Senior Care in Irving TX: Alternatives to Stairs for SeniorsOne of the hallmarks of mobility problems in seniors is the inability to go up and down stairs with ease. Stairs require us to move our legs and knees in a different way than we do when we are just walking normally, and for some people, this can cause a lot of pain or worse – loss of balance.

Falls are a real possibility when seniors with mobility problems are using the stairs, but what can be done about it? Actually, quite a lot. Here are a few ideas to help you to make getting to higher or lower levels of the house easier for the senior you love.
  • Avoid the problem altogether – If you loved one lives with you, and they have trouble with the stairs, don’t put their bedroom on the second floor. You or your senior care aide won’t have to help them make their way slowly up and down the stairs if there are no stairs on the route to their bedroom! Is this is a new problem, talk with someone who has a bedroom on the first floor and ask if they would consider swapping rooms. Or, if your loved one lives on their own in a second-floor walkup, see about finding a new apartment on the ground floor.
  • Install a ramp – Ramps are not just for wheelchair users, they can also be beneficial to people who can still walk, but have trouble doing so. A gently sloping ramp placed over the front steps to your house (or the back), can help your loved one to get in and out more easily. You may want to consider adding a railing, though, for extra safety.
  • Get a chairlift – If your loved one lives on the second floor and this is non-negotiable, consider installing a chairlift in the stairwell. Usually there are a lot of stairs between one floor and another, and this can be a long way to go for someone who is having mobility and balance issues. This could cause a big fall, and a lot of frustration for everyone involved. A chairlift removes this danger, though, and makes it easier for your loved one to get from one floor to another more safely.

An alternative to these alternatives that some senior care aides and families might find useful is to help your loved one to strengthen their legs and knees with exercise if possible. If they are able to train their legs muscles, they may be able to make stairs less of a hassle. Talk to a doctor first, though, before beginning an exercise regimen, to make sure that this won’t do more harm than good.

Stairs don’t have to be such a daunting thing for seniors. With these modifications, getting in and out of the house can be much easier, as can getting from one level of the home to another. You should still be careful, though, and keep an eye on your loved one to make sure that they are safe in any situation like this.


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