The results of a new survey, commissioned by Stiltz Lifts highlights an increasing desire among relatives of disabled people for them to enjoy living independently in their own home for as long as is sensible. Rather than ‘living downstairs’ it seems that people are more ready to accept the application of adaptations as an asset for their parents’ home.
As you would expect, safety was a hugely important factor, with nearly 40% of people saying that they would feel safer knowing their parents were travelling to the upstairs of their home in a home lift rather than a stairlift, according to the new study.
Researchers polled 2,000 adults aged 40 or over – all of them in contact with at least one parent that lives independently at home. The research shows the home lift market is catching up with stairlifts with popularity increasing as 788 of respondents revealed that they preferred their mother or father to use a partially enclosed home lift instead of an exposed stairlift (18% or 360 people did not believe their parent or parents would be any safer in a home lift, with 42% not sure.)
The research carried out by onepoll.com showed 69% agreed that their parent’s desire for independence was the most important thing to them with 13% stating they wanted to stay at home but make home modifications to make it more accessible.
The alternatives to loved ones living at home didn’t appear at all preferable to those surveyed. Moving to a care home and ceasing to live independently anymore (0.95%) or move into the family home (2%) were clearly not desirable options, although 2% of those polled said their parents would like to move to a care home but could not afford it.
Head of research at Strutt & Parker estate agency, Stephanie McMahon, revealed it had 117 properties on its books with reference of a ‘lift’. She said some homebuyers wanted a lift because of disability issues, while others were looking at it as a way of ‘future-proofing’ their home for use in later life.
Other reasons may also be behind the results of the survey. Firstly, relatives of disabled people, particularly sons and daughters, will undoubtedly understand the relationship between their parents and the ‘family home’. To lose the link with their parents being at home is a big step and on a practical note, it would also potentially deprive their parents of their long-established roots within their community such as friends and amenities (such as GP surgery) as well as the comfort provided by a familiar locale.