Roughly half of all homes in the US have stairs, according to data from the Census Bureau. So if you’re looking for ways to make the stairs more accessible and safe, you are not alone.
Below, we’ll break down useful strategies for helping the elderly with stairs and discuss ways to increase safety on and around the staircase.
How Can I Help My Elderly Loved One Climb Stairs?
Often, the trouble with stairs comes from physical constraints such as joint pain, balance issues, or muscle fatigue. In other cases, the fear of being injured on the staircase makes individuals reluctant to use them. Whatever the reason, there are actionable steps you can take to help your loved one navigate the stairs. Let’s explore them below.
Tips for Assisting the Elderly with Stairs
1. Evaluate the Staircase
Ensuring that the stairs are safe for use is the first step. This means examining the area to look for potential hazards and areas that could use improvement. Adding lights to dark areas and placing slip-proof coverings on the stairs are two simple ways to help an elderly individual get up the stairs more easily. Additionally, ensure that the staircase and walkways leading to it remain clear to avoid tripping.
2. Review Medications with a Healthcare Professional
One often-overlooked method of helping the elderly with stairs starts with looking at the medications an individual is taking. Certain medications have side effects that can impact balance or increase the risk of falls. If the likelihood of a fall is high, consider talking to a doctor or other healthcare professional. In some cases, there might be alternative medications that don’t carry the same side effects, or perhaps the healthcare provider has other suggestions for enhancing safety on the stairs and around the home.
3. Help Increase Physical Strength
Physical fitness has a wide range of benefits for older adults, including injury prevention. Getting up the stairs is easier when the body is used to being active. There are many exercise options available, from water aerobics that place less stress on the muscles and joints to cardio classes that encourage heart health. Consider incorporating exercise regularly to strengthen the body and make climbing stairs easier.
4. Add a Construction-Free Stair Lift!
Adding a mobility system that helps users move up and down the stairs with ease is a great option. A stair lift allows your loved one to retain their independence while remaining safe. There’s no need to walk up and down the stairs, so the risk of falling is greatly reduced. On top of this, the stair lift can fold out of the way when it is not in use to prevent tripping. Read on to learn about how stair lifts provide safe and convenient access to those with mobility challenges.
Enhancing Stair Safety with a Stair Lift
Stair lifts are flexible mobility solutions that attach directly to the stair treads, so there is no need for construction in the home. Stair lifts give you the freedom to safely conquer stairs, which otherwise might seem daunting. You can do this by using reassuring safety features such as easy-to-use seatbelts, automatically folding footrests, and seats that swivel at the top landing for easy dismount.
In addition to safety features, expert installation makes for a secure ride. That’s why hiring an experienced stair lift company is the best way to ensure the safety of your loved one. With skilled technicians to install and walk the user through the ins and outs of the stair lift, you can have peace of mind.
Not only are stair lifts safe, but they are also easy to operate. This makes them a great solution for those who wish to be independent when moving up and down the stairs.
Navigate the Stairs with Ease
Helping an elderly relative with stairs is simple with a stair lift that meets their needs. Arrow Lift’s selection of top-rated lifts offers comfort, quality and safety. Straight or curved, indoor or outdoor, we can install the right stair lift in the location that works for you and your loved ones.
Schedule an in-home or virtual consultation to learn more about the models and features that we offer.