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Amazing facts you never knew about stairlifts

23rd April 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Stairlifts have become such a big part of everyday life for the country’s elderly and those with mobility problems that sometimes they almost get forgotten about. Their contemporary designs mean that they are quieter, more comfortable and more discrete than ever before, but don’t let stairlifts fade into the background; here are some fun and fascinating facts you might not have known about stairlifts.

History
Anyone who has ever thought about purchasing a home stairlift may have also thought about where they came from. The first recorded instance of the use of a stairlift was by Henry VIII when his well-known weight issues became too much for his servants. It is thought that whilst jousting, the famed overweight king sustained an injury and was unable to make it up the stairs of Whitehall Palace.

As his servants were unable to carry the 30-stone king up and down the stairs through pure strength alone, a form of a stairlift was created at the palace to improve the monarch’s mobility and ability to move around.

Media
As such an integral part of everyday life these days, it is understandable that stairlifts have made it into popular culture and the media. Alongside numerous films, stairlifts have also been featured in soap operas such as Emmerdale and chat shows including the Paul O’Grady Show, where a stairlift was installed to enable guests to easily make it down the show’s stairs.

Renowned actor Dustin Hoffman has even endorsed the mobility aid, having acted in comedy drama Quartet where a stairlift was featured.

Stairlifts even seem to have made an impression on the music industry, having featured in popular virtual band Gorillaz’s 2012 music video ‘Do Ya Thing’. Not only has a stairlift made it into a popular music video, but it is a 2D music video which can be watched on YouTube.

Health Benefits
While it is known that stairlifts and affordable rise and recliner chairs can reduce the risk of falls and therefore improve the health and mobility of their users as they put less pressure on their bodies, mobility aids are also proven to hold great mental health benefits too. As people regain a sense of independence and are able to access all parts of their home, their level of anxiety is dramatically reduced.

Stairlifts can also help as a small aid to get their users moving around the home, providing a new sense of mobility they hadn’t been able to achieve before, thus improving their wellbeing and sense of determination to keep moving.

The weird and wacky
The benefits of stairlifts may be well-known by the human community, but they are now even being realised by our four-legged friends as people have started installing dog and cat stairlifts. The world’s first dog stairlift was recently unveiled as “Stair of the Dog 2022” by UK insurance company More Than and cost the dog’s owner about £5,000.

While this stairlift is more about raising awareness of bad pet-ownership that leads to overweight dogs than the reduced mobility of the nation’s elderly, it certainly makes for an amazing fact about stairlifts and an interesting invention that dogs will hopefully never need. It has a paw-friendly button so that the pet can operate the lift themselves as it has a lift feature leading to a dog basket-like seat for the canine to sit in as they are carried to the top or bottom of the stairs.

Image Credit: Lisby (flickr.com)