It’s a fact that the majority of housing stock in the UK is built upon two or more floors and that bungalows only account for a small proportion of homes overall.
There are an estimated two million bungalows in Britain today, with only 1% of new builds in the UK being bungalows, according to the National House Building Council.
So this, combined with an aging population, means that more and more of us are struggling with the stairs and find either the climb, or descent on the stairs either painful, or at worst dangerous and risky.
According to the British Standard Institute, there are over 500 deaths per year in the UK and an estimated 250,000 non-fatal accidents from stair-related incidents.
It’s not just the elderly or disabled that can find stairs a hazard, an estimated that 58,000 children have accidents on stairs every year in the UK, according to ROSPA.
This may be gloomy reading, but it’s a fact that stairs can go from being a convenient way of changing levels in the home, to becoming a formidable enemy, as our mobility and balance becomes limited.
Stairlifts can be a valuable addition to many homes, as they effectively negate many of the inherent risks created by stairs, but it’s true that for many of us, there is a very negative association with stairlifts, and it’s far to do with just the price (which is often far less than you may think!)
As with virtually all mobility equipment, it’s very rarely a case of thinking one day on a whim, ‘oh, I’ll go and buy a wheelchair or mobility scooter’ many of us will only grudgingly concede to this sort of purchase when there is no feasible alternative, if we are to remain able to move around and get out and about.
Stairlifts are similar in that for many of us, it’s just unthinkable to have a stairlift fitted, and to be fair, a little bit funny, just the thought of having one - and friends & family with their humorous comments and bent-back mimics when they observe it for the first time.
Yet, that said, we look at luxury homes that have lifts fitted to glide their affluent owners up and down floors as being opulent expression of wealth - yet fulfilling the same purpose as the stairlift!
Maybe, in the future, a stairlift will not be seen as a taboo, and homes may be more standardly fitted with them as new builds.
At Mobility Smart, although we know there are some culturally negative images of stairlifts, we also see the flip side, of those people whose ego is not letting them get the help they would really benefit from.
It’s a shame to see someone struggling to get up and down the stairs, and risking life and limb, for the sake of a simple solution that a stairlift readily provides.
Behind the myth of what the media may portray, today’s stairlifts are actually discreet, whisper quiet and fit both unobtrusively and stylishly in modern contemporary homes.
The truth is, we have fitted stairlifts for people of all ages and backgrounds, who were wise enough to realise that their independence needed practical solutions.
This has included recuperating athletes, business-people, teenagers, doctors, engineers, shopkeepers, the elderly… in fact we really have installed in a true cross-section of community.
Whatever the stair configuration in your home, whether straight or curved, or with landings between the stairs, there is usually a stairlift that can be fitted to suit the specific owner requirements.
Alternatively, there are aids that can be useful if you feel that in your case, all you need is a little help with balance and support as you go up and down the stairs.
For this purpose, hand-rails fitted along the stairwell can give you that extra balance and coordination adding to your peace of mind and safety as a lower cost alternative to using a stairlift, or as an interim measure.
With less bungalows planned for new-builds in the UK, it’s true to say that our stairs are not going to go away soon. However, if we will put aside any negative beliefs about stairlifts, there is a solution that can stop the awful stair safety statistics getting any worse.
if you’re thinking of having a stairlift fitted, or just want some initial information and your questions answering, feel free to give our team a call on 0800 567 7222, we’d be delighted to help.