RSS Feed Print
Stairs
jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:59 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17548


My home has stairs and my bedroom is on the second floor. I realize that at some point those stairs are going to be a problem for me and would like to hear from other PWD as well as caregivers who have come up with some solutions for living with them.
Canada111
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:29 PM
Joined: 8/22/2016
Posts: 263


Stairs are not a problem for me as long as there is a banister to hold. Although going down is harder than going up sometimes. It’s good exercise to climb stairs. It’s cardio. Have your stairs presented any problems yet?
Unforgiven
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:49 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2615


There is always the option of setting up a bedroom downstairs.  Plan B would be a stair climber if finances and mental acuity permit.  I live in a ranch style one floor house, but last winter doing projects in the basement had me going up and down a lot, and the exercise improved my strength and ability, so stairs are a good thing for older people in general.  The problem is that it is impossible to predict which bodily systems will fail you at the end -- strength, balance, vision, or mental status.
Jo C.
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 2:39 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10221


Hi Judith; When that issue arose, I did a major amount of research and decided to get a chair lift for the stairs.  All of our bedrooms and showers are upstairs.  No way could our LOs climb the stairs.  As it is, with knee arthritis, I too have my ouch, ouch, ouch days.  Not all stair/chair lifts are equal and the one I saw most advertised was not high on the ratings list. I also wanted something esthetically decent.

After a lot of researching the technical as well as practical and esthetics for several weeks, we chose the Stannah Chair Lift.  It came highly rated and got good feedback from local customers.  It is nice looking, and does not wreck the stairwell.  Very nicely installed, good esthetics and will not make a major issue when removed.  The stairwell still looks good. The chair lift operates by controls on one arm, and they also gave us two remote controls; so we can call it up or down when we wish from the top or bottom of the stairs and if we want, we can park it out of sight at the top of the stairs which I do not bother doing.

What I also really liked was that the place that sold us our Stannah Chair Lift has their own large, very nice and high quality business with a showroom where one can try the lift.  They do all installs themselves as well as annual inspection and any tech issues that may possibly arise, which in five years happened only once when we had a battery changed.  Batteries last three years and have continuous charging anywhere on the rail; top, bottom or middle.  Not all chairs do that.    All who install and inspect, etc. at that business are employees of that business and not subcontractors.  That was important. They also have a 24 hour response for any glitches.   They have in their own shop facility, all parts, etc. that one may need should an issue arise.  No waiting to get them from somewhere else.  So; we went with Stannah with the store that had best service.  They are very responsive and kind.

If I did not get the Stannah, I would have got the Bruno. Both of these chair lifts are high in the ratings.

Chair lifts are not cheap; we paid about $4,000 for ours.  If one has a curving set of stairs, then it usually costs a bit more as they need to custom make the rail.  My DILs grandmother had a Stannah put in on her two tiered curved staircase with two landings, it cost her about $6,000 because of  the custom made rail.   They bought it from where we got ours and they too are very happy.   One can buy used Stannah chair lifts at lower cost.

If power goes out these chairs will hold power for about 20 or so ups/downs which is good.

We really were impressed with the quality and the service. 

Another surprise was that if one no longer needs the chair lift, one can sell it back to the store we got it from. They do not have many returned as people tend to keep them.  One I know was a flight attendant who got one when she had a broken ankle.  When recovered, she kept it and used it to carry her suitcase up and down the stairs for her. 

One can indeed decide to get a refurbished chair lift at lower cost, and they will usually come with a limited warranty.   We chose to go with a new one as we knew we would keep it after our LOs passed and we did and find it useful.

Good idea to be thinking of this in advance of need; then no surprises later.

J..


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:43 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17548


Not yet but my balance "issue" is not going to get better.

Dick became unable to do stairs...simply not safe and I feared that he might fall when no one was around so we moved downstairs. I have since moved back upstairs. I like how the house looks without a bed out of a bedroom.

Thanks Jo for the info. That is the company I will look for when safety trumps cardio.

Canada...why do you think going up is harder. It is a muscle thing or visual?


Canada111
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:52 PM
Joined: 8/22/2016
Posts: 263


Going down stairs is harder for me than going up. I am not sure if this is visual or muscle coordination. Teepa Snow wrote me about this and said that PWD have found that going up is easier for them and that coming down requires step together patterns. She wrote that PWD she worked with (probably in facilities) would climb several flights of stairs for indoor winter exercise, and take the elevator down.
Unforgiven
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 11:35 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2615


Even when out hiking, going downhill is harder on the body because gravity is pulling you forward rather than slowing your speed upward and you're slways striving to keep control to keep from falling.  That is never minding balance and vision issues.
jfkoc
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:07 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17548


Good point. I go up one after the other. Going down I go one step at a time and always step down with my right foot.

I really do worry about falling when I am alone. Yes, I need to get a "wearable".