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Old 01-26-2021, 05:09 PM   #121
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I haven't read all the responses, but we moved to a one level last year at ages 64 and 68. We are both healthy and have no trouble climbing stairs. However we moved to another area after retiring and had the option to move to a one level. My take is, it took alot of energy to move at our ages. It would be much more difficult at age 76 or so. It may even be overwhelming at that age. We have talked of moving to another home in the future and neither of us relishes the thought of another move. Also, we love the one level. It is so easy to live here. We have exercise routines to replace the lack of stair climbing in our daily lives.
I heard someone say once they were grateful they moved to their retirement lifestyle home long before they actually needed to.
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93 + 91 Year old Still climbing Stairs
Old 01-26-2021, 05:10 PM   #122
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93 + 91 Year old Still climbing Stairs

A Friends 93 YO mother and 91 YO boyfriend have a second floor bedroom. They are very active. Still golf. Still travel even with Covid threatening. Surprisingly no hip or knee replacements. They have always said that they will not stop challenging their leg muscles and balance. Quite the inspiration. Know other late 80ís that have had hips and knees replaced that still climb the stairs. If you can do it, keep doing it.
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:17 PM   #123
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A couple of years ago I would have blown-off a post like this. In September my parents in their mid 80ís moved out of their 2-story house. Theyíve realized that they would have been really happy doing so 10 years earlier. It was getting more challenging than they realized. Maybe if your anticipating issues due to a known or evolving problem make a plan now for what you want to do and when. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:17 PM   #124
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My aunt and uncle lived in a 2 story house. When they could no longer climb the stairs, the installed a "chair lift" to take them up and down. Then when my aunt became bedridden, they moved her bed to the study on the first floor.
That device might be good if you have balance problems, and it would do nothing for you if you start to fall, but not for others like heart conditions.
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the stair question
Old 01-26-2021, 05:34 PM   #125
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the stair question

Eight years ago, at 57, my back went out unexpectedly and I spent about six weeks lying on my stomach in my living room. Standing, sitting, or walking was exquisitely painful. It turns out I have degenerating joints in my spine -- I'd had no idea. My friends brought my mattresses downstairs and everything happened on the first floor.


Things do happen as we get older. There may be surgeries, and you may need to be on one floor during your recovery. And at a certain point, if (best case scenario) you live to a VERY ripe age, stairs will be a burden -- as they were to my mother in her 90s. She also had no bathroom on the first floor, and had to use a potty chair, which my brother emptied.


I have two friends who are both doctors -- married to each other, very active (hiking, rowing, riding), in good health, only just retired. And they are planning to set up a first-floor bedroom suite. They went out of their way to recommend I do the same. And for what it's worth, I plan on listening to them. I'll be moving to another part of the country within the next year, and I will be looking for a house that either has a first-floor bedroom suite, or is cheap enough in price that I can have one built.


You sound as though you are in no hurry. If I were you, I'd begin leisurely thinking about moving, looking at houses in places I want to live, and seeing how the thought strikes me. If you find you hate the very idea of moving, put it off. If not, you may find an adventure ahead of you, and maybe one you'll enjoy.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:03 PM   #126
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I'm sure everyone knows (or are) old people who can run up the stairs two at a time, and also know others who at 50 have physical or medical conditions that make stairs difficult or impossible. Heck, I've considered putting rock wall climbing grips in the stairwells for the grandkids.

But what it all comes down to, IMHO, is whether you are a plan for the worst and hope for the best type, or someone who will deal with things as they occur. Either way is a legitimate (if incompatible) way to live. I'm more the latter, while DW is hardcore the former. And I've seen her be right often enough that in big decisions like housing I go with her choice. Actually I usually go with her choice on the little things too. I'm no dummy.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:04 PM   #127
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I think just making sure you have hand rails on both sides of the stairs is good enough for many years.

