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Life Before Stair Lifts

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We can easily forget that we didn’t always have the technology and gadgets we use today. I am reminded of how far we have come when my kids ask me how old I was when I had my first cell phone. I search the recesses of my mind and blurt out 30, I think? The shock on their faces says it all – they have had access to cell phones their entire lives! If they happen across a landline, they laugh at how absurd it looks and wonder why anyone would want to be attached to a cord and a wall!

We can go down the list of items we take for granted today that didn’t exist just decades ago. Flat screen TVs, Stair Lifts, Social Media, Uber, bottled water, GPS, Netflix, we didn’t even have internet in the world until 1983 for goodness sake! The kids today might ask “How did you ever survive without those things”? Well, we improvised. What was life before stair lifts? 

A Unique Solution 

Even Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart improvised when his health took a turn and he needed what we know today as a stair lift! Bogart had an acting career that captured audiences from 1930-1956. Some of his most famous films include Casablanca, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon and about 48 more. He was voted the Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Actress Lauren Bacall was his wife when Bogart was struck with cancer. As his strength diminished and his weight dropped to 90 LBS, Lauren – as many of us would today, made efforts for his life to be as normal as possible. She continued to invite guests over every night, knowing the social interaction would lift his spirits.

The challenge of life before stair lifts was this: they couldn’t get him down the stairs to meet with his guests! So, before they arrived Lauren would dress him in a smoking jacket and their assistant would lift Bogart and place him in a dumbwaiter to transport him downstairs! A dumbwaiter was a small freight elevator intended to transport objects – not people!

Need a Lift?

When the guests arrived, he was sitting in his chair with a cocktail in hand, ready for visitors. Some of his guests included: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Kirk Douglas and more.

Families today might not have famous movie stars visiting their house every night. But they may have mobility issues and a desire to enjoy all levels of their home! Solutions exist, but sometimes folks don’t know what they don’t know, until they need to know it!

Perhaps you know someone who just needs a little lift!

Learn about some options here:

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