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Old 01-21-2021, 09:08 PM   #21
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We lived in a place with 3 floors up north. When we decided to relocate to south Arizona, we looked at both single and two story SFH's. We nearly put an offer on a 2-floor home, but picked a single foor one instead, for mainly because it was in better shape and in a nicer neighberhood.

I'm so happy we ended up with just one floor! It's much more convenient and the house feels bigger and more open. We also love the fact that it's easier to keep all of the house cool in the summer.

Although stair and aging were not the main thing on our minds, I'm VERY glad we only have one floor. Plus, we only have 2 bathrooms to clean, without a first floor "powder room"! If we do end up aging in place, we just have one fewer headache on our hands. So, if you plan to move anyway, it's good to think longer term and consider what will be important in a decade or more.

Oh, if you anticipate the need to move, don't wait too long. It's a huge pain, one of the most unpleasant things I've done in years, regardless of COVID.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:29 PM   #22
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My first wife fell down the stairs when she was 33. Just bruised her butt, but was sore for a week. My Ma fell down a half flight and was dead 6 months later.

Not doing stairs. Ever. No stairs here, sweet!
I'm 63, and in good shape, and go up and down stairs all day. I purpsefully walk up stairs at w*rk (pre COVID), and hills while walking and cross country skiing and hiking. Having said that, I think it is how I will die. I've fallen down stairs as a child, and as an adult. I've fallen up stairs more times than I can remember (i.e. tripped and ended up face down on the stairs). Don't know why, perhaps just clumsy or inattentive...but deep inside I pretty much know that will be my demise.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:50 PM   #23
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... Someday the stairs may become a problem.....
Am I worrying over nothing? Maybe stairs will never become an issue for me
I wouldn't start worrying about this until you start having problems getting up and down the stairs. You may never have problems. And if you do, the solution will be be more obvious to you when it happens as opposed to now.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:31 PM   #24
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I'm 63, and in good shape, and go up and down stairs all day. I purpsefully walk up stairs at w*rk (pre COVID), and hills while walking and cross country skiing and hiking. Having said that, I think it is how I will die. I've fallen down stairs as a child, and as an adult. I've fallen up stairs more times than I can remember (i.e. tripped and ended up face down on the stairs). Don't know why, perhaps just clumsy or inattentive...but deep inside I pretty much know that will be my demise.
It can happen to anyone!

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/3...colorado-home/

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Mount Everest disaster survivor dies in fall at Colorado home

Charlotte Fox survived a harrowing incident on Mount Everest in 1996 and became the first American woman to climb three 8,000-meter peaks, so irony wasnít lost on her friends when the longtime Aspen resident died last week after apparently falling on the steep steps of her house in Telluride.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:34 PM   #25
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My in-laws are in their mid-80's and their bedroom is on the second floor. So far they don't seem to mind. The same situation applies to my parents. One observation with both my parents and in-laws was that they started to slow down and tire more easily when they reached their early 80's. So as long as you stay in good health you should be okay for the next 30 years in a two story home.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:37 PM   #26
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My cousins, in their 60s but not yet 65, recently sold their house and moved into a two story condo with a bathroom and bedroom on the ground level. One of them told me that they could have had an elevator installed but they're not as reliable as...I think he said building elevators. I live in a building with elevators that are out of order sometimes but I never thought of the consequences of that in a house. Single level is clearly the best option.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:43 PM   #27
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My in-laws are in their mid-80's and their bedroom is on the second floor. So far they don't seem to mind. The same situation applies to my parents. One observation with both my parents and in-laws was that they started to slow down and tire more easily when they reached their early 80's. So as long as you stay in good health you should be okay for the next 30 years in a two story home.
Again, the bedroom isn't the issue. IMO the only bathroom being on the second floor is a deal breaker. Something as simple as a broken foot could result in some messy pants, at least for the first week. That's a long way to go when you are having trouble moving. A broken hip or something serious, I don't even want to think about.

I'd have that house on the market tomorrow. But people do their own things for their own reasons.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:05 AM   #28
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I live alone in a 2 floor house. All three bedrooms and the only bathroom is upstairs. To get upstairs, there is a 13 step narrow, carpeted staircase. There really is no room to add a bathroom or bedroom on the main floor.
This does not sound ideal to me, really not acceptable at all. When I was about your age I broke my ankle. I lived in a 2 story house but my bedroom and bathroom was on the first floor. And, I had DH to help me so it was OK. I could not have stayed there at all with your set up due to the lack of a bathroom.

