Gift of independence: Home lift provides MS sufferer Susan with easier way of getting between floors
Sandy Phillips took the decision to opt for early retirement so he could dedicate more time to help look after his wife Susan, who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Mr. Phillips had worked in the commercial interior design business, largely in the hospitality sector for more than 35 years. His work would take him all over Europe, which meant extended periods of time away from home. Aware that his wife’s condition was worsening, at the age of 59, he decided to retire early.
In the interim, the couple had purchased their dream property in Stirling, Scotland, with the aim of adding a two-storey extension. Building work was already underway, when Mrs. Phillips was diagnosed.
Things progressed and it quickly became apparent that the stairs were becoming too much for Mrs Phillips. This prompted the couple to look for a mobility solution to provide an easier way of moving between floors.
Initially, the Phillips’ looked at a traditional stairlift but quickly realised that it was not suitable for their particular stairwell as the rail could not be mounted to the treads of the stairs.
Mr. Phillips said: “It wasn’t technically possible for us to install a stairlift and we didn’t like the idea of one as we felt it would spoil the aesthetics of our home. We started researching alternatives and we found out about home lifts.
“At first we thought that a home lift would be complicated to install and expensive to buy. We were delighted to find that the home lift was not only suitable, but also within our budget.
“We investigated a hydraulic home lift but it required a supporting wall so it wasn’t a solution that would work for us as we wanted the lift installed in the centre of the room. We then came across an advert for Stiltz Lifts and this quickly became the most appealing option.”
The Stiltz Home Lift proved to be ideal for Mr. and Mrs. Phillips as it has a self-supporting structure with no load bearing walls required. It is also a non-hydraulic lift which plugs straight into a standard domestic power socket meaning it was quick and easy to install. The only structural work required was inserting an opening in the ceiling to allow the lift to pass between floors.
The couple chose the Stiltz Trio Home Lift model, as it is was able to accommodate Mrs. Phillips’ wheelchair. They had it installed in the downstairs hall inside a bespoke cupboard on the ground floor with the lift travelling up to the first floor living room.
Mr. Phillips added: “Before we had the lift installed and I was travelling abroad for work, Susan was effectively grounded as her MS meant the stairs were a struggle. I took early retirement so I could help her as much as I could, but the Stiltz Lift has made a huge difference to Susan’s life.
“It has given her back her independence as now she can move around our home unaided. The Stiltz Lift is absolutely incredible. It’s simple and easy to use and we would recommend it to anyone.
“My wife and I come from an interior design background and we both love the way it looks. It’s very stylish and doesn’t look at all institutional, like it might belong in a care home. Our Stiltz Lift pops up in the middle of the living room like Dr Who’s TARDIS and looks great. There is also no question that it will also add value to our property.”
Mr. Phillips says the Stiltz Home Lift has become so important that he has taken out an extended warranty after the initial free 12 months parts and labour warranty expired. He said: “Susan’s lift is as essential to us as having a kitchen or bathroom. We couldn’t be without it now. It has become part of the house. My mum who is 87 also uses the lift when she visits so I took out the extended warranty to make sure we will never be without it.”