stairlift advice sought

An elderly grandparent can no longer manage to climb the stairs in his house so we are looking at getting a stairlift installed. There are so many companies out there offering rental as well a buying I'd appreciate some first hand comments/experiences from the group.
As the cost looks like a few thosand pounds we can't afford to get this wrong eg poor quality, lack of spares etc etc.
The stair layout is 2 steps up, 90 degree turn, 10 more steps, another 90 deg turn and two more steps to the landing. I see there are curved lifts available as well as straight - he can manage the 2 step parts so we could get a straight one. However could be false economy if his abilities diminish.
A DIY one seems a might ambitious - but anyone ever er um... tried it? tia
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My parents-in-law got a stairlift for the grandmother-in-law who was staying with them. I would guess they hired the stairlift because when granny moved out the stairlift was removed by the company that owned it. She only used it for a year or two before she had to be taken into a home.
I think the experience of this situation is that it's not worth buying. If the person is getting on a bit and is already frail then the likelihood is that they won't be around long enough to make decent use of it (sorry if that sounds cruel, but it's a fact based upon what happened in our family).
One other thing I will mention here. Be careful about making a decision to solve problems in a persons home. Social services have responsibilities to UK citizens, but they tend to shy away from those decisions if the person can somehow cope on their own. Your elderly relative *might* benefit more from a care home provided through social services, but if the stairlift helps that person to remain in their own home then the care home probably won't be offered until much later. It's a tough call about putting people into a nursing home, I had to do it for my mother when Dad could no longer cope, and was trying to do the same for Dad - in his usual cantankerous way he held on until he dropped dead all alone at home. My one regret is that I didn't put my foot down to make it happen while he was still alive - it may not have saved him, but at least he'd have passed away with people around him rather than the police having to break his front door open to find him lying on the carpet.
If it were a stairlift for a younger person who had perhaps been incapacitated but had a long life expectancy then the decision to buy might be easier.
PoP
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[...]
Thank Pop/Bill. Yes you are right - it is a difficult decision, complicated by the fact the person in question objects to most suggestions good or bad. He wants a vertical lift installing! Mind you he is 80 and dealing with his failing health in a determined way. I think I'll be looking at DIY things in a different light. Amazing how everyday tasks can be so damn difficult with disability. As he can't handwrite now he's using a typewriter - which is fine except he can't wind the paper on/back to see what he's written. Sooo, we're looking for an incredibly easy-to-use-foolproof-simple (dedicated) wordprocessor. Of course that has cables and etc etc. Sorry folks have gone way OT.
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Not at all.
In the last couple of years of my fathers life he didn't become disabled, except as a condition of his failing health making him a bit frail.
During that time he got a PC, which I must have rebuilt at least half a dozen times. He'd go out to the newsagents and pick up any magazine with a CD on the cover, then install the software on the CD - and break the operating system more times than not.
In the end I installed Windows 2000 and limited his logon to not having administrator rights. He got a bit upset about that, but he wouldn't listen to me pleading with him to stop buying these magazines and it did put a stop to his breaking the PC!
If your father has speaking ability it might be worth thinking about some sort of voice recognition software and a cheap PC. Even though these things aren't perfect they can do a fairly good job if you train them, and it's a fair bet that your father would be absorbed with his new toy.
PoP
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If it's any help I have a Samsung "Magic Note" SQ-w1100 notebook word processor you are welcome to have. OS and Apps in ROM so powers up to WP in seconds. Small (normal width but only about 10 lines deep) but clear screen and conventional notebook sized keyboard. I presume it drives a dot matrix printer (or anything which works in character mode).
It's light and mains (plug adapter) powered so only cable is to printer. Despite being a "notebook" word processor it has no battery (runs off 9VDC from adapter). It appears to have serial and parallel interface and single floppy (presumably 720k unknown format).
Postage wouldn't be much - it weighs about a kilo.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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Peter, I'm lost for words... never expected such an offer! *Thank you very much.* I have a spare epson matrix (parallel) printer so could connect that to it. I must give you something for it though - or can donate to Help the Aged. Will send you a direct email (xjohn11) after posting this.
A big thank-you also to all the followups to this post. It is *very* heartening to know there are folks like you out there.
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council as there was a 10 percent grant (one year earlier and we would of got 90 per cent) it may be worth check your council to see if there is a grant. As for the DIY bit when the mother ion law died |I removed the stairlift and took it up the our aunts (her sister) It's very simple one mains connection through a fused spur. and in our case three brackets screwed to the stair treads. as most stairlifts are mounted on the stairs not on the wall. Then there were the cable remotes stuck to the wall at the top and bottom of the stairs, using the bog standard surface mount cable ducting. No problem just a couple of hours work if you have a handy place to take the fused spur from.
The Q
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Cost under 200 all in. But I would never do it for someone else. Its just too easy for something to go wrong. Even if you understand the fundamentals of lift safety you can still get caught out.

