As our nation’s largest generation ages, more and more attention is being paid to ensuring they remain healthy and mobile. Of the top ten fears about aging in a recent study, loss of independence ranked first and not being able to live at home ranked fourth. For anyone living in a multi-story home, there is an added anxiety about dealing with stairs as mobility becomes an issue.
Luckily for our loved ones, technologies exist to help them with in-home care and wellness. For homes with stairs, stairlifts are a practical solution that allows people to enjoy their homes well into their later years. If you are considering installing a stairlift, there are some important things to be aware of, such as quality, fit, and safety.
Stairlifts can be life-changing for people with mobility issues, but it is crucial to ensure you select your stairlift from a reputable provider. This is not something that you can just buy off the shelf. A quality provider will ensure that your loved one receives a customized solution, and will be present throughout the consideration, purchase, and installation process.
Some people may think a chair is a chair, but the fit is very important when evaluating stairlifts. Your loved one will likely have some initial anxiety around the apparatus, so ensuring the chair is comfortable will aid them in embracing this technology. In addition to comfort, some chairs swivel, making it easier to get on and off the lift. Chairs also should move up and down for ease of access, and fold out of the way when not in use.
Safety is always a top concern, and the best stairlifts will include safety features such as seat belts, harnesses or foot sensors. Your stairlift should have several sensors that will immediately halt the lift if something is detected in its path. Safety belts or harnesses protect the user as well as provide peace of mind and security. Lift speeds are slow and steady, and even during an abrupt halt, your chair should come to a smooth stop without jostling your loved one.
Other important safety measures to consider include remote control access, flip-up rails, and curved designs. A remote control allows your loved one to call the chair from either end of the stairway and boosts the feeling of independence in not having to rely on a caregiver when they want to ascend or descend. Flip-up rails and seats allow the stairlift mechanism to stay out of the way when not in use, and curved designs ensure the chair rests at ground level, out of the way of the stairway path.
Stairlifts are designed with your unique home in mind and can be customized in many different ways. While safety is paramount, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice design. Different upholstery options and color choices ensure your stairlift serves its purpose without being an eyesore.
There is more to feeling safe than seatbelts and sensors. Knowing your loved one is able to stay in their own home, where they feel comfortable and secure, relieves a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes with losing mobility. Peace of mind contributes to a healthy, balanced body, and a stairlift is a smart, practical choice in achieving that peace – not only for seniors but for caregivers as well.
This is a guest post from California Mobility.