Future proofing: Lift helps widow stay in her beautiful home and remain close to friends and family
“When you starting thinking about moving or downsizing, it’s really important to continue to live where you have friends, relatives and familiar surroundings. This will give you the best chance of maintaining your lifestyle.”
It was with these thoughts in mind when recently-widowed Gilly Alun-Jones decided it was time for her to move on and she began the search for a house which suited her needs.
“It seemed foolish for just me to be rattling around this beautiful but very large house on my own,” she explains. “My five children, including a set of triplets, had long since flown the nest and I was looking to move. I wanted to stay reasonably close by so I could retain close contact with everybody, and to be near my favourite social places.”
Gilly, who lives near Guildford, was suffering from osteoarthritis at the time, and this severely reduced flexibility in one knee, making climbing stairs a real problem and so limiting the choice of home suitable for her needs. “Then one of my sons told me about the Stiltz through-floor home lift and straight away I realised that it was the perfect solution for my problem so we went ahead and placed an order for the lift. It has been one of the best decisions ever”.
Since then Gilly’s knee problem has improved greatly and happily she is able to manage the stairs without too much difficulty. But as an octogenarian, she is conscious that her lift is an excellent provision for the future and will help her continue to use, and live in, all parts of her home.
“I’ve successfully future-proofed my home,” she explains. “It’s a perfect insurance policy for me. You never know what may happen in the future and it is likely that I’ll eventually need it for getting up and down stairs. Both my house and I are now ready for the unplanned, but at the moment it is very useful. It goes from my sitting room straight up to my bedroom and I use it for sending all sorts of things up and down!”
Clearly the lift is now an indispensible part of Gilly’s home life and some of the youngest of her 16 grandchildren think it is great fun, although their grandmother is careful never to let them travel in it on their own.
Until recently, home lifts were seen as cumbersome and noisy hydraulic contraptions, with space-sapping shafts which in turn needed load-bearing support and expensive installation. Now, these innovative and elegant vertical aluminium “stilts” either side of the lift
car bear all the load effortlessly, and are simply affixed straight through from ground floor up to the first floor ceiling, in a parallel, self-supporting structure.
“The two actual stilts are so unobtrusive that people coming into my sitting room for the first time usually don’t even notice they are there,” explains Gilly, “until I point them out!”
“As well as the great convenience for me, I look upon the lift as an investment and an asset to the house. Particularly as, if needed, it can be dismantled and moved at any time,” says Gilly, “…but I won’t need to move again!”