Home Lifestyle Home Help : Managing Stairs

Home Help : Managing Stairs

by InvisiblyMe
A staircase within a blue-coloured hallway. the title "Home help: Managing Stairs" is overlaid to the right.

Are Stairs Becoming Difficult?

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.

A small child at the bottom of a very large set of outdoor concrete steps.
Ever feel like this when getting up the stairs, like they’re just too much?

Lifestyle Changes To Better Manage Stairs

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.
A rounded staircase with wooden treads in a light-coloured hall.

Stairlift Considerations

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. 

A photo of the Age UK 1100 stairlift.
The Age UK 1100 Stairlift.

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?

Caz  ♥

[ This is a sponsored post written by myself & all opinions are my own. ]

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Terri, Reclaiming HOPE June 24, 2019 - 3:11 pm

Thanks for sharing some great tips Caz! When we were looking for our home, one of our requirements was that it would accommodate main-level living. That way we didn’t have to worry about stairs if we didn’t want to. We do have a downstairs level that we use for our exercise room and my hubby’s office, as well our tornado shelter, so we may need to make some adjustments, such as a stair lift as we get older, but at least right now I don’t have to go down any stairs if I don’t want to.???? My in-laws had a stairlift in their two-story house, and it really was indispensable.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:18 pm

I think that’s a really wise move to have main-level living to reduce the trips up/down stairs for essentials. I don’t think I realised you had a tornado shelter, hopefully it’s not something you’re going to need to use any time soon. It’s good to hear your in-laws found a stairlift so incredibly helpful, they really are an excellent option to allow people to stay in their own homes. Thank you for sharing this, Terri  ♥

Kim June 24, 2019 - 3:12 pm

Great ideas… the chairlifts are definitely a must if you are to stay in your two level home. I believe moving to where it best suits you is key. Along with stairs, there is much to do if you own your home… upkeep of it and the yard. It can get overwhelming. The hubby and I are selling our home. I can’t keep up anymore and it puts me into a retreating mode of solitude. Sometimes not leaving my bedroom for days. I doubt we’ll ever be actual home owners again! He spent many years doing maintenance for apartment buildings and he’s tired too. There is nothing wrong with renting! I think it fits some of us better and allows us to move as needed to suitable housing. Great post!

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:22 pm

I’m sorry you’re in that position, it seems incredibly unfair. That said, your approach is brilliant and I completely agree – you need to do what’s best for you and the situation you’re in, and there are different options and adaptions to explore to make day to day life as comfortable and manageable as possible. When our health or circumstances change, I think we need to disregard the rule book and social ‘expectations’ and adapt as we see fit. Thank you for the brilliant comment lovely xx

Anne Fraser June 24, 2019 - 2:34 pm

My mother had a stairlift installed at home after she went blind. She had a modern house with open plan stairs that went up from her living room and were a nightmare when she could not see properly. I was surprised how easily they fitted a stairlift and how nice it looked. My children loved riding up and down on it when they were little. It is a good way to enable people to stay in their own homes.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:10 pm

I’m sorry your mother went blind, but I’m so glad she was able to have a stairlift fitted so she could stay in her own home and be independent with regard moving around and using the stairs. I’m surprised how much they seem to have improved so they’re so easy to fit and look a lot less bulky than they used to, too. Thank you so much for sharing this, Anne  ♥

Darnell June 24, 2019 - 2:39 pm

My dads bed id on the second level. After he gets up in the morning, he brings what he needs to the first level and stays there till bedtime again. Now at 89 years of age, he manages steps at home only when needed.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:12 pm

That’s a good idea to move everything he needs downstairs to minimise the trips. I’m sorry he struggles with mobility, it seems very unfair to have a house you can’t even get around easily. Thank you for sharing this, Darnell. I hope you’re having a good week so far 🙂

Bo June 24, 2019 - 2:50 pm

I hated the stairs when I was ill and asking for help. I know, I know….

Take the stairs one at a time, that’s the best advice. Don’t rush. Take it slow.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:14 pm

It’s horrible to feel you can’t manage something that seems so normal or ‘easy’, and asking for help isn’t fun. You’re right, there’s no rush, just slow & steady because the last thing anyone needs is an accident. Thank you for the comment lovely xx

Sandee June 24, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Excellent advice here. When we were much younger be bought our current home. It’s a two story and as we age we worry about the stairs.

