Scots are being warned they are leaving it too late before taking steps to remain mobile and independent in their own homes.
Many are put off considering home improvements – like a stairlift – until their mobility problems have already significantly deteriorated, it is claimed.
It means in many cases, older people are missing the benefits of being able to move freely around their own home and can be eventually find themselves left without access to their own bedroom and bathroom.
According to Ian Thomson, of Lomond Stairlifts Ltd, which has launched a new stairlift service in response to rising demand, even people who are referred for a stairlift by their local health service can find themselves trapped on a long waiting list while their condition worsens.
“I have heard of people waiting months for a stairlift, and being virtually ‘trapped’ downstairs in their own homes, unable to get upstairs safely,” he says.
“In many cases, people end up sleeping in their living rooms or wash in their kitchen and using mobile toilets because they simply can’t get upstairs.
“But there is no need for that if they plan in advance and make sure you have the right equipment in place to improve the quality of their life as they age.”
Ian, a former police officer, who runs Troon-based Lomond Stairlifts Ltd, has just launched a new stairlift service after finding many customers making use of the business’s adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs were pointing out the difficulties of getting upstairs in their own home.
“I found people had put off considering a stairlift for far too long. It was often the last thing they thought about, when in fact, it probably should be one of the first.
“Being able to get up and downstairs safely is really important, and a stairlift can be fitted with much less fuss than they think.”
He points out that Lomond Stairlifts Ltd can fit a straight stairlift within seven days of it being ordered, and just two weeks if it’s a bespoke stairlift specially designed to cope with curved or ‘awkward’ staircases.
Once in place, it can transform lives, bringing easy access to upper floors which might otherwise be out of bounds due to a range of conditions.
“I come across people with poor circulation, osteoporosis, arthritis and all kinds of mobility problems such as amputations, who almost all tell me they wish they had installed their stairlift sooner.
“Because we’re a Scottish company with a good relationship with the three key stairlift manufacturers – Stanna, Acorn and Companion – we are able to negotiate trade prices as well as provide a caring and trusted service.
“Often customers are worried about the costs,” he adds. “But by installing a stairlift in good time, they get the best value for their money – and soon find their independence is really valuable.”
If you have concerns about your mobility now or in the future, contact New Life Mobility to find out how a stairlift or other mobility aids could improve your lifestyle. Visit www.lomondstairlifts.co.uk