Managing Stairs at Home

Seniors who are living at home want to continue their independent lifestyle. An AARP survey in 2014 found that 88 percent of seniors said they wanted to stay in their homes as long as possible.

When you buy a home, you may not have considered what it would be like to age in it. The multiple staircases and large tiled areas that were enchanting as an adult can quickly become dangerous for seniors still living at home. Falls from a standing position alone can be potentially fatal. Add in the threat of falling down the stairs and suddenly the house can become unnavigable.

There are several options for seniors that can make stairs and landings safer to navigate without sacrificing independence.

Elder Care Rochester NY - Managing Stairs at Home

Elder Care Rochester NY – Managing Stairs at Home


This is an installed handrail that locks when weight is applied to it, which gives seniors a safe way to hold their weight while climbing stairs. It also lets seniors rest if they need to as they climb stairs.

EZ Step

This device looks like a cane, but really acts as a step between steps to reduce how much a senior needs to lift their legs while climbing up or down stairs. This is beneficial to seniors who have had knee surgery or hip replacements and can’t move their legs as well as they used to.

Stair lifts

Electric stair lifts are useful for transporting elderly or disabled people up or down stairs. They even have versions of the stair lift that can accommodate wheelchairs. Additionally, these devices can be purchased or rented, so there are options for every financial situation.

Other options

Anti-slip strips can be installed on stairs that have hardwood or tile. This gives the feet something more to hold onto during ascent and descent. Handrails should be properly installed into the studs on every staircase. Additionally, if the house is hardwood or tile, remove any rugs that may cause a slip near the stairs and replace them with anti-slip rugs that have plastic or rubber feet. These grip the floor and aren’t easily moved, so if an elder loses their balance, the rug won’t slide.

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to move the senior downstairs. If there is a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, this can be a relatively simple arrangement. However, if the only options for sleeping and bathrooms are upstairs, then remodeling may be required. Medical beds can also be brought in to give seniors a safe place to sleep in the new layout.

If you’re moving your elder to the downstairs of a house, try to take stock of what remains upstairs and bring down commonly used items. This may mean moving some things upstairs to make room.

Aging at home doesn’t have to mean giving up independence. Elder care options also let you hire a trusted provider to make sure your senior is able to fully navigate their home even as they age. By taking the time to make stairs safe for elders, you can give them the tools they need to age gracefully and safely in the home they love.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt