Sure, there are alternatives to installing a stairlift for enhanced accessibility and ease in the home. In fact, other options may make more sense in the distinctive environment or could be more feasible due to other situational factors. Do you rent? Maybe a stairlift isn’t for you but there are other mobility aids with great promise and potential!
There are a lot of considerations when contemplating a stairlift in your home environment. For example, do you rent or own? Are there children or pets in the living situation? How big is your home? Stairlifts are versatile and can be found and adapted to fit most homes and dwellings, but there are some scenarios that might be better served with a different mobility aid and approach.
There are alternatives to stairlifts in the home to enhance accessibility and autonomy; here is what you should know:
Evaluate your Needs
The first thing that you should do is evaluate your needs. This involves a realistic view of your home surroundings and your own capabilities. Does a stairlift make the most sense? Are there others in the homes with health conditions to consider? Only you can accurately assess your situation and evaluate your needs before proceeding.
Ask yourself the following:
- Is the home safe? Do you feel safe here?
- Do you have assistance or anyone to help, if needed, in the current living situation?
- Are there obstacles in the home to ADLs, or activities of daily living?
- Does the home need repair, and if so, what are they?
- Where is the bathroom/bathrooms located in the home?
- Do you want to stay in the home?
- Does it make sense to stay in the home?
- Can you afford to stay in this living situation?
- What and where are your supports, like family or providers?
- What would make life easier for you, in this home or other living environment?
Instead of being laser-focused on the here and now, it can be beneficial to consider future needs, too. You know ‘you’ best.
Change your Surroundings
Do you rent or own your home? Would it be prudent to consider a move at this time? While the rental market can be tricky to navigate right now, there are advocates and resources in-place for those with disabilities. If a change in living environment is a viable option, you may not need the assistance of a stairlift. Again, it comes down to evaluating what you need to preserve, ensure, and optimize your own quality of life.
Adapt to One-Level
Are your limitations temporary? Those recovering from surgery or recuperating from injuries may not need the support or aid of a stairlift over time. This makes renting a stairlift a viable option. Another choice that only you can make for yourself is to resort to one level living, either for the time being or for the long-term.
This is also a possible way to curb the costs associated with maintaining a home but that is a topic for another day! Depending on the configuration of your home, there are basic modifications that can make this simple and convenient for those living there. Mobility aids and adaptive devices may be pragmatic when making the switch to an autonomous, one-level lifestyle.
Consider Other Approaches
Still, not everyone is interested in a stairlift for one reason or another. That is fine and fortunately, there are other solutions and approaches available to make life easier and more accessible.
Consider these tips:
- Portable ramps are affordable and easy to maneuver. They can level out a steep thresh-hold in the home, and they can make steps or risers easier to ascend or descend. They are less permanent fixtures that can be taken along in your vehicle for access on the road, too.
- Don’t underestimate the merits of grab bars throughout the home. A bit of sturdy support during ADLs can reduce the risk of a fall. Consider installing these near the sinks, toilet, foot and top of stairs, and anywhere that could be a fall risk.
- Have you considered a move? Depending on the nature of your limitations, assisted living or skilled nursing care could aid in rehabilitation or recovery, as needed. It may be that the current living situation simply doesn’t suit your needs any longer and you may want to consider other options.
- Is it possible to enlist the help of a paid caregiver or home health aide? These individuals can perform simple tasks, run errands, or aid with a number of things, from preparing food to administering medications. In-home care providers often contribute to seniors staying in their own homes to age in place.
Are there effective alternatives to a stairlift for enhanced accessibility in the home? You bet there are and we can’t wait to discuss them further with you! Call or visit to learn more about quality mobility aids from Pacific Mobility today!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)