As we get older, the time may come when everyday tasks become more difficult than they used to. Walking up the stairs often places a great deal of pressure on the joints and muscle groups that the elderly can find very sore. Other problems such as arthritis or a prior hip fracture – as well as general aging – can also have an impact on movement, and this could leave the body in a state of vulnerability when it comes to moving about the house.
To overcome this, mobility aids and home adaptations can make home life a lot easier and more convenient, reducing the pressure put on the joints. But how do you know when it’s the right time to buy a stairlift?
The most reliable way to detect whether mobility assistance is required is to see a doctor or occupational therapist professional. A doctor will be able to determine to what degree your movement has been compromised by either aging or medical conditions.
If you are suffering from symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a stairlift installation can help ease the joint pressure experienced when moving about the house. Stairlifts that feature a joystick operation are easier to use for those who suffer from arthritis, because they involve only small movements of the wrist. For information on Stairlifts Bristol, visit a site like https://www.pearcebrosstairlifts.co.uk/stairlifts-bristol/
When it comes to testing the ability of your movements, there is a long-established method. The test involves monitoring the time taken to get up from a chair, walk a distance of three meters, return back to the chair and sat down. If you take less than 10 seconds to complete this task, then you have a normal degree of mobility. Between 11-20 seconds indicates that you may be struggling with this movement and can benefit from the help of a stairlift. 20 seconds or more suggests you might need help with movement outside the home in the form of a caregiver.
The stairlift for you
Once you’ve determined whether you need a stairlift to help with movement around the house, it is a case of deciding on the right product for you. While this may seem a daunting task to begin with, the best manufacturers will provide plenty of guidance and a home appraisal.
First, determine whether you want a stairlift for straight or curved staircase, as this will narrow down the search criteria. Then, you’ll want to decide what is comfortable for you:
Do you want to travel in a sitting position?
If the answer is yes, then you would be well advised to invest in a sitting stairlift. It is the most popular type of stairlift, although some opt for a standing model if they struggle at times to bend their knees.
Is it painful to move your hand or wrist?
If so, then you might want to opt for a joystick or a switch to operate a stairlift. If the movement in your wrist is ok, then you could consider a stairlift with a remote control.
It can be tempting to go for cheap disability aids which do not always meet your specific needs, but it may be wasting money in the long term, because it is always best to choose a stairlift that is right for you and your degree of movement.