True, but be careful about comeback. If anything unlikely ever went wrong, you've really got some problems, and so has the person who was using it.
Regards, NT
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Hi. Yes its been done, and its cheap to DIY them, but:
1. The risk is a serious issue. Even if you understand the fundamentals of lift safety you can still get caught out.
2. serious legal comeback can follow from that
3. a DIY one probably wont meet the BS requirements for stairlifts, so it might be illegal to do one for anyone but yourself.
Cost under 200 all in. But dont. This is only for interest, as it did get my mind ticking over.
Regards, NT
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"dave" wrote | An elderly grandparent can no longer manage to climb the stairs in his | house so we are looking at getting a stairlift installed. There are so | many companies out there offering rental as well a buying I'd appreciate | some first hand comments/experiences from the group. | As the cost looks like a few thosand pounds we can't afford to get this | wrong eg poor quality, lack of spares etc etc.
I used to work for a Social Work department (a few years ago) and they had a limited number of contractors they would use. The only one I remember was Grorud Lifts of Co Durham. Try googling for them. Otherwise ask the SW occupational therapists dept for their approved contractor list and advice.
| The stair layout is 2 steps up, 90 degree turn, 10 more steps, another | 90 deg turn and two more steps to the landing. I see there are curved | lifts available as well as straight - he can manage the 2 step parts | so we could get a straight one. However could be false economy if his | abilities diminish.
I think so, it might be best to assume he will have at some point to transfer to/from a wheelchair at each end.
Have you considered whether a downstairs room can be changed into a bedroom and a downstairs cloakroom have a shower added? This may make care easier than having to use a stairlift, and a shower room may actually add value onto the house, unlike a stairlift which won't.
Or even, dare I say it, move into a bungalow or retirement/sheltered housing (not a 'home' but his own property, albeit one that has an alarm button and possibly a warden). This would also relieve him and you of some of the burdens of maintaining a house and probably allow him to maintain more independence longer. He can also be much more involved in the decision making if it's done by choice rather than necessity. My mother moved into a bungalow when she retired and with hindsight it was a wise move as she has been able to manage despite periods of infirmity. It would have been much harder in a two-storey house.
From a financial point of view, selling the house, buying a retirement property and disbursing the surplus (if any) to relatives now may be much better than waiting until the vultures move in demanding he sell his house to pay for his care.
Owain
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On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 20:54:05 -0000, "Owain"

That ties in with my own experience in terms of obtaining a lift for my father.
The social services people were helpful but overstretched and the main issue became getting an assessment done for suitable equipment by an occupational therapist. Having done that, there wasn't particularly a shortage of money to fund part of the equipment cost. Other items like some hand rails near an outside door, a lift for the bath and grab handles for the toilet were forthcoming.
There were also discounts at suppliers of stairlifts with an intro from the OT. .andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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Yes, this is the solution we have used at my parent's. The shower is really good, and will seriously benefit the house value, as it is a huge house and only had a single bath with shower over. It's a shame the council strongly recommended that we fitted a shower curtain instead of a door. Horrible cold wet clingy things. I think I have some sort of attraction for these things. Even standing on the far side of the 800mm tray, the curtain soon wanders over for a hug.
Christian.
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Hi Christian. Have you tried threading something heavy along the bottom of the curtain? Works wonders. lightweight chain perhaps.
Regards, NT
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Newsgroups: uk.d-i-y Sent: Monday, November 17, 2003 2:03 PM Subject: stairlift advice sought

My 84 year old mother-in-law with Parkinson's disease was beginning to find it difficult to get up stairs to bed at the end of the day. She had resorted to using a commode downstairs when she needed the loo. There are times during the day, with Parkinson's that she can not walk at all.. About a year and a half ago after much persuading we got her to have a stair lift installed. This was worth every penny. It vastly improved her quality of life. She is no longer a prisoner downstairs in her own home. She can go upstairs to the loo any time she wants, and bedtime is no longer a dreaded ordeal as she safely and easily gets herself upstairs. Of course everyone's situation is different, and must be judged on their individual merits, but my advise to anyone with an ageing relative who struggles with the stairs would be to give a stairlift serious consideration. Many old people want to continue to live in their own home as long as they can and this can help them to achieve that with dignity.
John
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