Three years ago when her parents said they needed to move closer to one of their children, Janis invited them out to Colorado, where she and her husband, Henry, had moved several years earlier for a lifestyle change. Her parents, Marilyn and Bill, were living in New Jersey at the time, so it was a big move in every sense of the word. But they were in their early 80s, and Marilyn had limited mobility; they needed the comfort and assistance of having loved ones nearby.
Luckily their home had a gracious walkout basement that the family finished as a suite for her parents. The only problem was figuring out a way for Marilyn, who couldn’t manage stairs, to get up to the main living space. That’s when they called Nationwide Lifts.
“We talked about an elevator, but decided that the stairlift would be the best option for us,” Janis says. Bill Scott, owner of Nationwide Lifts of Colorado, came by and gave them several options, offered advice and answered all their questions. In the end they went with the StepSaver Residental Stairlift, and it has been a perfect fit for the family.
“They use it every day,” Janis says of the stairlift. “Now Dad is using it too because his health has not been that great recently. In fact the other day he jokingly said, ‘They should have a double-seater so we wouldn’t have to spend so much time waiting for each other.’”
After three years of daily use, they recently had the lift serviced. “But it was still under warranty,” Janis says. “So it didn’t cost us a thing.”
Stair lifts come in all shapes and sizes, styles and colors. Manufacturers try to offer a wide variety of lifts to suit every staircase, every special need and every personal style. At the end of the day, however, the only truly important characteristic of a stair lift is that it works, that you can depend on it to get you from Point A to Point B so that you are not hampered by mobility issues.
When Peggy Pascal’s stair lift flooded and quit working, she was stuck – literally and figuratively. Her stair lift was an old Kunik brand, and the company that had installed it had since gone out of business. When she called the manufacturer to find out what she should do, she was given the phone number for Nationwide Lifts. And what she found on the other end of the line was not someone concerned about selling her a new model, but someone concerned about restoring her stairlift, and her freedom.
Within 24 hours Casey Dyon, general manager for Nationwide Lifts in Illinois, was at Peggy’s door, and had her stair lift up and running in no time. Peggy was so touched by Casey’s prompt attention to her predicament, over a stair lift that he hadn’t sold her or installed for her, she wrote him a thank-you note.
I wanted to write you a personal note to thank you again for your kindness and expertise. Your work is so very important and crucial to the welfare and independence of your customers. Your attention to my concerns were met with patience and sympathy. Thank you for being such a kind human being. I was so lucky to have found you.
It’s an eventuality that many will face: How to handle the circumstance of an aging parent who can no longer live alone. More Americans are choosing to bring their elderly parents into their home to live, rather than move them into a nursing home or other assisted living facility. Being able to keep a close watch over their aging loved one is a comfort, and many feel the duty — and privilege — to reciprocate some of the care and love they’ve received over the years from the parent who now needs them.
Such was the choice Ed and Patricia, a Leesburg, Va., couple, made regarding Patricia’s elderly mother. Ed, a structural engineer who moved to the United States from Holland in 1956, was happy to have Patricia’s mother move in with them, but knew their multilevel home would pose a challenge.
“She’s 99 years old,” he said. “She doesn’t walk the stairs anymore.”
They knew that welcoming their elderly mother into their home would be frustrating and confining for her if she her limited mobility forced her to stay on one floor. Luckily the couple found a solution in the Freedom 750 elevator. Once installed, the elevator provided Patricia’s mother with easy and independent access to every level of the house. She no longer was relegated to the first floor, and felt much more “at home” in her new living space.
Plus, Ed says, there are other benefits to having an elevator in the home.
“I don’t have to carry the heavy loads up and down the stairs,” he said.
Sounds like a win-win!
Want to learn more about the Freedom 750 elevator? Click here for details and dimensions.
Bill Cullen, owner of an architectural and planning firm in the San Francisco Bay area, spent more than a year designing and building a gorgeous five-level home for him and his wife. The plans included living accommodations for his 99-year-old mother-in-law as well. Because of her age and limited mobility, Bill needed a way for his five-story dream house to be accessible and wheelchair-friendly. But he didn’t want to sacrifice style to do it.
