Caring for a person with a disability is a lifelong commitment. After all, you’ll be helping a loved one lead a more comfortable, independent life. Part of caregiving is empowering your loved one with knowledge of the services, solutions and products that exist to break down limitations and improve their circumstances. It’s not about what a person with a disability can’t do, it’s proving to them what they can do.
Liora of Hempstead, New York, discovered Mobile Stairlift through her husband. The couple were immediately taken with how the stair chair helped Liora regain access to public and private spaces. We caught up with her husband to find out how this stair chair changed not only Liora’s life, but his life too.
Mobile Stairlift: Hi, thanks for joining us! Please tell us a little more about yourself, and Liora, the loved one you care for.
My wife, Liora, and I have been married for 43 years and been through a lot together. Liora was working as a teacher and I am retired, which means I’m now in charge of babysitting, cooking, household maintenance and all kinds of things. I don’t clean the floors though! We have the joy of living in a fairly big house with our daughter, son-in-law and two fantastic grandsons, 5 and 2 years old. It’s a vibrant house.
Before Mobile Stairlift came into the picture, what difficulties would Liora experience on a daily basis?
We experienced a rapid change in circumstances, unfortunately. Basically, Liora’s breast cancer returned after several years, and she was about to start chemotherapy. The basement of the house is our apartment — it’s completely finished with bedrooms, a small living area, a kitchen and a bathroom. On the day of her first blood work, in preparation for chemo, Liora simply collapsed on the stairs. Fortunately, I was there and Liora didn’t fall down the stairs — she collapsed on the landing. That’s where we were stuck. We had to call an ambulance and it turned into a two-week hospital stay as the result of a blood clot in the lungs and further complications.
When Liora was discharged she was unable to walk, nevermind being able to get up and down stairs! Liora was brought home in an ambulance and the crew took her downstairs in what was basically a glorified lawn chair with handles. In the ensuing week, Liora regained a little mobility, but not much. The problem now was that we had to go to the hospital for blood work on one day, and chemo the next. Our only option was to call medical transportation, as we couldn’t get Liora up the stairs. This cost us about $175 one way, and so we were spending $700 a week just on transportation!
How did you hear about Mobile Stairlift and what convinced you it was the right choice for Liora?
After seeing the “lawnchair” the ambulance team used, I figured there had to be a better way. I was searching the internet for prices and looking into the details of having a chair lift with rails installed, when I found this amazing alternative. In our house we have three small sets of chairs, each of about 10 stairs each. We also have stairs leading into the house and there is no way to live here without conquering the stairs. If we’d used the most common type of stair chair — one with rails — we’d have faced three different installations and still not have solved the problem of getting into the house in the first place! So, the stair chair with rails was not an option.
Another aspect people may overlook, is how portable the Mobile Stairlift is. When we visit our other daughter, I simply put the chair in the car and take it with us. Stairs are no longer a consideration for us.
How has Liora adapted to the Mobile Stairlift?
I honestly thought my wife would be terrified of it, but that wasn’t the case at all! The chair feels so safe when we’re using it that she had no qualms about riding on it.
Please tell us how it has positively impacted both Liora and your lives.
There are so many ways that this chair has helped, it would take a while to list them all. But the benefit that’s changed our life most radically is perhaps not the most obvious. As I mentioned, we live with our two grandchildren, who are 5 and 2 years old. It was very hard for them when their Grandma was in hospital, and when she came home it was also difficult for them that she couldn’t join us for our evening meal as we usually did. Liora simply could not get up the stairs and was basically a prisoner in our downstairs apartment.
The first time I brought Liora upstairs for dinner after getting the Mobile Stairlift, the kids literally danced with joy! The impact on Liora was also phenomenal. I said to the eldest, “You guys are like medicine for Grandma — you make her feel so much better.” Without hesitation he replied, “Medicine, like in the hospital, but that is medicine for the insides. We are medicine from the outside.”
The change in Liora when she transitioned from being a basement apartment prisoner to regaining access to the family setting was truly amazing. The mobile stair chair was worth it just for that!
Could you elaborate on some of the difficult situations that Mobile Stairlift has solved or made easier?
We now have our freedom back. The stairs are no longer a barrier, and lifting that burden has been wonderful. Of course, there is also the cost factor! Mobile Stairlift is so much cheaper in the long run. It was also ready to use, straight out of the box. All we needed to do was to charge the battery for two hours. Who knows how long a rail-type stair lift would have taken to find and install? Not to mention the fact that a rail-type stair chair’s installation is permanent and intrusive.
How has this new-found independence helped Liora?
I’d say she’s found freedom, not so much independence. Want to go upstairs? Okay, done! Need to get to a doctor’s appointment (of which there are many now)? No problem!
Before, we had to phone and book ambulance transport, hope they arrive on time and be ready 30 minutes before in case they arrived early. Traveling in the back of an ambulance was an ordeal in itself. The people providing the service were nothing but fantastic and courteous, but they were still strangers at a time when Liora was fully aware of what’s going on, just incapable of conquering the stairs. It wasn’t pleasant.
Do you find that you also have more time to recharge/take better care of yourself because of Mobile Stairlift?
Fortunately, we live in an extended family setting, so it’s not such a problem for me. I do really appreciate now being in control of our own situation. You never realize how important stairs are in everyday life until they become an issue.
Would you recommend Mobile Stairlift to others in your situation? If so, why?
The question is phrased as if I haven’t already recommended Mobile Stairlift to just about everyone! I’ve shown it to many people — especially the nurses and therapists that have been visiting on a regular basis. They all love it and think it’s an amazing product.
The chair is the answer to our mobility problems. I’ve been around machinery a lot. This stair chair doesn’t cut corners on the quality and strength of materials used, and how they’re assembled. Considerable thought and planning has gone into it, and try as I might, I can’t think of a way to improve it.
Liora, myself and our family thank you for making this available. I would also like to add that I was desperate to obtain the chair, and you facilitated that — even when my own family was calling me crazy! Thank you.
As Liora’s family have proved, you don’t need to sacrifice your own life when you’re caring for a loved one. With Mobile Stairlift, you get the support you need to take care of yourself, while your loved one gains the freedom and the peace of mind that comes with it.
Mobile Stairlift is a stair chair designed to transport riders up and down stairs, safely and efficiently. It’s lightweight, portable, and comes ready-to-use with no track needed. Discover how easy it is to operate and why it’s the safest, most adaptable, and cost-effective mobility equipment on the market by downloading our brochure.