As we age, there are many new changes that may occur – both to our health and our attitudes. With an aging population, the UK and the wider global community are being forced to invest more time, energy and resources into developing systems that can help these vulnerable persons live a long and comfortable life.
Stairlifts are a big part of this – but just what are the key findings about stairlift use in the UK?
The UK population
As with many developed countries or nations, the UK has what is known as an ageing population. This is where larger and larger proportions of the population are in their later years – something which puts increasing pressure on those of working age.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics claim there were more than 12,230 people aged over 100 years of age in England in Wales in 2012. This has increased from a mere 2,560 people 30 years ago with the number of people aged over 90 years tripling over a similar time period.
According to a poll by Anchor, 77% of adults think the UK isn’t ready to cope with the changes to its demographic. Although there have been recent changes to retirement ages and pension structures, the truth is that areas such as healthcare and housing are falling short of demand and this is something which needs addressing if elderly citizens are to get the life they deserve.
Stairlifts in the UK
One of the key ways in which individuals are coping with the difficulties of old age is through the fitting of stairlifts in their home. While there are no exact figures on the numbers currently owned or in-use, there are some statistics for us to review.
Some firms have reported as much as 5% increases in sales for the third year in a row as the aging UK population continues to grow. For this portion of our demographic, mobility issues (which can lead to the need for a stairlift) are commonplace.
The unfortunate fact is that many of these people do not always get the care they deserve. Even in 2001, more than three-quarters (78%) of elderly people with mobility problems said they got help or care from those living in their home or from spouses.
For those who live alone, this poses real problems and it’s hardly surprising that a number of elderly people move from their family homes as the approach later life. Unfortunately, care homes don’t always offer the support and financial viability they promise. In fact, a report on The Daily Mail from April 2014 claimed that thousands of care home residents were being told to ‘pay more or move out’.
A viable alternative
Instead of feeling the need to relocate when they get older and are no longer able to cope with common areas of difficulty, such as the stairs, elderly people could simply invest in a stairlift to help them retain their independence and live in the house they’ve grown to call home.
There are a fantastic selection of stairlifts available, including curved stairlifts which are designed to fit curved staircases as opposed to straight ones. With so much choice and a population that is continuing to age, the benefit of choosing these products is clear!