Statement
COVID-19

Stiltz Homelifts

Updated 31st March 2020

COVID 19 Statement

Coronavirus – Covid-19 presents us with an unprecedented global challenge. Stiltz Ltd. continues to review activities on a daily basis to comply with Government directives.

Stiltz is a proud member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) through whom we are co-ordinating industry efforts to keep the most vulnerable living safely in their own homes. Reducing the instance of accidents within the home will help reduce stress on the NHS hospital care system.

For existing customers, a Stiltz Homelift can be that lifeline to independence. Our homecare support policy means Stiltz engineers continue to provide an essential service by maintaining customers’ lifts for ongoing safe, reliable and independent access, while acting within Government guidelines.

For new homelift installations we offer the options of a phone call, remote video consultation via tablet/laptop/smartphone, or email consultation. For those with an urgent in-home consultation need, we will minimise risk by following latest Government guidelines.

Additional processes have been put in place to mitigate risk to you, our staff and the wider Stiltz community:

· We will request confirmation that nobody at the property we are due to visit has Covid-19 or is defined as extremely vulnerable, and in need of being shielded. If Covid-19 is present, or a person is isolating or deemed as extremely vulnerable, we will follow government advice.

· All customer visits will be subject to additional sanitation measures. Stiltz installers/engineers will wash or sanitise their hands prior to entering your property and upon leaving. They will not offer to shake hands, will refuse offers of a beverage and will maintain the prescribed 2 metre distance

· Regular health and safety bulletins will be issued to all office and field-based staff

· All field-based staff will be asked, on a daily basis, to confirm they are clear of symptoms prior to commencing their working day

· All staff who fall ill with Covid-19 or who are self-isolating, will receive full pay during the period they are indisposed.

Stiltz will follow government advice at all times. Our priority is customer and staff safety, whilst continuing to provide the necessary homecare support to ensure vital independence.

Mike Lord
Chairman and CEO
Stiltz Ltd

Call 01943668920

This guide will:

Is a home lift right for you?

Also referred to as through-floor lifts or domestic lifts, a home lift is installed into your home to allow easy access from one floor to another. Whether you require access to multiple floors, have limited space or use a wheelchair, there are various models available.

Benefits of a Stiltz Home Lift

  • The ideal solution if you find using stairs difficult and you may be at risk of injury caused by a slip, trip or a fall
  • Gives you the freedom to move around your property with ease, enabling you to remain in your home as opposed to moving to a ground floor flat or bungalow. Relocating to another property can be expense with legal fees, stamp duty and removal costs
  • A more cost-effective option than building a bedroom / wet room on the ground floor of your existing property
  • A safe, reliable solution for wheelchair users if transferring independently is difficult or simply not possible
  • A practical addition to the home as they allow you to move heavy items between floors that you might otherwise struggle with on stairs
  • Add value to your home and are an attractive addition should you want to move

Home lift or Stairlift?

Home lifts are a safe, reliable, future-proofed alternative to stairlifts and are becoming increasingly popular. Consider the following points before you select a home lift or stairlift:

  • With a stairlift you will need to feel confident about transferring independently to a stairlift seat, especially at the top of the stairs
  • If your staircase is narrow and you have a stairlift, other members of the household may struggle to use the stairs safely, especially children or elderly family members. In some cases, a stairlift may not be suitable due to the design of your staircase.
  • If your condition is likely to worsen, consider your options for the future. If there is a chance you may have balance issues or problems using a stairlift seat, you may wish to consider a home lift in preference to a stairlift which is a future-proofed solution

Wheelchair Users

  • If you opt for a stairlift and you are a wheelchair user, you will require two wheelchairs, one upstairs and one downstairs. You will also need ample space at the top and bottom of the stairs to position your wheelchair
  • If your ability to transfer is likely to change in the future, a stairlift may not be the right solution

Applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant

You may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant through your local authority. A DFG is there to pay for necessary and appropriate housing adaptations to help you stay in your home and live an independent life.

Key Facts

  • A Disabled Facilities Grant is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • In Scotland you can apply for an equipment and adaptations grant
  • A Disabled Facilities Grant is means-tested but will not affect any other benefits you receive
  • Means-testing does not apply to disabled children under 18 so parents’ income will not be a factor
  • You must own the property or be a tenant, with the intention to stay there at least five years

Frequently Asked Questions 

What can a Disabled Facilities Grant be used for?
You can use a grant for a variety of adaptations. These can include widening doors, installing ramps and improving access to rooms. Funds can also provide a heating system which is more suitable for your needs that may include adapted controls, lighting and ventilation. For example, coal fires can be converted to gas and lower light switches or raised sockets could be introduced. If mobility challenges are more complex, telecare technology can provide a wireless solution for controlling lights and sockets.

What does means-tested mean?
Means-testing will determine whether an individual or family is eligible for a DFG in relation to income and savings. Even if a household knows its income is too high to qualify, it is still worth applying for a DFG as being ‘in the system’ could be beneficial in the future. Particularly if you have multiple ailments or a developing condition, a rejected grant application will be recorded along with paid contribution to works. This contribution can then be offset against further adaptations in the future in relation to a separate application – hence costing less. A subsequent application would need to submitted within 10 years of the preceding submission for this benefit to apply. You can find out more at: gov.uk

What grant amount will I receive?
The amount you receive will depend on your assessed contribution which is dependent on your household income and household savings over £6000. You may be granted up to £30,000 in England, £36,000 in Wales and £25,000 in Northern Ireland.

