None of us likes to think about our parent getting older, but it’s a fact of life and, if your mum and dad are to remain independent in the home that they love, you may need to make some adjustments, like installing a stairlift, to keep them safe.
But do your parents need a stairlift? In this article, we’ll help you spot the signs of your parents needing a stairlift, so you know what to look out for next time you visit.
Helping Your Parents To Stay Independent At Home
Thanks to improved working conditions and advances in healthcare, we are living longer in than ever before in the UK with an average life expectancy of 81.4 years* but, many of us face mobility challenges later in life that could affect the way we access our home.
Staircases that we used to run up and down without a second thought can become a daunting prospect for those who are unsteady on their feet, and if you are concerned that your parents home is not as accessible as it should be, here are some tell-tale signs that it is time to invest in a stairlift.
5 Signs Your Parent Needs A Stairlift
Discussing mobility and accessibility issues with your parents can be a sensitive subject but, if you spot any of the following signs, it could be time to have a difficult but necessary conversation about installing a stair lift to keep them safe in the home that they love.
1. Stacking Items At The Bottom Of The Stairs
Do your parents stack items such as laundry and toiletries at the bottom of the stairs to avoid making what they deem as ‘unnecessary’ trips up and down? If so, this could be a sign that they feel uncomfortable or unsafe using the stairs.
2. Unsteady On Their Feet
Are your parents wobbly on their feet? Do they feel safer using a walking stick, frame, or handrails? If so, a stairlift is essential. It will not only give them the freedom to go up and down the stairs, but it will keep them safe in the process.
3. Becoming Easily Out Of Breath
Mounting stairs can be physically demanding, and if you find that your parents are out of breath when walking short distances or up slight inclines, a stairlift could be beneficial.
4. Joint Pains (Arthritis & Osteoarthritis)
Many of us face joint pains as we age, and while your parents may refuse to accept this as a mobility concern, it can make climbing stairs unsafe. If your parents have arthritis, osteoarthritis, knee pain, back pain, or stiffness, a stairlift can help relieve pressure on aching joints while allowing them to retain their independence.
According to a report in the BBC Health News, more than 1,000 people die every year by falling down the stairs in the UK, and a further 100,000 people receive treatment for serious injuries. If you find that your parents are tripping or falling when navigating the home, a stairlift could help them avoid a devastating and potentially deadly fall, while giving you peace of mind when they are home alone.
If you have spotted one or more of the above signs, it could be time to discuss installing a stairlift with your parents. If you are not sure how to raise the subject, please read our next article on How To Tell Your Parents They Need A Stairlift.