A whole range of health and mobility issues can make stairs a challenge. Those that are wheelchair bound will know this all too well, but joint and muscle conditions, breathing problems, chronic fatigue, arthritis and many other conditions can all make stairs painful and exhausting. It may range anywhere from being frustrating and inconvenient, to a nightmare or even downright impossible. What do you do when faced with stairs at home that are difficult to use?
So, what are the options? Sometimes it may help to make adjustments to your lifestyle or living arrangements. In other instances, a stairlift can be a worthwhile investment to consider.
You can make big or small adjustments to your lifestyle to make managing stairs a little easier and safer. For instance :
- Take the stairs one at a time, both feet on each step.
- Make use of joint supports, like knee braces/wraps, if these help cushion the impact.
- Avoid carrying too much on the stairs; ask for help, or maybe use a backpack when carrying numerous items. Try to have a hand free for the bannister and as a precaution in case of slips or trips.
- Avoid slippy shoes or socks, make sure the staircase is uncluttered & well lit, have a sturdy rail, and ensure carpets/flooring is fitted securely.
- Minimise trips up and down stairs by having more of what you need on the ground floor.
- Take that a ‘step’ further and re-organise your living arrangements so that your bedroom is on the ground floor.
- A ‘step’ further still would be considering moving to a bungalow.
By taking away the daily struggle with stairs, a stairlift could help you stay more independent and prevent the need for lifestyle changes and adaptations to living arrangements.
Advanced designs & mechanics
Thanks to modern technology and improved designs, stairlifts are now easier to install, less bulky, and smoother in mechanics. They come in a range of styles to adapt to curved or straight stairs and designs to fit different size staircases, so there’s something for most homes. For example, one I’ve seen online, the Age UK 1100, is sturdy but uses the narrowest track currently available on the market. It’s also ergonomically designed to make it easy to use, it utilises four powerful but silent motors, and as a bonus you won’t find any oil or grease on the rail. The larger range of stairlifts now available also means a greater variety of price points, often along with the option of saving a little money with a reconditioned unit.
Research & Request Information
I think it’s important to research the options as part of making an informed decision. Is a stairlift something you may benefit from? Take a look at online forums, chat with friends, speak to an occupational therapist and discuss it with family. Check out reviews and personal experiences and talk through your options to see whether it’s a possibility you want to consider.
Make enquiries with a reputable, trustworthy provider; you ideally want a company that is willing to answer all questions, to look out for your best interest, and to ensure safe products and installation. They shouldn’t rush you and they should ideally be available for aftercare should you have any problems or concerns.
When you enquire with a provider, they can do a home visit to assess your needs and suggest the most appropriate equipment.
Don’t feel pressured by companies or cold-callers. Scope out your options and size up your budget first; consider requesting free information booklets or booking a free consultation online to help you get answers to your questions.
I was quite surprised at just how much stairlifts have improved these days compared to the image I had in my head from old adverts years ago. You can find more information on the Age UK website, or request a free information pack from them to learn more.
If the stairs are too problematic or dangerous, perhaps for you or for someone you know, then a stairlift could be an option worth considering as it means an independent life at home without making big adjustments or having to move.
Do you find stairs a struggle at home? What do you do to manage them more easily?
[ This is a sponsored post written by myself & all opinions are my own. ]