Each year, there are over one million stairs-related accidents and many of these result in injury. Though there are falls in each age group, older people are more susceptible to stair-related incidents due to limited mobility and strength as they age. Safe stairs for seniors is just one way to help prevent falls.
You may wonder, “how do you make stairs easier to climb for the elderly?”. Fortunately, multiple stair options for the elderly can minimize the danger of climbing stairs and reduce the risk of injuries from a fall or slip on the stairs.
Since most seniors enjoy their autonomy, posing a solution for help with stairs for the elderly allows for safer access without having to rely on a caregiver or family member to assist, keeping seniors independent for as long as it’s safe, which can increase happiness and a feeling of stability. Read on for more information on modifying stairs for seniors.
How Do You Make it Easier to Go Up Stairs?
As you learn about modifying stairs for the elderly, a few options exist. How do you make stairs safer for old people? Here are a few suggestions to consider:
- Install lights on staircases: As you seek answers for the question, how do seniors modify stairs? An inexpensive and practical option is to add a light to each step that can assist with nighttime stair climbing.
- Avoid decorative carpet runners: Some stairs have a runner made of carpet, which can increase the risk of tripping. Ensure stairs don’t have carpets with edges that a senior could trip over.
- Stair design for seniors: When you’re planning stair design for seniors, install handrails on both sides of the staircase. Rubber handrails provide a bit more traction and grip as older people ascend and descend the stairs. In some cases, you can install a handrail that extends beyond the last step, giving plenty of stair assistance for the elderly.
- Anti-skid strips: If the stairs in a senior’s home are made of wood, you can purchase strips similar to what you’d put in a bathtub to reduce slips. These can eliminate the chance of a senior slipping on a slick stair.
- Color-coded options: Seniors with compromised vision may have difficulty distinguishing between stairs of the same shade. One affordable way to increase stair visibility is to use paint to create contrast between each step, making it simpler to climb without slipping.
- Keep stairs free of debris: Remove any possible obstacles to create safety steps for the elderly.
- Use adaptive equipment: Equipment such as a stair lift, stair walker, or block can be helpful for seniors who spend time alone and need to climb the stairs without assistance. These options can vary in price but are well worth it for seniors whose priority is a safe staircase.
What are Safe Stairs for Seniors?
You may have heard the term stair lift but aren’t sure exactly what it means. However, when modifying stairs for the elderly, this is one of the most commonly used options, as it increases safety and autonomy while drastically cutting down the risk of injury.
A stair lift looks like a chair, and it attaches to the end of the railing. It is a motorized device that a senior can sit in and ride to the top of the staircase, eliminating the possibility that a slip or fall could occur. They’re also known as stair gliders or chair lifts.
These mechanized lifts require some degree of physical mobility on the senior’s part — these stair options for the elderly work well for seniors who are able to sit down and stand up without issue to get in and out of the stair lift safely.
Though there is construction involved, it’s the best way to ensure safe stairs for seniors. For many seniors, it allows them a degree of independence and a way to safely move about their home without requiring a hand — this is important for many elderly people and can give peace of mind to the people who love them.
Contact Williams Lift today for more information on how to make stairs easier for the elderly.