After working tirelessly to build her risk management company over the past 30 years, Norine had a very clear vision of the “forever home” she wanted to find to begin her retirement.
“For a long time, I lived in high-rise apartment in the Melbourne CBD without a garden of my own,” says the self-confessed green thumb. “And so, in retirement, I wanted to have a small garden, live close to public transport and my family, with a spare room for guests and an office – because, if I’m honest, I couldn’t imagine not doing some work at least for a few years.
“Prior to my first knee replacement, the orthopaedic surgeon indicated that replacement knee joints would last 16 to 20 years or longer, depending on how I used them. He said that stairs, particularly going downstairs, wears the knee joint due to the impact of weight on each step and the risk of falling.
“I soon found out that to get everything I wanted in my forever home, I would have to buy a double storey home. So, I needed a solution.”
Norine’s extensive background in risk management and workplace safety meant that she had the tools to undertake a risk assessment approach to living in retirement. “I basically went about researching ‘How to live in a double-storey home with two fake knees’,” she explains. What she discovered immediately seemed to make sense to her professional point of view.
“Firstly, it was a no brainer,” says Norine. “I needed a lift functionality on a day-to-day basis. I wanted a lift that was compact, unobtrusive and simple to operate, while transporting anything from a cup of coffee to a heavy plant upstairs.
“I also investigated the downside of lifts, particularly doors malfunctioning. That rang true to me since there were so many times in my CBD apartment when the lift doors were out of order. I didn’t want the expense nor inconvenience associated with lift door malfunctions.”
In her research, Norine discovered a doorless lift, which meant it was simple and quick to use. “I did a risk assessment on the doorless lift design,” she says. “For me, it was a far safer option – it’s more likely I could be caught out with a non-functioning door than fall from a lift with a safety grip.
“RESiLIFT is the only residential lift on the market that is doorless, and it ticked my other safety boxes too,” says Norine. “The lift has a manual override, which means I can lower the lift myself in the unlikely event of a power outage.
“The mechanism to operate the lift means you hold down a button to move in any direction. As soon as you remove your finger off the button the lift stops. This makes it pretty foolproof, and I still have one hand free for my coffee cup!”
Norine then set about obtaining the dimensions of the various models on offer and used these to determine the practicality of lift installation at every “open for inspection” home she visited.
“Once I found the home I hoped to buy, a RESiLIFT representative came with a template to confirm it was suitable,” Norine recalls. “All of this happened prior to me making an offer on a home.”
What happened next only helped confirm to Norine that she was on a winner, in both a practical and stylistic sense. “When I bought the house, I positioned my lift in the corner of the dining room,” she says. “Recently, I had eight friends for dinner, and the next day a friend emailed me to say that she’d forgotten to check out the lift – where was it? I explained that it had been about two feet way from where she had been sitting.
“The lift is now quite a point of entertainment with friends given it’s practically invisible yet extremely effective.
“I have the RESiLIFT Miracle, which is large enough for a walker should I need one in the future. The specs say that it is for two people, but you need to be friends!”
It’s been almost a year since Norine moved in – and in all that time she has only used the stairs three times in total, “Which is exactly what I wanted,” she says.
“I now have my forever home with garden, and everything is set up for perfect and safe retirement living. It wouldn’t be possible without a RESiLIFT.
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with RESiLIFT.