Stairs can be dangerous for people of all ages, but they’re especially problematic for older adults. If your elderly family member is around stairs often, she needs to revamp how she thinks about them and how she approaches them.
Consider Proper Footwear
When your senior is able to remain stable on her feet, that can help her to avoid a great many issues, especially on the stairs. Make sure your senior’s shoes fit her properly and that they have sturdy soles that support her well. The right shoes are going to help her no matter where she’s walking, not just on stairs.
Encourage Her to Take Her Time on Stairs
Hurrying is sometimes necessary, but your senior should never rush when she’s navigating stairs. Encourage her to take her time whether she’s going up or down a set of stairs. Rushing tends to lead to missteps, and that’s something that you want your senior to avoid if it’s at all possible. Make sure that you always add in plenty of time when your senior needs to get ready to go somewhere, for instance, so that she’s not feeling rushed.
Keep Assistive Tools Safe and Available
There are plenty of assistive devices that can help your senior to be safe on the stairs, but they might not be items you think of as assistive tools at first. Proper lighting, secure handrails, and the right flooring on the stairs can all be considered assistive tools. Change anything about the stairs that makes them unsafe for your senior to navigate. Using tools like a walker is not recommended on stairs. You may need to find other options if your elderly family member uses a walker or wheelchair.
Make Sure She’s Aware of Any Possible Contributing Factors
There’s a lot of other possible safety concerns that can contribute to difficulty on the stairs. If your elderly family member is taking medications that make her dizzy or that affect her ability to use her muscles, that can be a problem. Also, if her vision is not as good as it used to be, she may not be able to see what she needs to see on the stairs. These are all factors that need to be addressed for her if possible.
Mobility is a huge concern for your senior, both on stairways and in other areas of her home. If she’s having increased difficulty navigating her home safely, it’s possible that she could benefit from the help of elder care providers. Elder care services providers can make sure she’s safe and that she’s able to still do what she wants to do.