That’s why he called Nationwide Lifts.
The company promised that the installation of the Vision 450 elevator Bill wanted to purchase would not interfere with the design and aesthetic of the house. And it didn’t disappoint, Bill says.
“We designed the house with a spiral stairway, and so a hole was cut to the exact specifications of the stairway and the elevator was installed in two days,” he said. “It fits nicely.”
While Bill was pleased with the elevator’s design and functionality, his mother-in-law died before the home was finished and the Cullens moved in.
“She never had the privilege of using the elevator,” he said. “But my wife and I are in our 70s, so we’ll probably put it to good use.”
It’s a compact elevator by design — just 3 feet in diameter — and fits two people comfortably, he said. “I believe it to be the only one in Marin County and perhaps the North Bay.”
Want to learn more about the Vision 450 elevator? Click here for details, dimensions and pictures.
Watching a loved one struggle is nearly as difficult as being the one struggling. Just ask Jackie Johnson, whose husband, Stanley, suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. As Stan’s health worsened, the stairs leading up to their bungalow became increasingly treacherous, and Stan was spending more time confined inside.
“He isn’t really mobile,” Jackie says. “When he went up and down the stairs on occasion he has fallen because of his mobility issues with the Parkinson’s.”
Then one day Jackie saw a TV commercial for a stair lift, and the light bulb went on in her head. After researching her options she purchased the Indy Pinnacle from Nationwide Lifts, and in doing so opened a whole new level of freedom for Stan.
“It has really helped my husband’s mobility,” Jackie says. “Now he’s able to come from upstairs occasionally.”
The the stair lift also has become an unexpectedly helpful tool for Jackie — when she goes grocery shopping.
“I put my groceries on the lift and they go right up to the top of the stairs,” she says. “We live alone and it’s really a blessing to have this particular apparatus. I’m so glad I’m able to put the groceries on that chair.”
To learn more about the Indy Pinnacle, click here for details and dimensions.
Louise Spencer has had serious health issues for some time, but when she fell and broke her hip several months ago things really took a turn for the worst. The 78-year-old woman from Manlius, NY, spent the next six months away from the comforts of her own home. First she was treated in a hospital, and then moved to a nearby nursing home. One of the impediments to bringing her back home, said her son Gary Spencer, was the fact that she could no longer walk up the five stairs to the front door.
“She can’t lift her leg up,” Gary said. “She just can’t get it up high enough.”
The first solution Gary thought of was to build a wheelchair ramp, but that didn’t appeal to either of them.
“A wheelchair ramp would have been ugly,” said Gary, whose mother’s Cape Cod-style home sits in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. Plus, the building of a wheelchair ramp in the front yard would have necessitated the procuring of a building permit, a headache-inducing process Gary wasn’t interested in going through.
“But,” he said, “she’s homesick.”
So instead Gary started calling around for estimates on outdoor stair lifts. He spoke first with Andy Darnley, founder and owner of Nationwide Lifts, who quoted him a price for the Indy Outdoor, along with a quick timeline for delivery and installation. Gary thanked Andy and then, because he’s a savvy consumer, he called a Nationwide Lifts competitor, another local/national business with a solid reputation, he said. The quote they gave him was $1,000 higher than Nationwide Lifts’ price.
Within days Andy had the Indy Outdoor stair lift installed and ready for Louise’s long-awaited return.
“Andy showed up on time, he installed it, he was very easy to work with and he always answers his phone,” Gary said. “He took all the worry out of it.”
Gary is pleased with the aesthetics of the Indy Outdoor — “This is concealed very nicely; you could drive up and down the street and not notice it’s there,” he said — but he’s even happier to get his mother back into the house she’s lived in for 42 years.
“This was the route to get her back home,” he said.
Want to learn more about the Indy Outdoor stair lift? Click here for product details and dimensions.