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How can a homelift help with independent living?

Andy McErlean and his Stiltz homelift

Champion tennis player Andy McErlean knows all about making the very best of what life gives you.

The former soldier, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, was just 19 years old when he was involved in a car accident while posted to Germany, which resulted in him becoming a fulltime wheelchair user.

But while facing up to a spinal fracture and lower-limb paralysis, Andy continued to follow his love of sports and won wheelchair tennis titles at the Paralysed Veterans of America Games and two Invictus Games, amongst others. He’s also supported Team GB as a “training hitter” at two Paralympics.

But even star para-sports heroes can need assistance to get the best out of every day. Andy, 54, and his wife Cathy, a primary school teacher, recently extended their dormer bungalow into a two-storey, four-bedroom home, and the key to making the property accessible for Andy has been the installation of a homelift.

“It’s a game-changer,” says Andy.

Stiltz homelift for independent living

“Now I don’t have to transfer on and off from my wheelchair onto a stairlift, especially at the top of the stairs, which always felt unsafe. Plus, if I forget something upstairs or downstairs, I can get it quicker. The lift looks great and contemporary, so it matches our new home, too.”

Andy has a Stiltz Trio+ Homelift, which can accommodate a passenger using a wheelchair or other mobility aids and travel between floors in 30 seconds. It is tastefully situated in an alcove. Other one-person models take up no more space in a room than a small armchair. Once building work has been completed, a Stiltz Homelift can typically be installed in a day.

Moving on from tennis in recent years, the sporting focus for Andy is now the fast-growing sport of pickleball, which is similar to tennis but played with paddles. He’s already a champion in that, too, winning gold in the wheelchair event at last year’s English Nationals.

Stiltz is the UK’s leading homelift provider. The company manufacturers, supplies and installs a range of models in different sizes and for different needs.

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