Innovative new mobility aid keeps people active in own homes
Designed to aid individuals to ascend and descend domestic and commercial stairs safely and with ease, StairAID is a cost effective alternative to conventional powered stair lifts. The system consists of a handrail with a toothed strip running parallel beneath it, and a hand grip support section - available in left or right hand versions and different colours - which slides along it and locks in to place to pull on when ascending and lean on when descending.
Since the announcement of its launch in January of this year, Callington engineering and manufacturing company Crichton Manufacturing has seen interest grow in its StairAID mobility device, and has expanded its network of displayers and distributors so that more people can get to see it and try it out.
Non-powered and with no ongoing maintenance costs, the real innovation behind StairAID is the separation of the sliding and locking functions of the support section for a smoother and more positive action. The hand grip also allows for a variety of grips, and takes away the fear of falling forwards and pivoting over the single bar which some other systems use, especially when descending stairs.
StairAID now has over a dozen distributors, the latest being the Fay Pedler Physiotherapy Clinic in Plymouth. Crichton Manufacturing has installed a StairAID demonstrator unit at the Whiteford Road premises.
Leah Mears, Physiotherapist at the Fay Pedler Clinic, says: "It's an inspired design, we can't think why nobody has thought of it before. It has already improved access to the upper floors of the premises."
Clinic client Betty Anniss is also impressed with StairAID. She says: "You do need to practise using it, but once you've got the technique it's easy and it's especially good for coming down the stairs as it takes away the fear of toppling forward."
Andrew Crichton, MD of Crichton Manufacturing, says: “The best way of showing how StairAID works is to allow customers and distributors hands-on experience of it, and we're very pleased that the Fay Pedler Clinic has had a unit installed. It also shows how much less bulky the system is than a conventional powered stairlift.”
Andrew has now recruited a Business Development Manager for StairAID. Ian Morgan was previously Business Manager for Somerset Care Group.
Andrew, Ian and the StairAID team have also exhibited the system at trade and industry shows. In February they were at the Moving and Handling People expo in London, and at the beginning of May at the Naidex national Inspiration for Independent Living show at the NEC in Birmingham, where StairAID was a surprise hit.
“Well, not so much of a surprise to us,” says Andrew. “We believe in our product. We have used Crichton Manufacturing’s design and fabrication experience to make StairAID as good as possible, based on an already sound concept. What makes it worthwhile for us, gaining sales and new distributors aside, is the positive feedback we received at Naidex and especially from an ecstatic 9 year old girl who tells us that she has now found an alternative to a the conventional electric stairlift.”
More information about StairAID, and where to find distributors, can be found at stairaid.com.