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Peace of Mind for Children - Securing Stairlifts in Ontario for Ageing Parents

According to Canada’s National Institute of Ageing (NIA), almost 100% of people aged 65 and older plan to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.


If your parents are within that age group and intend to stay in their Ontario home instead of moving into an assisted living facility, you may feel concerned for their wellbeing. Everyday activities, from washing dishes to hanging clothes out to dry, can become more difficult in old age due to various physical limitations. For example, 1 in 2 adults aged 65 and older have arthritis in Canada, which can have a significant impact on mobility and flexibility.


One of the most challenging daily tasks seniors experience is climbing up and down stairs safely. They may take a long time to reach the top or bottom unassisted, or be unable to use them completely if they use a wheelchair.


However, stairlifts can provide you and your ageing parents with greater peace of mind. In this post, we’ll discuss how stairlifts can help to improve safety in the home, the installation process, and more.


How can stairlifts help aging parents?

Stairlifts are designed to assist anyone with limited mobility, whether due to injuries, age-related conditions, or any other cause. There is a wide variety of stairlifts on the market, catering to diverse requirements, locations, and budgets.


Stairlifts are easy to operate in most cases. Ageing parents may be able to climb into the seat unassisted if necessary, even if transferring from a wheelchair. Once seated, the user can buckle themselves in with a safety belt if needed, then use the controls to guide themselves up or down stairs.


Different control setups are available, ranging from standard joysticks to ergonomic switches. Joysticks are common: they’re simple and comfortable to handle without the need to find the right switches.


Once activated, the stairlift ascends or descends along a rail installed beside the staircase. This eliminates the necessity to navigate stairs on foot, and makes the process much safer.


Elderly people with limited mobility can enjoy more freedom and independence in their own home with one or more stairlifts installed. It can also help to alleviate your worries about ageing parents living at home now or in the future.


Can I find a stairlift to suit my parents’ home?

Yes, you can choose from a huge selection of stairlifts if you’re considering investing in one for your ageing parents.


The most important difference between models is the type of stairs they’re designed for: straight, custom curved, or outdoor.


  • Straight stairlifts are the simplest and fastest type to install. These are attached to a linear rail without corners or turns.

  • Custom curved stairlifts can fit almost any staircase. These are more complicated to install than straight stairlifts as the rail must allow for a smooth turn around curves and corners. However, the right team makes fitting any type of stairlift look simple.

  • Outdoor stairlifts are fantastic for increasing accessibility outside the home. Users can come and go without worrying about climbing steps on wet or windy days. These can be made to fit straight and curved outdoor staircases.


Other differences between stairlifts include:


● Swivel seats (manual or powered)

● Safety belt type

● Footrest (manual or powered)

● Controls

● Charging point type


The variety of chairs available can make choosing one daunting, particularly if you and your parents have no experience with accessibility solutions.


What safety features do stairlifts include?

Safety features are an essential aspect of stairlifts: it’s crucial that your parents feel secure whenever they use it. Good safety features provide the peace of mind that they, and you, are looking for.


Common stairlift safety features include:


Sensors

Safety sensors on the stairlift detect when objects are blocking its way, such as a pet’s ball sitting on the rail. These sensors stop the stairlift to prevent problems. The object can be removed, and the stairlift will keep moving unobstructed.


Battery power for potential power cuts

Stairlifts run on rechargeable batteries to ensure they can operate at all times, even during a power cut. Your ageing parents won’t need to worry about being stranded if their home loses electricity for hours — they can reach the top or bottom of their stairs as usual.

Swivel seats

Swivel seats allow the user to move into the most convenient position safely when they reach the end of the rail. You can choose between manual or powered swivel seats.


While manual swivel seats are easy to use, the powered alternative is the better choice for anyone who may struggle to adjust the seat position using a manual mechanism.


Safety belt

Stairlifts can include safety belts or harnesses depending on the model. Either option is a primary safety feature and will keep the user secured. They are easy to buckle and unbuckle at the touch of a switch, but still offer reliable protection.


What other accessibility solutions can help aging parents?

Installing a stairlift in your parents’ home is just one way to improve accessibility. Other options include:


  • Grab bars: Small metal bars affixed to strategic points on walls. They provide ageing parents with a secure handhold when using the bathroom or other areas.

  • Railings: Railings can help to increase safety in hallways and any space inside or outside the home.

  • Ceiling lifts: Ceiling lifts enable people with limited mobility to move from a bed to a wheelchair in a comfortable, secure way.

  • Ramps: Fitting ramps at any external doorway improves accessibility and safety when coming or going. Anyone using a wheelchair, cane, or walking frame will find ramps much easier to navigate than steps.


If you feel your ageing parents could benefit from a stairlift or another accessibility solution discussed above, Total Access Solutions is ready to help.


We provide stairlifts from leading manufacturers, including Bruno and Handicare, with purchase, rental, and purchase with financing plans. We offer free virtual or in-home consultations to recommend the right solutions for your Ontario property.


Contact our friendly Ontario team today to schedule your consultation.





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