CASE STUDY: Assistive tech turns risky process into safe experience for Katie
Something as simple as a powered device from AAT GB to get up and downstairs has transformed the routine but potentially dangerous process for the Harries family.
Teenager Katie – who has cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment and epilepsy – had grown to the extent that her parents were struggling to safely carry her up and downstairs to/from the bed. Whilst waiting for their home to be adapted to cope with her needs, and those of her triplet siblings who also have special needs, they were becoming desperate for a means to undertake the transfer without risk to either Katie or themselves.
Having seen the AAT stairclimber at an exhibition, the family approached their occupational therapist (OT) to see if it would be an interim solution.
An in-depth free assessment by AAT GB resulted in it being a practical, necessary and appropriate answer.
AAT’s S-Max Sella with harness was supplied to the family. The S-Max Sella can accommodate almost every design of staircase, accommodating narrow flights, turns and landings thanks to its small turning circle.
The battery-powered Class 1 Medical Device features patented kinematics that continuously and smoothly power the unit and its passenger up and downstairs, without effort from, and at a pace set by, the operator. It can execute 300 steps from one charge.
When not in use, it folds compactly away to optimise space within the home and minimise inconvenience to other family members using the stairs.
“We really needed something to tide us over whilst the adaptation went through. It was getting to the point we wouldn’t be able to carry Katie up and downstairs,” explains Katie’s mother Sarah.
“When Katie first tried it, she thought it was brilliant. It seems like a fairground ride to her! AAT advised that the stairclimber be accessorised with a harness to properly support Katie and ensure she was safe. It has removed the risk for Katie and risk of injury to ourselves from the whole process.”
AAT’s nationwide team of specialists can work alongside the OT to assess – free of charge and with appropriate health and safety measures – the suitability of a stairclimber for the property, the patient, and their carer(s).
AAT can manage the whole process, from specification of any additional accessories if needed, supply of the equipment, and training of the carer who will operate the climber, ensuring a correct and safe solution.