When will I receive payment?
You will receive payment in instalments as the work progresses or in full when the work is finished. The council will either give you a cheque to pass onto your contractors or pay them directly. This will be agreed once your application is approved. Payment will be made when the council is happy with the work and they have received an invoice from your contractors. Do not begin any work before your grant has been approved or this could affect your application.

How will I know if I am eligible?
If you or someone living in your house is disabled you can apply. You must own the property or be a tenant, with the intention of living there for a minimum of five years. The council must be satisfied that the work is ‘necessary and appropriate’ to meet the needs of the disabled person, and the request is reasonable and can be done. As an example, ‘reasonable’ means that the property needs to be fit for purpose so a home adaptation would work effectively. In the case of a home lift, if a property had woodworm, then this issue would need to be resolved before the DFG could proceed. If you are a tenant, you need permission from the landlord, or they can apply on your behalf. Find out more.

How do I apply?

You should contact your local council where applications are usually handled by the Housing or Environmental Health department. You can either apply directly or be referred by a social worker or occupational therapist.

How long will the grant take?

Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, Local Authorities should provide an answer to an application for a DFG as soon as is reasonably practicable, and no later than six months after the application is made. The actual payment of the DFG should take place no more than 12 months after the application was made.

Can I apply for additional funding?

The council can approve a discretionary ‘top up’ grant over and above the £30,000 limit if they wish. This is particularly the case for very disabled children where the adaptation will enable parents to care for their child as the alternative care costs in special care would be extremely high. These cases can be quite rare due to applications from other families. 

Occupational Therapists and how they can help

The role of the Occupational Therapist is to look at purposeful activities of daily living and to make activities possible through advice, equipment or adaptations. Adaptation can mean technique change or adaptation to your home or workplace.  Occupational Therapists will discuss your circumstances and assess what adaptations need to be made for you to live and independent life as much as possible.  The Occupational Therapist’s recommendations are important as they are often required as evidence that the home adaptations are essential. Your local council may send an Occupational Therapist to your home to carry out an assessment, or you can arrange an appointment through the NHS if you are in hospital.

For more information contact the Royal College of Occupational Therapists – www.rcot.co.uk / Telephone: 020 3141 4600

Legislation is on your side

We understand that you may be going through a period of adjustment and applying for a government grant may seem quite daunting. But please be assured there is legislation currently in place to support your application. We have included all of the information you need for a successful application and be sure you use legislation to your advantage.

Disabled Facilities Grant – A Mandatory Grant

A DFG is classed as a mandatory grant which means councils have a legal duty to honour this over and above all non-mandatory grants and council activity, such as funding parks and amenities. This means there should be very little possibility of you being told ‘no’ due to lack of funding. DFG’s are now part of the Better Care Fund (BCF). If you would like to know more visit: www.england.nhs.uk

Support from Social Services

Currently the local housing authority manages DFG provision and usually requests Social Services (primarily Occupational Therapists) to assess whether an adaptation is ‘necessary and appropriate’ to meet your needs. It must then be proven to be ‘reasonable and practicable’ (usually determined by the Local Housing Authorities) for the relevant home adaptations to commence. Read more here: www.foundations.uk.com.

Relevant Legislation – A Summary
The following Acts are there to help you. Being aware of what is in place will help your application.

 

Children’s Act 1989 –  Schedule 2

Within the Children’s Act 1989 Schedule 2, there are two sections to assist your application. Section 6 and section 10 state provisions should be made for a disabled child to lead as normal life as possible in the family home. A Stiltz Home Lift will enable your child to move around the house freely and ensure they aren’t separated from the family due to the inability to move between floors. 

It also states that a sibling of a disabled child should not be impacted by their brother or sister’s disability. Your Occupational Therapist will assess your home and make suitable recommendations for the whole family. A Stiltz Home Lift, unlike a stairlift does not encroach on the use of the stairs for other family members, meaning you can avoid the risk of trips and falls.

Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act 1970 Section 2

This Act states that Social Services should identify people with disabilities and assess their needs. They should inform you of the services they provide, which includes providing financial assistance to adapt the home for a child’s safety, comfort and convenience. (This act is still in place for children, for adults it has been replaced by the Care Act 2014). 

It also states that a sibling of a disabled child should not be impacted by their brother or sister’s disability. Your Occupational Therapist will assess your home and make suitable recommendations for the whole family. A Stiltz Home Lift, unlike a stairlift does not encroach on the use of the stairs for other family members, meaning you can avoid the risk of trips and falls.

Housing, Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 section 23

A DFG falls under this Act which includes what adaptations would be classed as eligible. It states that access to a bedroom, lavatory and bathroom is essential for a disabled person. A Stiltz Home Lift would safely enable access to bedrooms and bathrooms situated upstairs, meaning you could remain in your family home.

It also states that a sibling of a disabled child should not be impacted by their brother or sister’s disability. Your Occupational Therapist will assess your home and make suitable recommendations for the whole family. A Stiltz Home Lift, unlike a stairlift does not encroach on the use of the stairs for other family members, meaning you can avoid the risk of trips and falls.

Care Act 2014

Under the Care Act 2014, family members/carers are entitled to ask for an assessment if they think they require adaptations and equipment to assist them in the care of an elderly or disabled person.

Further information:

Contact Disability Living Foundation, a national charity which gives you impartial advice on independent living. www.dlf.org.uk

For more information on home lifts visit www.stiltz.co.uk

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