A couple from Shrewsbury have transformed both their compact 17th century home by installing a unique ‘through the floor’ Stiltz Home Lift to make it easier to travel between floors.
Maurice Allen was having to crawl upstairs every night to reach his bedroom after a spinal condition, he had been suffering from for the last decade, became progressively worst.
The 81-year-old has a prolapsed disc which causes lower back pain and muscle weakness in the lower body. He uses crutches to move around and also an electric wheelchair.
But his condition became so painful that he could only crawl or bottom shuffle up the stairs when he wanted to go to bed each night.
“I suffered a prolapsed disc about 10 years ago,” said Maurice. “I ended up having to use crutches to move around the house and an electric wheelchair for longer journeys outside of our home.
“My condition got worse and worse and it was getting to the stage where I was crawling up the stairs like a kid when I was wanted to go to sleep every night. I just had to take one step at a time or just shuffle up and down in a sitting down position and it was just taking me ages to get up to the main bedroom each night, never mind being a bit undiginfied.”
Wife Christine, 72, was concerned that Maurice’s condition would only detoriate further so the couple decided to try and find a solution that would make his life easier. The Allen’s have been living in the historic two-bedroom Grade-II listed cottage they share together in the town since 1989 and the property is more than 300 years old.
The property had a very narrow and turning staircase where an ordinary stairlift would not fit so they decided to invest in a Stiltz Home Lift, which they had installed by Shrewsbury-based company, Belvidere Lifts. As the lift required no hydraulics or load bearing walls it could be fitted simply and quickly and it is powered by a self-contained motor which plugs straight into a domestic power socket and travels on self-supporting stilts which allow the home lift to be positioned where more conventional, bulky lifts, will not fit.
Maurice said: “Our staircase was only around three feet wide and also turned in places so a stairlift wouldn’t have fitted. I didn’t like the idea of sitting on one anyway and waiting for it to go up, as they are often slow.
“We decided we wanted to get a Stiltz Home Lift after reading about them online so we got a building company in and they carefully removed the stairs allowing Belvidere to install the home lift. It only took a day, and was so quick and simple. It is situated in a downstairs space near our the kitchen and travels up to our main bedroom.
“Having the lift has improved my quality of life immeasurably and has enabled me to get my independence back. I can now move between floors whenever I wish and in the same amount of time, it would usually take an abled-bodied person to walk up the stairs. I’m just glad it was possible to get the lift installed in such a small space but it’s absolutely brilliant and I’d certainly recommend Stiltz without hesitation!”