holidays, widening the choice of where we can stay.”
Jodie Bostock has a stairclimber for her young son Daniel, who has Cerebral Palsy. He requires 24 hour care and has a team of care-givers- all of varying stature- to support him. Jodie comments:
“The stairclimber is so easy, everyone can use it- whether it’s Daniels’s dad who is 6ft 3ins to his smallest carer who’s only 4ft 11 ins. Crucially, it supports and holds Daniel safely and correctly. It just works for us.”
To find out more, or book a free, no-obligation assessment, visit:
To find out more about short or long term needs, visit:
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