The latest collaboration I wrote with Diary of a Disabled Person illustrates just one of many ways that England and South Africa vary with respect to their Disabled Communities. Having recently returned from England a week ago, something I have come into contact more than in South Africa is stairs inside homes and other buildings (perhaps it is just something to do with where I was but the fact remains nonetheless). While a lot of these places had lifts for wheelchair-users and others who might need a lift, it got me thinking: if I want to move to England, what would I do about stairs in my home?
Now that I’m back in Cape Town, I decided to set myself on the case and do a little digging. In my research, I came across a UK-based company, Stairlift Guru, who set themselves up to help combat the dreaded, universal curse of wheelchair-users: stairs. From what my digging dug up, Stairlift Guru helps the ‘stair-challenged’ to hunt for, compare, and contact companies that would then install a stairlift for them.
Why not a normal lift?
In a residential setting, I think the answer would be pretty obvious: space. A person’s home, generally, is a fraction of the size of a bank, museum or other public building. Having a traditional lift, then, would take up too much physical real estate to make it a feasible option. Moreover, traditional lifts are vastly more expensive. A stairlift, while not necessarily perfect for wheelchair-users, is significantly cheaper in a variety of ways.
So, I want one. What next?
There are various opinions as to whether a stairlift is a good idea. Ultimately, though, no-one knows your body better than you do and what you feel comfortable with. While I wholeheartedly recommend getting advice on the matter should you wish to, the decision is ultimately yours and yours alone. If you want to investigate the idea of a stairlift and you are in the UK, I can’t see how giving Stairlift Guru a look could hurt.
Since my first trip to England in 2015, I’ve noticed the differences in the ways the South African and English government assist their Disabled Communities. While South Africa does have a Disability Grant Program it has its significant drawbacks. England, by contrast, seems to strive to help disabled people in all aspects of their lives. Despite my investigations since then, something that I didn’t know until I came across Stairlift Guru’s website was the existence of a Disability Facilities Grant in addition to all the other ways that the government already endeavours to combat ableism.
Useful links I came across.
If you’d like to find out more about Stairlift Guru’s abilities and recommendations, click here.
For concise, useful information on the Disability Facilities Grant, see Stairlift Guru’s article.