When a Curved Stairlift is required

Curved Stairs DiagramYou may have recently had the difficult decision as to whether or not to have a stairlift installed for either yourself or someone you car about, and are now in need of more information to which type of stairlift you require. We are often asked, either by telephone or by email, if they need a curved stailift due to the layout of their staircase.

We have put together a diagram on the left, depicting the different types of staircases that need a curved stairlift installed.

(from top left, to bottom right)

1. Straight stairs, platform in the middle. Although some may think that they do not need a curved stairlift  as the stairs run in a straight line, there needs to be a bend in the rail at the point in the platform.

2. Curve at top and bottom.

3. Curve at bottom.

4. Two or three steps, platform, stairs to landing. If the user can manage the first two or three steps unaided, then they may not necessarily need a curved stairlift.

5. Stairs to platform, two or three steps to landing. Again as with the above example, if the user can manage the final two or three steps, they may not need a curved stairlift.

6. Curve at top

7. Stairs, platform, stairs, platform, stairs to landing

8. Stairs to platform, return bend

If your staircase resembles any of these diagrams, then a curved stairlift is going to be needed. If you are ever in doubt, feel free to contact us for a free no obligation quote, and we’ll let you know exactly what kind of lift you require.

A Comprehensive Guide to all the Options for Care in the Home for the Elderly and Disabled

It’s everybody’s desire to live independently in our own homes for as long as we can . As we get older, we may need support and help to enable us to continue to do so.

This can take the form of personal care, making our home more suitable for our needs or financial assistance from benefits or elsewhere.

Help you might be able to get includes:

  • Personal care
  • Help to manage and feel safe at home
  • Financial assistance
  • Health services
  • The local authority social services department is the main state provider of assistance.

(more…)

Buying a Stairlift Can Help Save Your Home and Your Independence

Over a third of Britons aged over 55 say they would be compelled to sell their home to fund long-term care in retirement

Age UK, the organisation created by the merger of Age Concern and Help The Aged, have revealed on their website, that in excess of a third of Britons aged over 55 feel that they would have no option but to sell their home to fund long-term care in retirement.

Law company Dickinson Dees have made a projection that if these figures were rolled out across the whole UK population, it would equate to two million Britons facing the prospect of selling their homes to fund their care in their dotage.

According to a YouGov survey of 4,500 people, the concerns of the over-55s are also reflected amongst couples in the  age group 34-54, with 44%  revealing they feel they would be compelled to  sell their home if one of them needed residential care.

National statistics bear these poll results out, with  20,000 older people forced to sell their homes in 2010 to fund care home fees: each year 130,000 people go into long-term care.

(more…)

Back Injuries Caused by Sporting Activities

Sporting Spinal Injuries

Recreational and sporting activities account for 18% of all Spinal Cord Injuries and many sporting careers have been ended due to damage to the spine.

Particular sports are higher risk than others, with the top activites for back injuries being:

  • Rugby
  • Motorbiking
  • Quadbiking
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Horse Riding

There is a school of thought that adolescents risk injury to the back bone (spine) by taking part in certain physical sports whilst their bones are still forming, with some school refusing to allow full contact sports until the age of 16.

(more…)

Interview with Doreen, a Stairlift user aged 75

When Doreen was in her twenties, she was knocked over by a car and as a result she injured her back. Although at the time the injury was not too severe, as Doreen got older she began to suffer with arthritis and mobility problems. This meant going up and down stairs became increasingly a problem for her. Doreen did not want to leave the house that had been her home for over fifty years, so she decided to make enquires about a stairlift.

“I decided to go in for a stairlift because of my worsening mobility problems. It is one of the best ideas I know of for people who want to remain in their house, rather than move to a bungalow or flat.

“Talking to the company who installed my stairlift was very easy and comforting. The installers came to my home to take measurements in my property as each stairlift is catered for the individual. It was very easy and quick to install, much quicker than I thought it would take. I was initially a bit worried by the controls, but they are so easy to use I have had no problems at all and would describe it as being ‘very user friendly.’

“The chair itself is very comfortable. What’s my overall opinion of having a stairlift? I would highly recommend having one installed. It has enabled me to stay in my home and remain independent.”

Living with Disabilities: Ileostomy Sufferers

Most people have never heard of a stoma. A quick medical lesson for you … words ending in ‘ostomy’ are associated with a stoma. For example, Colostomy involves an opening in the large bowel (colon), whilst Ileostomy is an opening in the small bowel (ileum) and Urostomy involves the urinary tract.

