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Is your lift ready to return to work?

The UK population is ageing. With scientific breakthroughs and improvements in medical care, we live longer and, for the most part, healthier lives. While more of us will enjoy greater longevity it also means that increasing numbers of people will require some form of care in later lives.

Residential care in care homes and similar settings will be something that more people will experience. According to an estimate by Age Concern, there were 4,699 nursing homes and 6,023 residential Care homes in the UK as of 2017. If the country’s growing care needs are to be met these numbers will need to rise.

Care homes need to meet a range of standards when it comes to safety. Residents need to be able to move safely around the building, and with that in mind care homes will usually feature some kind of lift. It’s essential that the right lift is installed to meet the needs of a home’s residents, but how do you go about choosing the right lift for your premises?

The role of lifts in care homes

Accessible and easy to use lifts help to extend the mobility and independence of residents. For residents who require a high level of care, such as 1:1 or 2:1 carer assistance, using a lift helps to safely move residents around the building. Lifts not only assist residents, they also help carers to safely fulfill their duties, particularly when it comes to manual handling.

What types of lift are used in care homes?

The type of lift used in any care home will depend on the requirements of the residents and the layout of the building. There are two types of lifts that are most commonly used in care homes. While passenger lifts are the most desirable, a fact recognised in the building regulations, site constraints often mean they’re not practical.

Passenger lifts

Passenger lifts can accommodate a significant number of people and equipment. In care homes, the most common sizes are 13-person and 8-person models. These can travel efficiently over a number of floors allowing for safe, comfortable movement throughout the building.  Both have enough space to accommodate equipment such as a wheelchair.

Platform lifts

Platform lifts offer a potential solution where passenger lifts are not appropriate.  They can travel up to 12 metres, but at a steadier speed than passenger lifts, and are more suitable for occasional rather than continuous use. These can be a cost-effective option, but don’t offer as much space to transport residents and equipment throughout the property. Because of this, if it’s possible to install a passenger lift in your premises then it’s definitely desirable that you do so.

What to consider

There are a number of different issues you will need to consider before choosing a lift for your premises.

Firstly, what kind of mobility issues do you residents have? If mobility is very limited for some of your residents it’s important that the lift can accommodate their requirements when it comes to equipment and carers.

Residential care homes and nursing homes with a higher number of residents with severe mobility issues may not only require larger lifts, they may need a larger number of lifts to ensure that everyone can be moved around the building as efficiently as possible. It’s worth bearing in mind that accessing the lift space can take some time for residents with the most severe mobility needs.  In some instances, it may be urgent to move someone from one floor to another and if one lift is in use, this can lead to delays.

As well as considering mobility issues, it’s also important to bear in mind that residents can have sensory impairments or cognitive issues that present challenges when it comes to using lifts. Issues such as dementia in particular can make lift use problematic and worrying. In all of these circumstances the specification of the lift can have an impact. Controls should be easily understandable, and handrails clearly visible. Care should be taken with announcements so they’re not startling to residents with dementia.

Professional advice and guidance from Concept Elevators

If you’re considering installing lifts in your care home, Concept Elevators can provide professional advice and guidance. From installation to maintenance and modernisation, we provide our care home clients with a comprehensive service to support them in delivering care to their residents.

Contact us today to find out more.

Our Satisfied Customers

Case Studies

  • Wilko Retail Limited Breakdown & Repair
  • Orbit Housing Campion View Installation
  • The Walsall Housing Group Maintenance
  • Richmond Building University of Bristol Modernisation
  • The Guinness Partnership Mobility Access
Breakdown Project Summary

Concept Elevators has worked with Wilko for many years and has helped deliver a time critical service to keep their business moving. Almost every store has some form of lifting equipment, either a store passenger lift to move shoppers around, to a heavy duty goods lift receiving daily deliveries which are then moved quickly to the shop floor.

Wilko rely on Concept Elevators to deliver a response to priority calls of two hours to ensure downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. Our company has years of experience in working with high street retailers and fully understand the importance of a quick response.

Installation Project Summary

As the lift is vital component in an occupied building, it was important that the programme was short and ran fluently so the lift could be returned to service as soon as possible. The project ran for approximately six weeks from the moment the lift was taken out of service to the consultant witness testing and being handed back to the client. Prior to works commencing a pre-start meeting with the residents and staff over a buffet laid on by Concept, to go over the programme of works and mange the clients expectations throughout the project.

The works were carried out by a team of carefully selected sub-contractors who over a period of successful projects form a “close knit" team, that deliver in quality, speed and performance to a very happy client.

Maintenance Project Summary

Concept Elevators has partnered with WHG for twenty years and originally worked with the organisation when the lift portfolio was managed by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.

We support the group with the management of its lift portfolio which is considerable. Recently we have partnered with them to upgrade the two way communication in each of their lifts to benefit from new GSM technology. This removes the need for troublesome fixed telephone lines.

This upgrade ensures WHG can monitor all two way communication with its lifts and along with Concept Elevators can react quickly to any faults.

Concept Elevators are also a strong supporter of WHG’s social improvement plan. Recently we worked with the group to introduce an apprentice to our ranks via their tenant job finder scheme. This full story can be seen in our blog section.

Modernisation Project Summary

The Richmond Building was originally built in 1965 and remains one of the largest purpose-built students’ union buildings in
the UK, with a floor area equivalent to nearly 4 full-size football pitches and serves 8 floors.

The re-design of the £30 million project started 5 years ago.

Phase 1 was completed in March 2013, incorporating a new focal entrance foyer, swimming pool changing village, teaching and
administrative spaces to the upper floors & remodeled public realm.

Phase 2 was completed in December 2014 and boasts 200 new study spaces, with spectacular views across the city, two state-of-the-art theatres, two café bars, several activity rooms, a digital media
suite, dance studios, music studios and a refurbished gig venue, The Anson Rooms, with a capacity for over 1,000 people.

Mobility Project Summary

Concept Elevators has successfully worked with the partnership for many years and maintains over 300 mobility equipment devices in people homes. This ranges from stair lifts to through the floor home lifts.

Working to strict key performance indicators in areas such as response times and first time fixes, we ensure our services are continually improving in order to deliver the best service that is customer focused at all times.

A recent testimonial came in from the contract officer of the client which read “The housing officer visited site and he has advised me that the new stairlift was being fitted – that’s great service seeing I only ordered it yesterday! Much appreciated and many thanks for acting so quickly. The residents are both in their 90s so will be delighted.”