I had been experiencing great difficulty in getting up and down my stairs and concluded that a stairlift could be the only solution.
I tried telephoning the suppliers who include leaflets with every catalogue in the post, especially targeting the elderly or disabled, but immediately received hard sell tactics. I hung up every time but still got call-backs and had to be really rude to finally get rid of them.
After discussions with my physio-therapist – she wrote a detailed report about my extreme and even dangerous circumstances, which was submitted to Social Services, who put a company called Dolphin Lifts (Midlands|) Ltd in touch with me – the Council work with them on a regular basis.
Dolphin arranged for Steve Wilson to visit me – no pressure – no hassle – he just weighed up my particular needs and the staircase itself. He reported back to the Council and they agreed to supply a stairlift.
There was a visit to make sure there was no asbestos materials and a person later on came to photograph the stairs.
The photos were fed into a CAD/CAM machine which designed a purpose-built stairlift to fit my staircase exactly, apparently there are no two staircases alike. Other manufacturers had told me I would need a drop-down platform across the bend at the top of the stairs, which would increase the cost, but this was untrue!
I soon received an email from Dolphin to say the stairlift was on order and given a fixing date. Also, an appointment was made to install an extra power point.
On the appointed day, two engineers (Matt and Dave) arrived on time and soon the original bannister rail was removed and fixing began. It took about three hours. I was then given a ‘driving lesson’ and precise instructions on how to use the stairlift – a bit scared at first but soon got the hang of it. A quick clean up by engineers and they were away, leaving a perfectly happy customer.
The pleasant and polite attitude and understanding shown by all three engineers (and the young lady in the office), were perfect.
Steve returned a few days later to ensure I was happy with the stairlift and I assured him that Dolphin was a pleasure to deal with.
I would like to express my appreciation to my doctor, physio, Social Services, NHS and Birmingham City Council for their help in making all this possible. You all did a grand job!
Also, a special thank you to the Hockley Flyer readers and friends who encouraged me to persevere in my quest.
The Hockley Flyer editor is now truly ‘flying’ upstairs and downstairs’.
Stairlifts are just one of the many services that Dolphin provides – If you wish to contact them please visit their website: www.dolphinmidlands.co.uk