Alzheimer’s and related conditions are often associated with memory loss and cognitive problems. But something less talked about is that dementia can often also affect mobility problems, too.
Dementia is the leading cause of dependency and disability in older people. Although it’s a common condition, adapting to daily life with dementia can be difficult for everyone involved. If you’re thinking about getting a stairlift to improve the independence of someone living with dementia, you might be wondering ‘how can I make the stairs safe for someone with dementia?’ and ‘are stairlifts safe for dementia patients?’
Read on to find out some simple ways to make the stairs safer for dementia patients.
Dementia can affect a person’s ability to use the stairs as it impacts their sense of depth perception. This makes it hard to judge where steps are, which can increase the risk of tripping or falling. Having handrails installed can provide extra support for someone who’d be unsteady on their feet. It gives them something steady to grip onto if they need it, making them feel more confident when they’re around the stairs. This is a practical and affordable option for someone living with dementia who isn’t quite ready to start using a stairlift.
Visual and perception issues can be a symptom of dementia, so improving visibility on the stairs, around any steps, and generally around the home is always a good idea. Making these changes doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive though. Simply update and renew bulbs to ensure they have strong wattage and brightness, and invest in lamps and extra lighting for low-lit areas.
Remove trip hazards
Everyday items left around the house waiting to be taken up or down the stairs can start to build up and cause unnecessary clutter. Minimize the risk of this happening by tidying up regularly. Make a habit of moving anything that doesn’t belong on one floor to the correct room to avoid potential trip hazards building up.
Use a stairlift
For someone who’s struggling to tackle the stairs, an obvious and practical option is to have a stairlift installed in your home. No matter what the person’s condition looks like, stair safety for individuals living with dementia should always be an absolute priority. By speaking to a GP or occupational therapist, someone living with dementia should always be assessed on their ability to use the stairlift independently and with support. Dementia symptoms can vary at different stages so an individual’s ability to use a stairlift will need to be reviewed routinely by a health professional.
Being safe and comfortable in your home should be a priority, especially for those living with dementia. If you’re experiencing mobility issues, then a stairlift could improve your quality of life. Speak to the friendly team at Halton on 0800 644 7766 to discuss your stairlift installation options, or to arrange your no-obligation home assessment today.
Neil is the founder of Halton Stairlifts. He has years of experience installing stairlifts across the UK. With an eagerness to help those with mobility issues get up the stairs, Neil understands how important it is for a seamless and straightforward approach to installing stairlifts to help those in need quickly.