As people age, their abilities to negotiate tasks such as climbing stairs can become severely impaired. Stairs may seem like a simple task, but stair safety is critically important to the elderly or to those with a mobility (or even a visual) disability. Modifying stairs for the elderly is a smart idea, as it promotes safety and lessens the chances of accidents.
Read on to learn about how a stair aid device can help in modifying stairs for the elderly, and other ideas to help keep patients safe.
Modifying Stairs for the Elderly: Reasons
More and more seniors want to age in place, which essentially means growing old gracefully at home, where they are comfortable and happy. However, sometimes there are some safety risks involved with letting a loved one age in place, but with certain modifications, the risk of accidents is much less. Modifying stairs for the elderly is a big concern, as well as altering the kitchen to ensure safe cooking and food preparation. While helping the elderly with stairs works when you’re around as a caregiver, no caregiver can be present 24 hours a day, which makes modifying the stairs an important point.
Modifying Stairs for the Elderly: How to Make Stairs Safer
There are devices such as stair lifts that are extremely helpful, but in some cases, many caregivers may be wondering how to make stairs safer so that their loved one can continue to use the stairs. One of the best things to consider when modifying stairs for the elderly is sturdy, non-slip handrails. A person who can navigate the stairs fairly well, even with age, typically does well with a sturdy handrail. There are many options for modifying stairs when it comes to handrails, such as:
Handrails are essential not only on inside staircases, but also for porches and decks as well.
Also, when it comes to modifying stairs for the elderly, open stairs should be closed. Open stairs (stairs with open space in between each step) pose quite a safety risk as one ages. Non-slip adhesives should also be installed on steps so that the risk of falling is much less.
Modifying Stairs for the Elderly: Stair Lifts
For some, modifying stairs for the elderly will comprise of a chair to carry the elderly up stairs, which greatly reduces the risk of accident. In fact, this is likely the best way of helping the elderly down stairs and up stairs. A stair lift is a motorized chair that glides up the length of the staircase, allowing the elderly to get up and down flights without having to take a step. This is different than a wheelchair lift, which is specifically built to hoist a wheelchair up and down stairs. In a chair lift, the person has to be mobile enough to sit in the chair and exit the chair at the top. This is one of the biggest steps when it comes to modifying stairs for the elderly, but is also one of the safest.
To find out more about how a stair lift can help reduce accidents and make aging in place more comfortable, or to hear about other mobility products such as wheelchair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and caregivers to live their best lives.