Chair Lift For Stairs - Wondering if you're ready to foot the bill instead of the steps? Find out what you should know!



A Chair Lift For Stairs

your decision making guide.

A Chair Lift for Stairs. To buy or not to buy...that is the question. You do have choices, but let's find out if you really need to purchase a stair chair lift.

There is nothing like becoming isolated from a floor of your own home. I've seen 100's of elderly people in their homes and 100's of them have lived there for a very long time. Cutting off access to upstairs or downstairs can be traumatic. Especially if these levels house your room, your bathroom or a favorite area of your home.

First Things First

Consider the real reason why you are considering a chair lift for stairs:

  • 1. Are you easily breathless when you climb your steps>


  • 2. Are your legs exhausted by the time you reach the top?


  • 3. Are you in pain during the climbing process?


  • 4. Does it take you a long time to reach the top?


  • 5. Do you require human help to climb your steps?


  • 6. Do you fall frequently?


  • 7. Do you fear falling during the climbing process?


  • 8. Are you completely unable to climb your steps?



Do you have other reasons why you are considering a chair lift for stairs? Perhaps money is not an obstacle or you see the luxury of this added feature as added value for your Golden years.

Fist, let's talk about how you can add years to your life and strength to your frame by addressing some of the questions above in a logical, productive, pro-active manner.

1. Are you easily breathless when you climb your steps?

You may be breathless for different reasons. You may have a lung condition(s) such as COPD, emphysema or pneumonia. You may be deconditioned due to inactivity or surgery recovery.

If this is your only physical reason for purchasing a chair lift for stairs, try this first:

  • Walk once every other hour. This must be further than perhaps your typical walk to the bathroom every hour.
  • Stand up and sit down every other hour (in between walking hours) 8x from a comfortable surface (see below for height guidelines).
  • Depending on your initial breathless reason, you should be able to climb your steps in about 3-6 weeks.

elderly improve leg strength with walking

2. Are your legs exhausted by the time you reach the top?

If this is your only physical reason for purchasing a chair lift for stairs, consider the following strength training plan:

  • Find a sitting surface that you can stand up from without using your hands to push you up. This can be a straight back chair, a couch, the toilet seat or a bed. NOTE: If you are unable to stand without help, have your caregiver offer both of his or her hands for you to pull on. This strengthens both sets of arms and both backs in the process!
  • Sit down and stand up 15x from this surface.
  • Do this 3x every other day
  • After 3-4 weeks of this one simple yet effective strengthening activity, a whole new world of possibilities will open up for you. Climbing the steps never felt so easy!

chair squats for leg strength and power in elderly

3. Are you in pain during the climbing process?

If pain is keeping you from climbing your steps and pushing you towards a chair lift for stairs, you may or may not have options to try.

If your knees are 'bone on bone' when you walk, a chair lift for stairs may be your best option. 'Bone on bone' typically brings weakness with it. You may want to try the recommendations listed above fore leg strengthening but 'bone on bone' does not typically fix itself.

If your pain is from weakness which is normal or lack of range of motion (ROM), you may try the strengthening routine listed above. In addition:

Heel Slides
  • heel slides for improved strength in elderly legsLie on your back and slide your heels up towards your bottom 20x. Do this 3x every other day. Place a plastic bag under your foot for easier sliding.

  • hamstring strengthening prone for increased strength and range of motion in elderlyKnee Stretch rehab You can also lie on your belly and gently pull your foot towards your bottom to stretch your knee.



  • In 3-4 weeks, try a couple steps for progress comparison.

  • I have seen many painful knees climb steps sideways to avoid the extreme pressure that normal stair climbing can put on them.

  • If you have good ROM, you can do the "Butt Scootin Boogie!" This is much like you may have done as a child, scooting up and down on your bottom.

  • Do your best to try these strengthening measures as stair climbing will help keep your legs strong for years to come.

4. Does it take you a long time to reach the top?

If time is what ails you... complete some of the tricks mentioned above to strengthen your lungs and your legs. When this begins to improve, your timing will too! Keep climbing! You may find that you can beat a chair lift for stairs to the top!

5. Do you require human help to climb your steps?

If you are considering a chair lift for stairs at this point, you or your care giver are likely getting weaker. Here's a plan for you to try:

  • You AND your care giver make it a point to walk every other hour and sit to stand to sit every other hour in between. See above
  • If, after several weeks of pouring your heart into getting stronger, things are still looking dim, you may want to continue your consideration of buying a chair lift for your stairs.
6. Do you fall frequently?

Falling can be caused by several different things. Some falls are fluke i.e. tripping over the dog or a rug. Others are caused by internal reasons i.e. vestibular, aging eyes, weakness, loss of ROM etc.

If you are a frequent faller, you can work on the strengthening mentioned above. You may also benefit from a physical therapist evaluating why you are falling and addressing that. A simple phone call or trip to your physician inquiring about these services is usually all it takes. Or you can ask us to try to find you help.

Falling is a serious and sometimes life threatening issue. Don't think it will just go away... get the help you need now.

7. Do you fear falling during the climbing process?

Falling is a very real fear and concern for caregivers and patients alike. Fallers begin to 'nest' to keep from falling again and thus starts a cycle of weakness.

My encouragement to you is to begin the first workout routine listed above to improve your leg strength. This will help you to regain confidence in stair climbing AND in life! You will likely become more active not to mention feeling much better.

You may also want to follow the recommendations listed just above. Seek a home health care agency who provides physical therapy to address the specific reason why you might be falling.

8. Are you completely unable to climb your steps?

If a stroke, car accident or the like has left you completely unable to access all levels of your home, your consideration of a chair lift for your stairs is likely your best option.

Chair lifts are expensive but when all else fails, including our bodies, they are a miracle and half, allowing us to age in place - at home where we want to be. Use your good judgement to purchase one only when you need one - otherwise, I hope you chose to dance!






RELATED PAGES:

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How to Get Off a Low Couch

Putting Some Kick Into Your Home Exercise Routine

Strength Training Leg Exercises For The Elderly

Inspiration to Start A Home Exercise Program

Taking Your Beginner Exercise Program to the Next Level

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