Domestic lifts specialist Stiltz Homelifts has helped to “transform” the life of a homeowner suffering from cerebral palsy which enables her to move from floor to floor at the touch of a button.
Emma Livingstone, 42, has learned to live with CP from a young age and, although it is not considered a degenerative condition by doctors, three years ago her ability to walk became extremely difficult.
The stairs became a huge challenge for her and she found it difficult to even lift her leg up and over a pavement curb.
“I used to struggle down the stairs in the morning and then I would wait for my husband to come home from work before going up again so he could help me,” she said.
She was eventually diagnosed with hip dysplasia. This meant Mrs Livingstone’s hip socket did not fully cover the ball portion of her upper thighbone so her hip joint was partially dislocated – a condition she was born with caused by the CP.
After undergoing hip reconstruction on her right hip, she returned home and spent the majority of 2016 recovering in a makeshift bedroom in the kitchen. Then her left hip started to suffer from a similar problem, resulting in her having a hip replacement in April of this year.
Before the operation, Mrs Livingstone and her husband considered downsizing to a bungalow but with three children this proved hard.
In the end, the couple decided to extend their property and buy from Stiltz Homelift, which offers freestanding domestic lifts.
The family had the Stiltz Trio Homelift model – which can accommodate a standard-sized wheelchair – installed in a space off the kitchen where it plugs straight into a domestic power socket from a self-contained motor with the lift travelling up ‘through the floor’ on self-supporting rails to a first-floor landing area.
With no hydraulics or load bearing walls required, the Stiltz team were able to install the Trio in less than a day with a simple hole in the ceiling all that was needed for the lift to be constructed and pass through between the floors.
Mrs Livingstone a, who is still on crutches, said: “We decided to prepare in advance of my last op and looked at moving to a bungalow but it was never going to be easy finding a property that could accommodate five people and bungalows are difficult enough to find anyway.
“Then when you consider the cost of stamp duty and moving costs, in the end, we decided to extend their house for more space and install the Stiltz which has transformed my life.
“It is not invasive, looks modern and provides me with easy access to the whole house. It is also great for transporting the washing and kids’ toys!”