I do personally feel it is safer to age without stairs. The stair chair are perhaps acceptable for people who have no other alternative. I have a friend whose mother lives with her and she has a stair chair. However, the stair chair is slow and sometimes her mother just walks up and down the stairs due to that. She did fall once (was not seriously injured but could have been).

I would not live in a situation where the only bathroom was upstairs so I would definitely move from where you live now. And, if I was moving, then I would move somewhere without stairs. If there were no other options except places with stairs then I would look for a place where the master bedroom, bath, and kitchen were all on the main floor and didn't require stairs. That is, I would be Ok with having little used rooms on the upper floor if there were no other good alternatives.
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:41 AM   #29
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I have always been too paranoid about everything. I am 45 and we are moving to a single-story house soon. My thinking was move to a future proof house when I have time, motivation and option to do it. To each of their own.

PS: We did lot of features in this house keeping the wheelchair in mind (no steps, wide doors, curb-less walk-in shower, etc.). I know too early and unnecessary but it was easy and cheap to do during the whole house renovation.

PS2: Only other data point I have: My aunt who passed away at 67 always wished they had a bathroom downstairs. My uncle finally had the renovation done and added a bathroom downstairs at 70. They are in London so moving to a single-story house is VERY expensive.
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:59 AM   #30
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We wonder about this occasionally. DW will say that she would like to have a ranch some day, but we have done and spent a lot to make this house just as we like it. We do have a 1/2 bath on the ground floor. I always say that is the stair hand rail is not enough, we could get a stair lift. A quick search said the typical cost is $2800-5000. Beats moving to me.
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:28 AM   #31
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I had some mobility issues following my recent foot surgery and my broken ankle several years ago.

I handled the stairs fine after a little practice. But the shower presented the biggest hurdle. The slippery surfaces are tough when standing/ walking is compromised. If/ when the time comes, I will consider adding grab bars in the bathroom before addressing the stairs.
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:12 AM   #32
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Yes, there are lot many more factors to consider before moving. For us, we wanted land for our homestead and I wanted to reduce ongoing recurring costs of property tax, utility and upkeep of a large house. Moving from 5500 sqft to 2400 sqft.
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:21 AM   #33
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My mother is 88, living by herself in a house with stairs. It makes me nervous but she's doing fine so far.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:27 AM   #34
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Our bldg. has 2 elevators. Knock on wood - we've never lost BOTH except for the few seconds it takes to transition to the building's generator (we lose local power probably half a dozen times a year for minutes to an hour.) We have friends who's elevator (their apt. was on floor 7) was OUT completely for 6 weeks. That would NOT have worked for DW. In a true emergency, DW can get DOWN the emergency stairs (on her bottom - looks hilarious but I have NEVER laughed!).

We would not consider a place with stairs only. Just would not work but YMMV.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:52 AM   #35
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If you look at locations in the world where people live long and healthy lives, they live on a hill side and walk to the market every day. Keep walking the stairs as long as you can do so with reasonable safety. You can add mechanical assistance as needed if safety (not comfort or convenience) becomes a real problem.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:02 AM   #36
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Walking up and down the stairs in my house with dumbbells is one of my workouts.

That being said, I'm pretty handy and would build a half bath on the main floor simply because I would want a bathroom on the main floor.
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Can I Age In Place With Stairs?
Old 01-22-2021, 10:02 AM   #37
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Can I Age In Place With Stairs?

One day in your not too distant future (5-10 years Iíd guess) the ability to climb those stairs will drop off all of a sudden. Thatís how it got for both me and my wife. For some it seems to almost happen overnight. For others it might be more gradual. I would not plan on staying there past age 60 imo.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:06 AM   #38
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If you look at locations in the world where people live long and healthy lives, they live on a hill side and walk to the market every day. Keep walking the stairs as long as you can do so with reasonable safety. You can add mechanical assistance as needed if safety (not comfort or convenience) becomes a real problem.
+1

DW and I have thought about this as we have 3 finished levels plus an attic. But in our early 60s we focus more on staying healthy and doing lots of walking and moving about. As was also mentioned, it is a good regular workout. Losing 20+ pounds since retirement has also helped.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:27 AM   #39
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:32 AM   #40
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Can I Age In Place With Stairs?

IMHO, no, so it’s a matter of when to make the move and to what.
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