Family chooses “quick fix” tech as the ideal long term…

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Stairclimber replaces through-floor lift, giving family freedom and space

The through-floor lift in the Doncaster home of the Ellis family repeatedly broke down, eventually being condemned. 

Without it, father Peter found it almost impossible to safely carry his daughter Rhian up and down stairs: the family home is small, with a tight, curved staircase, and Rhian’s condition means she has uncontrolled muscle spasms. 

solution delivered within a day

He contacted the family’s Occupational Therapist, who by chance had just attended a presentation on stairclimbers. The design of the staircase in the family home meant it was not practical to install a stairlift. Replacing the through-floor lift would take time. Yet a means of enabling the family to safely transfer Rhian was necessary. A quick telephone call to Britain’s #1 stairclimber provider AAT meant that within hours, the Ellis’ problem was resolved.

We provided a stairclimber the same day, solving the immediate issue. As space was at a premium in the home, and the stairclimber could be folded away when not in use, the family chose to keep it instead of going through the process of a replacement through-floor lift.

Dad Peter explains:

“The stairclimber is so easy, and Rhiann feels safe in it,  she is very routine-orientated. AAT trained me and my wife, so either of us can use it on our own. For safeguarding, we have a harness attached so Rhiann is secure even if she has a seizure during the transfer process (she suffers from epilepsy too).

“We’ve had the stairclimber eight years now! The design of the staircase means it’s not practical to fit a stairlift, and to be honest, we prefer the stairclimber to the through-floor lift we had, as it frees up space with is in short supply anyway. 

“The design of the stairclimber, with arms that swing out of the way to aid transfer, also makes moving Rhian from it to her specialist hospital bed much easier for us. It reduces the strain on us physically, and reduces the number of transfers, as we can just slide her across. Before, we had to transfer her from the through-floor lift to an H hoist and then from the hoist to bed.”

Adds Gareth Brown, AAT Regional Sales Manager:

“Speed was essential to find a practical solution for the family. As the Council did not have a stock stairclimber available, we hired them a demonstration model initially and ordered one in for them. Stairclimbers tend to be viewed as a short-term solution, but this one has certainly proven they can be a practical long-term solution too: the Ellis’ have had it eight years now!”

How it works

Looking like a compact wheelchair, its battery pack powers the German-engineered Class 1 medical device smoothly up and down the flight, at whatever speed the operator feels comfortable. The battery is rechargeable, with each charge providing power for up to 300 steps.

Provision of a stairclimber means someone with mobility issues can be transferred up and down stairs without the physical or structural changes to the building fabric inherent in alternative vertical transfers. Thus needs can be met quickly, eliminating the delay typical with an adaptation.

A range of accessories means the Sella can be tailored to individual requirements and support, although the new Universal Back  with integrated back, forward and lateral supports be adjusted to each user, facilitating re-issue from equipment stores.

The Sella ( is just one of the range of stairclimbers available from us. Options include bariatric and ambulance versions, and separate power packs for fitting to conventional unpowered wheelchairs.

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