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Stairlifts on the screen

24th July 2014


Stairlifts are incredibly useful mobility devices that enable older people across the world to not only retain a sense of independence, but to carry out a full and happy lifestyle. As such, they have become an increasingly common sight in everyday life, making the homes of millions of people more accessible and mobility friendly. Therefore, it may come as no surprise that they have encroached on many different media forms and other such life representations.

See your new stairlift another way by taking a look at these fantastic media adaptations.


This incredibly beautiful 2009 Disney film not only showcases an older generation, but it also celebrates them. Few other films in today’s society are hugely entertaining whilst breaking down misconceptions about older people. Popular across all age brackets, this heart-warming film is about a 78-year-old man who ties balloons to his house in order to fulfil a lifelong dream to visit South America and his journey will make people think twice about the elderly people in their life after watching.

The stairlift scene shows character Carl’s morning routine. He is able to go down and eat breakfast thanks to his trusty, if not slightly worse for wear-looking stairlift, but you can get one that is a little more reliable today!


The Paul O’Grady Show

It is not just Hollywood that has used stairlifts to portray the older generation, as everyone’s favourite Channel 4 show host even had one installed. Paul O’Grady MBE actually had a stairlift installed on his chat show in order to help his slightly older and less mobile guests get down the tricky stairs on the show. As reported in this previous Handicare article, the stairlift installed by Paul O’Grady is not only a practical solution on the show, but it also promotes the use of such aids and shows how they can benefit the lives of older residents in the UK.


The 1981 film Arthur starring Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore is a popular romantic comedy and the original film even stars a stairlift! The popularity of this film and storyline is evident in its 2011 remake starring Russell Brand, but what many people fail to remember is that the original also features a brilliant stairlift scene that highlights how far the technology has come today. As you can see from this clip, stairlifts are, thankfully, a lot quicker now!


Cloud Atlas

Stairlifts have even made it to the top of Hollywood, with 2012’s Cloud Atlas starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent even featuring a couple of this most useful of mobility aid. Broadbent’s character lives in a nursing home, so the Dunbartonshire location was fitted with two stairlifts for the three-day shoot.

Fitted with two stairlifts, one for the hallway and one for the garden, the film really shows how such mobility aids can help improve the lives and independence of elderly residents in nursing homes and their own personal accommodation.

Phoenix Nights

While Channel 4 sitcom Phoenix Nights is more known for its comedic value than its promotion of the plight of the elderly and those with mobility difficulty, in one episode it does just that. In this particular episode, Peter Kay’s character is coming down the stairs in his stairlift when it suddenly stops due to a power cut. While a great comedic trick, this is something that would hopefully never happen today as most stairlifts now come with a battery backup feature to be used in such an event – and don’t worry – all Handicare stairlifts come with that all-important backup battery!



Another great example of Hollywood using stairlifts to their advantage is in Dustin Hoffman’s 2012 film Quartet. Also starring Billy Connelly and Maggie Smith, the film features a home for retired musicians in which a stairlift is used. Billy Connelly was even known to get quite a kick out of the mobility aid where Hamish Shephard, whose family owns the private estate off of Hedsor House where the film was set, said in jest in this local article, “Billy Connolly spent a few days whizzing up and down on it. I don't know what my grandparents would think of that.”

Two and Half Men

Finally, it is not just British TV shows that have seen the usability of stairlifts, as American sitcom Two and Half Men starring Ashton Kutcher even featured the device. As shown in this scene, Kutcher’s character had a stairlift installed to help character Alan when he was getting over a heart attack. Sadly, many stairlift users come to using the device through such unfortunate circumstances, but luckily mobility devices such as the stairlift and walk in shower or bath tub can be a huge help in the recovery process and enable people to get on with their everyday lives once more.

Image Credit: Josh Hallett (


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