In-home lifts raise life possibilities

A common trigger for abandoning the family home are the stairs.

FREEDOM: A freestanding lift that transports a motorised, wide wheelchair can be installed in a seemingly small space.

FREEDOM: A freestanding lift that transports a motorised, wide wheelchair can be installed in a seemingly small space.

As mobility becomes impaired through age, illness or accident, stairs no longer suit and instead can become a barrier to access.

Five years ago, engineer Vern Cottee was making plans for his new home and decided to install a lift, anticipating potential mobility issues as he and his wife aged.

CONVENIENT: The Residential Lift Company has several models designed to be fitted into an existing home which can be retrofitted.

CONVENIENT: The Residential Lift Company has several models designed to be fitted into an existing home which can be retrofitted.

While researching models and designs, he came across the Residential Lift Company, established in 2004 by Tasmanian-based couple Peter and Rosemary van Emmerik.

Cottee was so inspired by their innovative lift designs, he flew to Hobart to meet the van Emmeriks, then became the companys NSW distributor.

The Residential Lift Company (ResiLift) offers several Australian designed and manufactured options, including walker and wheelchair-friendly models and dual entry designs.

All ResiLift models are retrofitted into existing homes and are freestanding, meaning theres no need for a lift shaft or significant works to modify house structure.

ResiLift is committed to providing affordable, compact lifts which can fit into an existing home and which comfortably meet Australian Standard and National Construction Code safety criteria.

Two things make the lifts exceptional, according to Mr Cottee.

First, because of Peter van Emmeriks safety features, the lifts can be installed in open plan. Second, hes kept all the primary safety features as analogue functions, which means theyre always active and cannot fail.

Cottee says the feedback from customers make his role as NSW distributor very satisfying.

The people who benefit most are those with mobility problems, he said.

The bulk of the Residential Lift Companys work involves retrofitting a ResiLift into an existing home for both ageing and disabled clients.

NDIS funding may be available to assist with the cost of installing a wide-wheelchair lift, depending on a recipients plan.

For home owners, the numbers can add up, too.

The cost of installing a ResiLift is usually less than the cost of stamp duty clients would have paid if they moved house.