4 Tips to Keep In Mind When Picking Out a Staircase for the Elderly

Walking up and down the stairs can present more of a challenge for elderly people than it does for younger ones, so you need to take more care when you're choosing staircases that are going to be used in a home that is owned or used by seniors.

If you want to prevent injuries and make life a little easier, just follow these four handy tips.

1. Make it Straight and Slim

If possible, opt for straight staircases. These will be easier to climb than stairs with any curves or corners, and they tend to be the best for use with stair-lifts, which an elderly person may need to use in the future. You might be tempted to go with a slightly wider than normal staircase to provide more room, but this can actually be a disadvantage since it will be tougher to hold onto both side rails, so try installing a normal or slightly narrow one instead.

2. Consider LED Lighting

If you thought that staircase technology had reached its zenith years ago, you would be wrong. In fact, people are coming up with new ways to improve stairs all the time, and one of the most beneficial upgrades for stairs used by elderly people is inbuilt LED lighting. These provide outstanding visibility across each step, and the bulbs last so long that you could go decades without having them replaced. Since seniors often suffer from poor eyesight, having well-lit steps is vital if you want to help prevent any slips and falls.

3. Use Carpets

One thing you should definitely take advantage of for a staircase that will used by elderly people is carpeting. Carpets provide a soft non-slip surface that is excellent for seniors, and it also insulates against heat to prevent the feet getting cold. Most importantly, it provides a welcome degree of cushioning, so any slips and falls that do occur are likely to cause less damage.

4. Provide Strong Handrail Support

Elderly people tend to be less steady on their feet than younger ones. This presents problems when they are going up and down the stairs since moving upwards or downwards will be harder and falling down will be easier. That's why you really need to ensure that the handrail you pick is very sturdy. It should take your whole weight without shifting or feeling like it could break. Additionally, you might consider fitting a wall-mounted handrail to provide the user with handrails to grip on either side of their body.