When is it the right time to consider a stairlift?

Stairs can provide a natural exercise in the home and are not usually considered until we find that we are struggling.

There are occasions where a stairlift can have a positive impact on a person’s life.

How can you spot the signs that indicate a stairlift could be a necessary solution for moving between the upstairs and downstairs, as mobility becomes an issue?

Read on for my advice as an experienced Occupational Therapist trained to assess health and abilities and recommend stairlifts.



Q   Many people have reservations about getting a stairlift and feel it could take away their mobility – from your experience, what would your view be on this?


A    If an individual has reservations about getting a stairlift, due to a fear that it may reduce their mobility, I would ask about their current level of mobility. Are they walking with a mobility aid or independently? How far can they currently walk? Do they tire easily? Do they experience shortness of breath?
Can they complete the stairs easily now or are they beginning to find the stairs are exhausting? Do they feel anxious about completing the stairs? Do they have stair rails in place to help them? Have they ever felt unsafe to complete the stairs or worried that they lack the strength to continue?
This information would help me to assess the current mobility, levels of fatigue, shortness of breath, emotional wellbeing, and the impact on energy levels. Completing stairs is a great form of exercise for those who are physically able to manage without risk of injury or harm, fatigue, or shortness of breath.
However, for those with reduced mobility, who are finding that completing the stairs is exhausting, a stairlift could be the perfect solution.


Q   If people don’t feel ready for a stairlift, what else could they do to ensure they are still able to access vital parts of their home such as the bathroom and kitchen whilst remaining mobile?


 If an individual does not feel ready for a stairlift but is unsafe to complete the stairs due to a risk of falling down the stairs. I would advise them not to use the stairs at all and instead to have a downstairs existence. I would ask the following questions:
  • Do you have two reception rooms?
  • Can one of them become a bedroom?
  • Do you have an easily accessible toilet downstairs?
  • Or is a commode needed? If a commode is needed, who will empty it?
  • Do you have level access shower facilities downstairs?
  • If not, can you manage to have an all over body wash independently? If not, can someone help you?
I would complete a detailed assessment of the home environment to reduce the risk of falls and offer solutions to promote independence.


Q   What would you say are the red lights’ that might indicate a stairlift could be needed relatively quickly?


A    There are several factors which could indicate that a stairlift is needed, such as:
  • Reduced mobility, the need for a walking aid, such as a walking stick or a walking frame.
  • Fatigue, shortness of breath, existing stair rails no longer appear to be helpful.
  • Feelings of anxiety related to the stairs and worry that they are unsafe to complete the stairs or that they lack the strength to continue.



If you are considering a stairlift and would like advice or support from an Occupational Therapist,

for yourself or for your loved one,
telephone on 07341265564

or email on info@homeindependenceot.co.uk 

or complete the contact form here.



Meet Sophia Occupational Therapist, based in Leicestershire

If you’d like to find out more about when the right time would be to look at a stairlift,

you can call Candor Care for a confidential chat under no obligation or pressure.  

Call 0330 100 4564 or arrange a Call Back via their website – https://www.candorstairlifts.co.uk/


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