It is such a shame when an elderly family member becomes less able to manage routine household tasks and really struggles to get up the stairs to use the bathroom or get to bed.
Of course you could go to a reputable BHTA stairlift distributor to be assessed, measured and supplied with either a new or a used stairlift, but they are all so terribly expensive…… aren’t they?
Well I guess that is down to what the perceived value of that service is.
A British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) member will ensure that the stairlift, be it new or used, will be fitted in accordance with the relevant safety standards and will be suitable for the client and the household. Invariably it will fitted by a fully trained engineer and will be covered by a warranty to repair any faults discovered after the installation.
The alternative can, to start with, save a few pounds. You could look in the local paper or on e-bay on the internet to find a cheap used stairlift. It may not be quite the right fit and it may have originally been on the other side of the stairs. But that’s OK when your next door neighbour or your nephew has been to college and studied ‘engineering’. They will be able to fix it I am sure, they have their own tools and all that stuff.
The ‘Friend’ who installed this stairlift had spotted that it was possible to mount the footplate on the opposite side. However, they had not been trained to know that if you do that, you must change the safety edges to work in the correct direction. You also need to change the seat to stop it swivelling down the stairs and creating a falling hazard, the seat swivel switch had also been bypassed because it swivelled the wrong way.
So a few pounds saving could very easily have caused a significant injury to the user or their family. This is not an isolated incident. At TPG DisableAids Ltd we see this type of scenario more frequently than ever before.
The short term saving actually ended up costing this client a complete replacement stairlift as the original had been damaged beyond economical repair by the cowboy installer. Thankfully we had been called in to do a repair before someone was seriously injured.
Oh Dear, Oh Dear !!