A stoma is formed when the surgeon makes an opening in the abdomen and brings out a small section of bowel to the surface. He/she will then stitch the open section of bowel to the abdomen, forming a stoma. The bowel opening is then covered with a stoma bag to collect body waste (faeces). These bags will normally be drainage bags so you can empty them into the toilet.

65% of stomas are permanent but due to improved surgical techniques over the pass ten years, this percentage is gradually declining. One well established technique is an ileoanal pouch. This is created internally so a stoma bag does not have to be worn. It is a highly complex procedure and is usually done by highly trained surgeons
Some people avoid having surgery for years, quite prepared to put up with the pain of their bowel condition. Although having a stoma can be frightening it can end years of pain from cancer, Crohn’s disease, diverticuli, ulcerative colitis and other bowel problems. Not everybody with bowel problems end up having to have a stoma.

(more…)

Living with Spinal Injuries and Back Problems

Spinal injuries can happen at anytime, anywhere and at any age and can vary from soft tissue damage to total paralysis.

Whatever the severity of the injury, individuals can cope with their condition, it simply means a slight change to their lifestyle. If the spinal injury is quite severe they will need physical help with hygiene, mobility and cleaning their accommodation. If they are to stay in their own home, some adaptations may be needed to the property, such as:

  • Handrails in the bathroom;
  • A stairlift;
  • Access ramps
  • Wider doorways

Whatever needs to be done, the home will need to be accessible before the person returns home from hospital or from a care facility.

Depending in the severity of the injury and/or disability, treatment will vary. At one time complete bedrest was the course of action for soft tissue damage or a ‘slipped disc’. The treatment for most people now, after a brief spell of bedrest, is to resume normal physical activity as soon as possible.

(more…)

Stairlifts Protect the Elderly from Injuries

“An elderly person dies every five hours from a trip or fall”

That’s the latest statistic released from Help The Aged. With UK citizens in their 70′s and 80′s being fitter than ever before, the nations hospitals are seeing more and more elderly injuries, with 1 in 10 resulting in life threatening or incapacitating consequences.

Stairlifts have been proved to prevent injuries by up to 58% and can be essential for those living alone who may be unable to raise an alarm should they have a slip or fall in their home.

Climbing stairs can cause continued strain on the elderly, especially those suffering joint and hip problems, asthma or arthritis.

Value Stairlifts feel the NHS can take further steps to help protect the elderly by providing additional support and home assessments to prevent these injuries from ever occuring.

Every Royal Palace needs its own Stairlift…

Mobility Scooters and Stairlifts for the Royals

The not-so-humble beginnings of the mobility aid industry is due to non other than King Henry the VIII it has been revealed.

Famous mainly for his collection of wives, his enjoyment of food and drink and his cantancarous nature, Henry VIII was also the first known owner of his own stairlift or ‘stairthrone’ used whilst inebriated or when hauling his hefty 30 stone frame upstairs became a bit too much work.

A cleverly devised system of blocks and pulleys was utilised to elevate the King onto the first floor. Described in the royal records as ‘a chair…that goeth up and down’, the stairlift was installed at Whitehall Palace, London where it lifted the King up a 20ft staircase.

In addition the King owned his own mobility scooters, essentially thrones with wheels so that he could glide around his royal quarters.

(more…)

Case Study: Chairlift for Mr Peter Scales

In March 2008 Mr Scales contacted Value Stairlifts after being involved in a road traffic accident where a transit van had swerved onto the wrong side of the road, forcing Mr Scales’s vehicle into a garden wall. The impact had trapped a nerve in his spine and he temporarily lost the feeling in his left leg.

Living in a town house, climbing the stairs was virtually impossible and after two months, he had two choices, move home or look for a solution that would allow him to use his first floor again. With a less than buoyant housing market in the UK, there was a risk of losing £10,000’s in moving home and it could take months to find a buyer.

Being a single but very active man, Mr Scales didn’t have anyone he could rely on twenty-four hours a day to assist him but still wanted full access to the first floor of his home and was determined to make a full recovery once he had received a series of operations.

In only three days and for under £2,000, Value Stairlifts were able to assist Mr Scales in sourcing a brand new chairlift complete with swivel seat for easy transfer, lapbelt for safety and security, plus two remote controls to call the chairlift.

We are pleased to report that after 7 months and several operations he has made a full recovery and is now able to walk once more.