While it’s most common in older people, dementia can affect anyone. Although adapting to life with dementia comes with lots of challenges, it is possible to lead a fulfilling and active lifestyle even with dementia. If you or someone you know is living with dementia you might be wondering whether stairlifts are safe to use in the home. Read on to find out more.
How can dementia affect mobility?
Dementia can affect a person’s coordination and balance, as well as their overall mobility. This can make tackling the stairs a real concern. While the symptoms of dementia may make a person feel less confident than they used to when moving around, it’s important to stay mobile where possible.
The truth is that dementia can present differently at different stages, and every individual is different. For this reason, it’s crucial to get advice from a health professional about your particular condition and diagnoses before making any big decisions or changes to the home. By speaking to a GP or occupational therapist, someone living with dementia can be assessed on their ability to use mobility aids like stairlifts independently and with support.
Ways to make the stairs safer
Supporting the independence of a person living with dementia is crucial to their health and well-being. Once you have decided that a stairlift is the right choice for you and your home, there are practical things you can do to make travelling up and down the stairs feel safer.
- Remove trip hazards
Trip hazards on the stairs don’t just mean obvious obstructions like pets or clutter. Hazards can also include uneven carpeting and rugs, and even items left at the top or the bottom of the stairs waiting to be taken to another part of the house. Be sure to do a regular sweep for potential hazards before using the stairs.
- Increase lighting
Low or dim light levels can mean you’re unable to see the stairs properly, and this can lead to misjudging the step and tripping or falling. Ensure there’s bright lighting around the stairs and in the hall and landing areas.
- Add more support
If you’re not yet ready for the addition of a stairlift to your home, having handrails fitted can be a practical and affordable way to add an extra level and support and safety for the person using the stairs. It means they have quick access to support to steady themselves in the instance of a wobble or fall.
If you’re concerned about stair safety and dementia, then a stairlift could be the best solution for you and your family. Speak to the friendly team at Halton on 0800 644 7766 to discuss your stairlift installation options, or to arrange your free no-obligation home assessment today.