Have a fabulous day, Caz. ♥

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:15 pm

Unless you’re at the position of already struggling considerably with the stairs, it’s not something you’d necessarily think about when buying a home. Hopefully if you do start to find them more difficult there will be adjustments that can be made, and it’s not something to worry about just yet. Thank you for the comment, Sandee. I hope you’re both having a good week so far xx

Janet Gogerty June 24, 2019 - 5:00 pm

We bought our current house as the nearest we could get to the sea, without any thought to the future, but it is a chalet bungalow style, so we may be glad one day that the bathroom is downstairs and we could turn a room into a bedroom! If that day came we probably wouldn’t manage the ten minute walk to the cliff top!

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:35 pm

I think that’s the thing with stairs, when buying a home they’re not something you think about unless they’re already a concern. It’s good to know there are adaptions and options though so problems with stairs don’t have to mean you’d have to move. That day is a long way off yet though so keep enjoying your chalet bungalow & cliff top walks, Janet! Thank you for the comment, it’s much appreciated 🙂

Megala June 24, 2019 - 4:36 pm

Great article! Thanks for sharing wonderful practical tips to manage the stairs.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:25 pm

You’re welcome, I’m glad you liked it – thank you, Megala, I hope you’re having a good week! xx

The Lonely Author June 24, 2019 - 4:38 pm

Hopefully, this thoughtful post will help someone who needs a stairlift.
Have a beautiful week.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:27 pm

Fingers crossed, I think it can sometimes just be reassuring to know there are adjustments, adaptions and options for when things get difficult. Thank you for the comment – I hope you’re having a good week so far ????

Jacqui Murray June 24, 2019 - 5:26 pm

Yes, they are becoming a problem. My latest concession: When we find our new home, it will be one story!

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:46 pm

I’m sorry they’re starting to become an issue for you, Jacqui. If you’re looking to move in the future anyway and you come across a nice bungalow that could be a good option! xx

Despite Pain June 24, 2019 - 7:07 pm

Great post as always, Caz. Stairs were a big consideration when we moved house. We had to ensure it was all on the flat. Stairs are fine now and again, but I couldn’t manage them on bad days. I occasionally stay at my Dad’s house when I visit and that means stairs. I tend to go downstairs in the morning and make sure I don’t need to go back up until night time. And decent footwear…yes, that is so important.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:48 pm

I’m glad you’re now in a house that makes moving around more manageable; it seems such a shame to miss out on half your house if you can’t get up/down the stairs to make use of it. Good idea while at your dad’s place to have everything you need downstairs to minimise the trips. Thank you for sharing this, Liz  ♥

wendi June 24, 2019 - 8:11 pm

Another very well researched and helpful post. I know our next home will be one level with maybe a basement. I should have done a better job thinking long term……..hopefully this will reach people before they make a housing mistake.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:50 pm

I don’t think stairs are often considered when buying a house unless they’re already a serious concern, so don’t beat yourself up for not thinking into the distant future. It’s good to know there are options though and to give stairs a thought when moving. I’m really glad you liked the post, thank you so much for the comment 🙂

Michelle June 24, 2019 - 10:46 pm

Stairs are my nemesis! Thanks so much for writing up these great tips! I only have the stairs outside our apartment (a half flight), but I have fallen down or tripped up stairs so many times and it may be the number 1 way I injure myself. I’ll try to keep your tips in mind. Thanks for the suggestions! xx

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:55 pm

You’re up against a mighty enemy there! I know I’ve fallen up and down a few times, too, though I’ve no idea how (tripping over my own feet I guess) but it does sound like you’ve done battle with stairs a little too often. I hope you get no more stair-related injuries for a while! I’m really glad you liked the post – thank you for the comment  ♥

Kymber Hawke June 25, 2019 - 11:42 am

This is such a good article. I was a hospice nurse for many years and many of the things on your list of solutions worked wonders for my patients.

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Aw that’s really good to hear! It’s reassuring to know there are different options and adaptions so that stairs can be more manageable and safer. Thank you for the comment lovely xx

Richa June 25, 2019 - 1:35 pm

Excellent advice!????

InvisiblyMe June 26, 2019 - 4:46 pm

I’m happy you thought so, thanks, Richa! x

Jenny June 25, 2019 - 1:48 pm

Really excellent advice Caz. I really struggle with stairs – I try my hardest to go up one foot at a time to try and keep my legs strong but sometimes I have to lead with my right and just bring the left up to meet it. In terms of carrying anything: forget it! It is a good reason not to carry loads of washing downstairs though 🙂 Thanks o much for the valuable suggestions and advice xx

InvisiblyMe June 25, 2019 - 5:22 pm

It’s more than a good excuse not to be carrying all the washing ???? I’m sorry you struggle though, Jen. I think slow & steady, even though frustrating, is better to be on the safe side rather than risking any injury or accident. Stairs can be surprisingly dangerous! Thank you for the comment & I’m glad you liked the post! xx

Bette Stevens June 25, 2019 - 5:02 pm

Great tips, Caz! Thanks.

