Dolphin Mobility explain how installing a home lift can save you and the government thousands
Residential care can cost up to £3,000 per month, whereas the installation of a home lift can ensure independence and save you and the government thousands of pounds
United Kingdom (PRUnderground) January 14th, 2014
As people grow older and their levels of mobility and independence decline, many face the prospect of having to move to a more suitable property. However, the installation of an independent living aid such as a stairlift, through-the-floor lift or hoist has proven to be a cost effective alternative for councils, housing associations and the NHS.
Craig Dunnage, a Director at Dolphin Mobility, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of independent living solutions, firmly believes that just because somebody requires assistance with their day to day living, their right to remain in their own home where they have lived for decades should not be taken away. He said: “When you have lived in your home for many years, the thought of moving into single storey accommodation or a residential care home can be daunting, not to mention very expensive for the individual, council or housing association involved; finding a tenant a suitable property can take months and result in significant costs and emotional upheaval. Placing someone in a residential care home can also be extremely expensive with costs rising up to £3,000 per month, whereas the installation of a stairlift, home lift or hoist will not only ensure the tenant retains their independence, but also save the relevant government departments thousands of pounds a year.”
Joanna Healey, 44, from Sittingbourne in Kent, is just one person who has benefitted from this way of thinking. Having spent over 15 years in her current home, Joanna found herself facing the very difficult prospect of having to move after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and more recently fibromyalgia, both of which can be extremely painful and debilitating. “There are times when I am physically unable to get out of bed, or walk more than a few paces, due to the constant burning sensations in the nerves in my legs and feet that accompany fibromyalgia – I was often reduced to crawling up the stairs,” said Joanna.
Following several assessments, Joanna’s Occupational Therapist recommended the installation of a stairlift and contacted her local housing association (Amicus Horizon Housing Association) to see what could be done to help her. A Platinum Horizon curved stairlift from Dolphin Lifts Kent Ltd. was subsequently installed in November 2013 and it immediately made a huge difference to Joanna’s quality of life and day to day comfort. “I am delighted with the stairlift,” she explained. “I no longer have to worry about trying to get upstairs to use the toilet or bathroom and best of all I have been able to stay in my home, when there was a real possibility this may not have been the case six months ago. I would definitely recommend anyone in my position speak with their Occupational Therapists or local council to see what help is available.”
In recent years there have seen significant levels of investment in the development of independent living solutions and, as a result products such as stairlifts and through-the-floor lifts now take up far less space within the home, allowing them to be installed in even the most confined of spaces. Craig explains: “Over the years, we have seen mobility aids and independent living solutions become sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing. The days of a stairlift taking up precious space on the staircase and landing are a thing of the past; with streamlined railing and ergonomic seating it is quite common for a stairlift to go unnoticed.”
The same can be said for through-the-floor lifts and Mr Lloyd of Warrington is a prime example of someone who has benefitted from these latest advances: “My multiple sclerosis means that using the stairs can be impossible even with a stairlift, so at times I have had to literally live downstairs. It was then decided by my Occupational Therapist that the time had come to look at alternative means of getting up and down the stairs,” he said.
After several surveys and assessments, Dolphin Mobility (Manchester) installed a wheelchair version of the Wessex VM31 hydraulic through-the-floor lift. “There is no doubt that the lift has changed my life and despite my initial concerns, the inconvenience and upheaval was kept to a minimum by the teams from Your Housing and Dolphin Mobility. What amazed my wife and I was the ease with which the installation was completed and little impact it has had on the layout of our home. Without the adaptations we would have been forced to move house.”
Lifts and hoists also contribute to fewer visits from healthcare professionals, as this type of equipment enables individuals to go up and down the stairs on their own, allowing family members to help with day to day activities such as washing and dressing. Furthermore the installation of equipment can ensure the early discharge of patients from hospital, freeing up bed space and having a positive effect on hospital budgets; if the average length of stay is reduced by one day, there would be an annual saving to the NHS of approximately 35,400 bed days, which equates to £8 million based on a bed day cost of £225.
Despite their disabilities many people live in their own homes for decades, such as Linda Dowdeswell from Carshalton who was diagnosed with a cluster of tumours on her spine whilst pregnant with her daughter in 1981. “As my condition has deteriorated we have carried out various adaptations to our home, from widening doorways to converting rooms and installing equipment,” she said. Despite her restricted mobility, Linda is one of a growing number of people who can ‘self hoist’ due to the latest advances in hoisting equipment – this means she can get herself in and out of bed, bathed and dressed independently. These daily activities would be impossible without the Handimove ceiling track hoist with body support system, installed in her home by Dolphin Mobility.
“As we enter 2014, the introduction of many new products into the UK market means the choice and options are greater and prices lower than ever before, which has to be a good thing for all concerned,” concluded Craig.
About Dolphin Mobility Ltd
Dolphin Mobility is part of the Dolphin Lifts Group, specialist in the supply of products for the disabled and the leading independent suppliers of stairlifts in the UK. Dolphin supply, install and maintain stairlifts, step lifts, hoists, wheelchair lifts and pool lifts.