DFG design vision:


A Stiltz Homelift empowers the life of a visually-impaired user

Craig Mucznik, 47, from Nottingham, is once again able to live with independence and dignity at home as a result of installing a home lift funded by a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

In 2005, accountant Craig was involved in a serious motorbike accident resulting in life-changing injuries. He was placed in an induced coma and spent three months receiving intensive treatment to repair severe chest and leg injuries. Acquiring MRSA while in hospital exacerbated Craig’s recovery. The impact of his RTA also affected his vision, leaving him with only 4% sight in one eye. With these challenges, living independently was proving difficult, especially when accessing stairs. However, Craig’s strong, independent character helped him project manage major access adaptations at home with the support of two DFGs. His latest grant-funded installation of a Stiltz Homelift has been accommodated in his self-funded two-storey extension, resulting in easier living on both floors.

Stiltz Customer Craig Muczniks Homelift

Craig shares his future-proofed house with his mother Glenys, and their two Bichon Frise dogs. In place of a difficult to navigate galley kitchen and utility room, there is a contemporary, accessible kitchen kitted out to his specification. It’s modern, light and airy, and sufficiently spacious to allow him to manoeuvre his wheelchair. His wheelchair-accessible Stiltz Trio+ Home Lift is the kitchen centrepiece – perfect for Craig and his elderly, arthritic dog Rocky to have easy access to their upstairs space. The domestic lift provides the flexibility to travel between floors on foot or using a wheelchair and Craig is reassured by the strength and performance of his home lift which can accommodate his 6’2’’ frame and 16 stone weight.

Directing the outcome
In 2012, Craig received an adapted bathroom via a DFG. Leveraging his project management skills, he was able to organise the whole installation and felt in the end, that the bathroom he received was ideal for his needs. However, he did encounter a few challenges with his assigned Occupational Therapists: “They tried to get me to have a wet room, but I knew I wanted an adapted bath”, he says. Craig achieved his goal in the end and this experience put him in good stead for his second application.

Six years later, Craig began to consider wider access around his home, as he continues: “I was watching DIY SOS and I saw this fantastic home lift and I said to Mum ‘That’s great, I like the look of that.” He quickly discovered it was a Stiltz Homelift and as Craig was already planning on a two-storey extension, he knew it would be the perfect solution for helping him get upstairs. He researched a range of other lift manufacturers, just to be sure, some of which his Occupational Therapist recommended, however, none of them came close to the quality and suitability of the domestic lifts manufactured by Stiltz.

“I explained to Nottinghamshire Council I needed a through-floor lift and I was sure about the one I wanted. They agreed that a domestic lift would be better for me than another stairlift like I’d previously had. It had finally packed up and due to my weight, even a replacement wouldn’t have been suitable. However, they were keen to put forward other companies that didn’t really offer what I was after. Having grown up with my dad’s garage and our joint passion for motorbikes, I had a keen appreciation of well-designed engineering. Next-generation Stiltz technology just felt right.”

Craig was visited by other manufacturers of ‘commercial lifts adapted for the home’ but was not impressed with their design solutions. Some agents employed pressurised selling, and all had an apparent focus on using all the potential DFG funding whether needed or not. Whereas Stiltz simply listened to Craig’s personal requirements and recommended the most appropriate solution.

Changing perceptions
“Alastair from Stiltz was brilliant. He came out a few times to see me and clearly listened to everything I asked for. Agents for those other manufacturers were the opposite and seemed intent on sitting my lift in the sitting room and knocking walls down upstairs. They were quoting ridiculous amounts of money for this conversion which I knew was completely unnecessary. Plus, I was losing a bedroom and property value. These other domestic lifts had noisy hydraulics and old pumps fitted to the outside wall which could upset my neighbours. This was the last thing I needed. Whereas the quiet electric motors onboard a Stiltz home lift would not cause any inconvenience for anyone, it was a proper lift designed specifically for the home.”

“My OT did not initially recommend Stiltz as they had not specified them before, however, I persevered. I just needed everyone to listen to how I wanted to live my life. Eventually, they did hear me and I received DFG approval for my first-choice lift. In just over a day, my Stiltz Homelift was fitted in my new kitchen simply and quickly. There was no unsightly machinery just a product that had that clean, contemporary look I was after. Bearing in mind that I funded my two-storey extension, I wanted a product that was in keeping with my design vision, not an old-fashioned lift with a shaft. I am so pleased with my Stiltz, even my two dogs enjoy the ride! Rocky especially as he has arthritis and struggles to use the stairs. Bedtime for all of us is now only less than 30 seconds away.”

Enablement realised
Life at home is much more positive for Craig now. Glenys says: “It’s taken so much of his frustration away. If he left something upstairs, he’d get so irritated and start rushing. This was when he was at risk of falling especially with his unpredictable knee. Now, it’s no big deal to get back upstairs and it’s really helped his confidence.”

Craig hugely appreciates the difference too: “I’m so pleased that everyone helping me listened to what I wanted in the end. My Stiltz Homelift has given me renewed confidence and means I can access the entire house anytime I want to. I can travel between floors either standing or in my wheelchair; I have a choice. I have plenty of room on board and feel safe. The controls are so easy, especially with the braille buttons. The days of me falling down the stairs are history.”

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