Tag Archives: medical alert pendants

The History And Evolution Of The Stairlift


As people age simple tasks like climbing a flight of stairs becomes increasingly difficult.  Now with modern technology to aid you in the form of stairlifts, you can overcome the fear and risk of falling down stairs.  It may surprise you, however, to learn that stairlifts can be dated all the way back to the 16th century.  Yes, in the late sixteenth century none other than the infamous Henry VIII can be tied to the history of the stairlift.  Among the many fascinating things Henry VIII possessed was a ‘chair that goeth up and down’.  Having sustained a nasty injury jousting in 1536 Henry VIII likely suffered from brain trauma that contributed to his obesity.  Along with his brain trauma he also had a nasty wound in his calf that never healed properly.  With these jousting injuries causing him pain and adding to his ever increasing waistline, Henry VIII needed a great deal of assistance getting around his palaces.  He had several wheeled chairs for general movement, but for stairs something else was needed.  Henry VIII had a chair attached to a platform that his servants hauled up stairs with block and tackle.  Thus, the first ever recorded stairlift was born.

Not all of us are wealthy enough to pay an entire team of servants to get us up and down a flight of stairs safely.  Fortunately, for those of us with slightly smaller funds than Henry VIII there are now mechanical stairlifts to do the job.  An American engineer designed the first modern stairlift for an ailing friend in the 1920s.  C.C. Crispen, who was a self-taught engineer, was saddened by the fact that his friend was confined to the upper floor of his house while recovering.  He decided to design a chair that climbed stairs and so in 1923 he built the first stairlift in his basement.  It ran on regular house current was used initially by many polio sufferers.  Crispen went on to build home elevators and wheelchair lifts.

Around this time Leslie Stannah was also in America.  This British engineer worked for his family company that had been founded in 1867 and built mechanical hoists and cranes in London.  Leslie Stannah moved to America in 1925 to further his engineering skills before he returned to England to work with other lift manufacturers.  By 1975 Stannah was designing and building its first line of stairlifts.  In 1976 the first curved rail stairlift was invented.  It operated with a single tube rail.  In 1997 Stannah introduced the revolutionary concept of twin rails that is still used in curved stairlifts today.

Henry VIII may have been able to afford a ‘chair that goeth up and down’ powered by servants, but you can rent a battery powered stairlift that runs for three years without any grumbling.  Unlike servants you can rent stairlifts for as long as you need them and return it when you done using it.  You can even sell your stairlift back if you have decided to buy one and no longer need it.  Plus, Henry VIII probably didn’t have buttons to push on his chair and who doesn’t like pushing buttons?  So the next time you use your stairlift you can sit tall knowing that you are a part of a long history dating back to Henry VIII himself.

Now you can have a Stannah stairlift with all the most modern features.  The footrests and armrests can be folded out of the way.  For safety the stairlift comes with a seat belt and sensors that can detect obstructions on the stairs.  Stannah stairlifts are battery powered and will work even after power has been lost.  The battery also means that the stairlift is quiet and incredibly smooth when operating, much better than being hauled up the stairs by servants.

Stairlifts are hugely beneficial to the lives of the elderly and they can give great happiness and independence to those who need it best. They are always growing in technology and continually creating and producing new models to give the safest, most effective and best mobility for the elderly stairlift user. Renting a stairlift is an increasingly popular and financially stable option in which you can give the lift back after a set time period. We also design and produce bespoke stairlifts to fit your needs as well as to fit your staircase.

Senior Safety Tips: 5 Ways to Prevent Falling


How safe is your elder loved one from falling?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls have become the leading cause of injury and death for people 65 years old and older. In 2008, approximately 19,700 seniors died because of fall-sustained injuries and more than 1.6 million seniors were admitted to the hospital for hip fractures and other injuries.

Although a serious risk at any age, falling is a more common problem for the elderly population because of  bone fragility, bone loss and osteoporosis.

What causes the dangerous tumble?

There are many factors that can lead to a fall.  Here are some reasons why older people fall more often.

Medications. Taking multiple medications can increase the risk of falling; sedatives, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs included.

Lack of exercise. Failure to move about and exercise regularly leads to poor muscle tone and loss of balance.

Not wearing prescribed glasses. As one grows older, age-related vision diseases emerge. Impaired vision might make the senior bump into objects that will lead to the fall.

Medical conditions and surgeries. Health conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease cause extreme weakness, cognitive impairment, pain and discomfort. It will make the elderly person lose his grip and and lose balance.

Environmental hazards. 41.4% of accidents among the elderly happen at home.

Ways to eliminate the risk of falling

Not every fall can be prevented, but here are 5 ways to decrease the chance of falling.

