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July 19, 2011

Ageing elevates to new heights, with a marble finish if you like… residential elevators

by Prue Miller

Being forced to leave your home in the gin soaked twilight years is a real wrench for people who can still manage around their homes, but are stymied by the staircases involved. However even the weakest among us could manage a platform elevator or, (dare I even suggest such luxury?), a lift at home.

Because I never stop scheming about how I might one day renovate my home, I have been looking at how much it would cost to install a staircase that would allow me internal access from my underhouse garage. This seemed like a sensible plan for the days when I no longer find the allure of running up a slippery pebblecrete path in the rain, clutching the shopping and the soggy mail irresistible.

As many baby boomer adults will attest, stairs are not a long term solution. Amazing to me that I am even thinking about these ageing issues – however, as I look down at my gnarly finger joints, I can’t help but think that my knees will not please in just a few years to come. Be prepared! Look for the lazy person alternative.

I have moved on to look at stair chair lifts, which look pretty daggy  but would do the job, or a ‘through the floor’ lift, again daggy but even wheelchair proof, and finally looking at the  full fantasy –   a personal, private, shiny lift. How cool would that be? A lift! The ultimate grey accessory.

They were once only found in homes of the uber-rich, but now are more reasonably priced … especially when you consider the financial and emotional costs of moving home. The expression ageing in place usually refers to picking a residential or retirement centre that allows you to move up a notch, care-wise, at every step of disability. Renovating your home to cope with the challenges that may lie ahead makes the concept of ageing in place far more inviting.

Have a look at :

Easy Living (an Australian company)











The Lift Shop at








Or for some fun, look at this one from States:


The toll of an ageing society, that refuses to lie down and die

It was reported by ABC in Australia that  there has been a 50% increase in middle aged men (i.e. 45yr old -64yr old) falling off their bicycles, and experiencing life threatening injuries.

There is no mention of women in this group which I think proves that although middle aged women continue to stay fit they would  rather be caught dead than wear tip to toe fleuro lycra.  Let’s not even mention the hats…..

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