Grandma does not have to live on the ground floor any longer

Over the last 20 years, says Jamie Heathcote-Marks of the Building Centre at Cape Town, there have been regular enquiries for some relatively inexpensive system for carrying infirm people to the upper levels of homes.

“Obviously,” he said, “we could pass them on to the big lift companies but those installations are likely to involve a great deal of expense and take up space. Now we can offer them something far more suitable.”

This, he said, is a single chair mechanical lift that can be fitted to the side of virtually any type of staircase, including a spiral circular configuration. The system is known as Lifta and the SA company will install it for the client.

It was developed in the UK and Germany and has been available in SA for some time – but only now has it gone on display at the Building Centre. A working model will be in operation by mid-March.

Heathcote-Marks said that the operation of the lift can be controlled from either end or by the person sitting on it. There is, he said, no danger of an infirm person falling off the seat or of getting clothing or hands caught in the machinery.

Lifta systems are used throughout Europe and have been exported worldwide to over 40 countries.

The German headquartered group has companies in Austria and South Africa.

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