One North Yorkshire family has been given an efficient way around the problem as arthritis, osteoporosis, sclerosis of the liver and COPD took their toll on their mum’s health and mobility.
Pam Backshell loves her Scarborough first-floor flat, with its panoramic views across the bays. She says even if she becomes bed-ridden, she will not move home.
Her conditions mean she cannot walk any distance, and often needs to use a wheelchair when she goes out, whether to the shops or just for some fresh air.
The block of flats where she lives has no lift.
For her to go out, she was having to bottom shuffle down the concrete steps, relying on family and carers for support to ensure her safety.
Research on the internet and discussions with Pam’s Occupational Therapist led to an answer: a stairclimber.
The battery-powered, seated kinematic device smoothly climbs and descends any number of steps to safely carry its passenger- in this case Pam- to and from her flat and beyond. It is steered and controlled by daughter Charlotte or other members of her support network , enabling Pam to enjoy life with dignity.
The variety of stairclimber range of designs available means there is an option to suit every person, and every configuration of stairs, including turns, narrow flights, half-landings, spirals.
Models can fix onto the back of a wheelchair, or have an integrated seat. They can be used by the most petite care-giver and move bariatrics.
A range of accessories mean they can be personalised to suit every user’s support needs.
When not in use, the stairclimber folds compactly away, optimising space within the flat and enabling its transfer into a car boot for use beyond the home.
North Yorkshire County Council already had an AAT S-Max stairclimber in its equipment stock. This has been re-issued to Pam, meaning her mobility has been restored for no extra capital cost to the Authority.
The only outlay has been to cover the cost of AAT’s professionals to support and assess Pam and her care team to set the stairclimber up correctly and ensure everyone is comfortable with it and safe when using it, to service the unit, and train Charlotte and the care team in safe operation of the stairclimber.
“The stairclimber’s been a real problem-solver. It means so much to us. The stairclimber is so quick and easy to use, it’s just a couple of buttons to operate. It has been a life-saver.: it was so dangerous how we used to get mum out and back home. This way is much more dignified. We have to deal with a flight of stairs from mum’s flat to the main entrance, then more steps beyond. Gareth from AAT was so helpful in working with us to find the best way to navigate them all.”Charlotte Backshell
“20% of the population- 4.7m people- live in flats, most commonly three storeys or less(1). Yet there is no Regulatory requirement for lower apartment blocks to provide a lift, it only being a “desirable” inclusion (Building Regulations Approved Document M 2021). With our growing ageing population, flat access and egress is only going to increase as a problem for occupational Therapists. A stairclimber is the easy solution, that does not impinge on other residents, nor require any adaptation and associated permissions from landlords.”Peter Wingrave, AAT Director
In use throughout the UK for more than 15 years, AAT stairclimbers have an impeccable safety record, with more than 3000 in regular use across the country, many of which have been re-issued in the same way as Pam Backshell’s.
AAT is unique in offering nationwide support, including assessment of the potential users, full prescription of an appropriate stairclimber solutions, care-giver training, and servicing. It can further deliver a full supply and management service for housing providers, including hire and purchase options. Full details are available here: https://www.aatgb.com/s-max/