InvisiblyMe June 25, 2019 - 5:14 pm

I’m glad you liked the post, thanks Bette! xx

Holly G. June 27, 2019 - 1:55 pm

I love that you’re bringing awareness to a very important topic, Caz. Beautifully written at that (as always). I had a dear friend with a disability and in her home there was a stairlift. For she and her family, it was a God-send. It helps with self-esteem too because so much is outside of your control when you suffer with chronic pain or any other mobility issue. Being able to take back control of even just one thing boosts that feeling of normalcy and independence. I love that!

So glad you mentioned the need for talking with professionals, reading reviews and doing research as well. It makes me absolutely disgusted just how many shady and heartless people will prey on the most vulnerable and desperate. Their sales tactics are deplorable and I hope all of those looking to take advantage will go out of business. Finding a company that actually cares about YOU makes all the difference. ♥

InvisiblyMe June 27, 2019 - 3:44 pm

I’m glad your friend found a stairlift to be so incredibly helpful. You’re right about self-esteem, too. I really should have included that because independence, or lack thereof, can have such a knock-on effect mentally. You’re right too about those ‘shady’ people & companies who take advantage, absolutely deplorable. I’m really glad you liked the post, and thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment, Holly. Hope your catkins is enjoying the new abode (aka awesome cat tree house!)  ♥

Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism June 27, 2019 - 3:28 pm

Some great ideas, Caz. I remember the times when my health was at its worst with thyroid disease and I couldn’t climb the stairs unaided. Scary, scary times! I know this will be useful to a lot of people with health issues.

InvisiblyMe June 27, 2019 - 3:41 pm

Yikes, it really is scary when health goes so downhill that what we see as being a ‘usual’ part of our day becomes difficult or impossible to manage alone, and I’m sorry you know that all too well. Thank you for the comment, Rachel, and I’m glad you liked the post ????

Lily Pierce June 28, 2019 - 3:41 pm

Great advice, Caz! I unfortunately have to deal with stairs at home. I need someone to hold me from behind when going up, and I butt-scoot down. It’s actually good to know that stairlift technology has improved, as my family has tossed around the idea of getting one for years. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

InvisiblyMe June 28, 2019 - 7:34 pm

I’m sorry you struggle with stairs so much, it’s such a shame to have to struggle in your own home like that and probably miss out on a floor of your house because of limiting the trips up/down. I’d say it’s certainly worth considering the stairlift option, perhaps get some free information on them to see the prices and get a feel for what’s involved. They’re definitely far more advanced from aesthetics, builds, fitting & technology than they used to be! Thank you for the comment lovely – I hope you have a restful weekend ahead 🙂

Alyssa June 29, 2019 - 9:49 pm

Absolutely amazing post, Caz! You always share great advice and I find you incredibly helpful! I do always appreciate you and everything you share!!

InvisiblyMe June 30, 2019 - 3:09 pm

That is so kind of you, Alyssa, thank you! It’s comment like that that keep me going, so I’m really glad you found it interesting & helpful. I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend (without Saturday work!) to recuperate before next week – fingers crossed it’s a positive week, too  ♥

Jay December 30, 2019 - 8:22 pm

This is such an informative post! Despite the fact that I’m young-ish, I did have some trouble with stairs at my old apartment, due to scoliosis (not painful most of the time, but when it hurts, it HURTS). I moved to an apartment complex without any stairs to get in and into the ground floor, and it’s been a blessing!

Hope you’re having a good holiday season!

InvisiblyMe January 3, 2020 - 5:34 pm

My mother has slight scoliosis and when things flare up with muscles because of her back it gets really bad, so I can only imagine what it’s like for you, too. Sounds like you made the right choice with your ground floor apartment! Thank you for the comment lovely – I hope 2020 is kind to you! x

Jay January 3, 2020 - 5:46 pm

So sorry your mom has it too, it’s really annoying! I’m lucky that I rarely have flare-ups, but the few ones I do have aren’t fun at all. x.x
I hope you and your loved ones have a great year! <3


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