Review medications.
It is best to find out the possible side effects and adverse effects of the medications your elderly loved one takes. Certain medications can cause dizziness, confusion, sudden sleepiness that might affect the coordination and balance of a person. Some medications do not work well together.

On your next visit to the doctor, bring the prescribed medicines, vitamins, minerals and herbal products taken to ensure the senior’s safety.

Be physically active.
Nothing beats regular exercise. Physical activity is the first line of defense fractures and falls. It can enhance the senior’s coordination, increase flexibility and give them the ability of staying steady on their feet. Some simple exercises include the heel-to-toe walk or the flamingo stand. These simple exercises should be done next to a person or railing that can be used for balance when your loved one becomes unsteady.

A senior should also not engage in rigid exercises, unless recommended by the doctor. Gentle, at-home exercises just might do the trick.

Check vision.
Remedy vision problems that are already present. Have your elderly parent visit the doctor to check if he or her vision has already changed. Even a small change in vision can affect the balance of your loved one.

Make sure that your parent is also wearing his or her prescribed eyeglasses so that they can see their surroundings clearly.

Visit the doctor regularly.
Getting regular check-ups can give the doctor a view of the senior’s overall health. The doctor may then prescribe new medication or issue a new pair of eyeglasses as he or she deems necessary.

Build a fall-proof environment.
Make your home a hazard-free zone for your elder loved one by changing some personal lifestyle factors that may promote falling.

  • Install grab bars in the shower or bathroom
  • Make sure stairs and handrails are sturdy
  • Choose safe footwear
  • Keep the place well lighted to aid vision
  • Remove any furniture not needed. Remaining furniture must not be sharp around the edges
  • Keep rugs tacked to the floor
  • Frequently used items should be within reach
  • Electrical cords must be kept away, and not trailing across the floor
  • Set up a medical alert system for your elder loved one


Let me ask now, how safe is your elder loved one from falling?


About the Author

Based in San Diego, California, Melissa Page is a professional writer and marketer who works with successful companies such as the ICan Benefit Group. When she is not writing, she plays bowling with her friends.



Medical Alert Pendants for Senior Citizens

Medical alert pendants are simple and affordable way to protect senior citizens who live alone. Every year thousands of senior citizens are injured from fall and slip accidents. Without immediate medical attention, many of these accident victims can suffer more severe injuries and even death.

Please see our buyer’s guide for a complete guide to choosing the right medical alert system by clicking here.

We strongly recommend purchasing a reliable medical alert system for any elderly individual who is at risk of fainting or falling due to muscular weakness or other conditions. The fact is that a senior citizen is much more likely to have to be hospitalized because of the fall. The longer a fall victim is without medical attention, the more serious their injuries can be.

With a medical alert system installed in your parents or grandparents home, they can get instant access to medical assistance – or simply get in touch with friends or relatives who can help them in their time of need. It’s really important that when you get a system like this for your elderly loved one that they fully understand how the system works. Many elderly people are worried that by pushing the button they will be forced into an ambulance against their will and taken away! You need to sit down with them and explained that they are completely in charge with the medical alert device.

The only time the police department, fire fighters or ambulance will come to their house is when there’s an actual emergency. It’s a monitoring station that responds when the medical alarms activated. As long as they can communicate with someone in the house and can assess the situation as a non-emergency they will not automatically call 911.

When you purchase the system you will be asked to give them specific instructions as to what to do and who to call in the event that someone pushes the panic button. You’ll be asked to give them a list of names and phone numbers of people to contact in the event the elderly person needs help. Make sure you give them a complete list of nearby neighbors and friends, priests, rabbis, etc.

This way, when the button is pushed in the monitoring company calls into the house via a very loud speaker phone Monitor which which is included with the system, the trained monitoring station employee can quickly connect the person looking for help with the right resource. They can easily send out text messages, e-mails, or telephone calls to whomever you specify every time the alarm button is pushed.

A reputable monitoring company will regularly test the monitoring station which is installed in a central location at the elderly persons house. This monitoring station is hooked up to a landline telephone line and is activated when the medical alert pendant button is pushed. The monitoring stations should be located within a central location in the house. Be sure to speak to the representatives about getting the proper strength signaling device if your parent or grandparent lives in a very large house.

Most of the devices on the market are not equipped for long range use. Once the senior citizen leaves the house and gets about half a block away the device will no longer function. This isn’t usually a concern as long as they’re carrying a cell phone. If they’re suffering from dementia than you want to have a different type of device to track them in case they wander away from the house. See our report on wandering devices to protect seniors with cognitive disabilities.

Our top recommendation for a reliable medical alert system is LifeStation. ElderKind is proud to be affiliated with this outstanding company which has a long record of providing outstanding service to senior citizens.