That said, we decided to downsize in our mid sixties to a one level 1100 square foot cottage with everything we need on the one level and the only stairs we have are to the basement and a couple up to the front porch or in from the garage. Grab bars have been installed already and right now come in handy for balance.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:07 PM   #128
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Obviously everyone is different to some degree and some will be more prone to having issues using the stairs. My 97 year old tenant still uses the stairs successfully every day...not quite as quickly as 20 years ago, but still gets around just fine. I did however, install a grab bar at the side of the bath tub several years ago at her request.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:24 PM   #129
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My current house has a bedroom and a bathroom on each level. If necessary, I could live on just the main level just fine. But I think for now, climbing the stairs each day helps keep me fit.
If I ever built a home, I would specifically design it to be able to age in place. It may have a second floor and/or basement but the main floor would have a bedroom, a bathroom designed so adaptive features could be added and any hallways /doors would be wide enough for a walker or wheelchair.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:31 PM   #130
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The fact you are thinking a lot about stairs becoming a problem, to the point you are looking at install of devices such as the AssiStep bar, tells me your peace of mind would be enhanced by a move to a single level home. Moving to a new home can be a major step, but millions of people do it every year. Spend the time to find another place you really like, and a move can become an exciting endeavor! You will feel emboldened by taking positive steps to stay in control of your life, and you will never have to wonder about stairs becoming a potential obstacle again. I would say, find that single level home that appeals, and move! Leave all your worries behind.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:35 PM   #131
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What about stoop stairs?

In these parts, most houses are on crawl spaces and there is a stoop of 3 to 5 stairs. Some newer homes are on slab or have grading such that there is no major step into the first floor, maybe just one to keep the water out. So even to get to the first level involves stairs.

What's the solution? Move to Dell-Webb or newer 55+ where they avoid this design? Bid high on the rare slab home? Move to Florida where everything is on a slab?

Typical stoop:
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:45 PM   #132
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Worrier says: "What about stoop steps?"

I live in Oregon on a continuous foundation home and have only a small 5 inch step up from driveway to my porch at front door, or a similar 5 inch step from garage floor to laundry room (and either or both of these could be easily ramped if a wheelchair ever came into my picture). OP, don't let the worrier naysayers dream up ridiculous obstacles to put in your way. There are likely hundreds of one level homes in your preferred city/neighborhood that would have minimal "stoop steps" obstacles conjured up by the worriers. Look for another single level home you find appealing, then go for it!
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:53 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireeRobert View Post
Worrier says: "What about stoop steps?"

I live in Oregon on a continuous foundation home and have only a small 5 inch step up from driveway to my porch at front door, or a similar 5 inch step from garage floor to laundry room (and either or both of these could be easily ramped if a wheelchair ever came into my picture). OP, don't let the worrier naysayers dream up ridiculous obstacles to put in your way. There are likely hundreds of one level homes in your preferred city/neighborhood that would have minimal "stoop steps" obstacles conjured up by the worriers. Look for another single level home you find appealing, then go for it!
Thanks for dismissing my concern. Every home in my neighborhood of 272 homes has at least 3 steps. Your 5" step is not common here.

Thanks for nothing.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:01 PM   #134
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Start yoga classes 3x per week to keep both your strength and flexibility. I started 4 years ago at 58 and it's one of the best choices I've ever made.


A friends 102 year old grandmother has been doing yoga for decades. Not like she used to, but her balance is amazing for someone her age. Couldnít agree more on yoga also from personal experience and that of many elderly people in know. I met a 96 year old at an outdoor concert a few years ago. He did yoga every day. Walked with no cane or walker on uneven grass surface. I was shocked to see it. He had several 50-70 something ladies he escorted from his yoga class that were clearly very happy to be with him
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:09 PM   #135
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I used a stair chair for 7 yrs in our last two level house after several complicated knee replacements. The chair made it doable, costed me around $5k at that time.

Our present one level house comparatively is so much easier to live in.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:11 PM   #136
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Wow. 57? Youíre not thinking right. Get up. Walk the stairs 6 times a day minimum.
Join a gym. Walk. Run.
Iím 75. When I was 57 I was rollerblading. I did until 4 years ago. I go to the gym 6 days a week. I weigh what I did in college. Itís work. And it works.
Above all, keep moving.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:40 PM   #137
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MODERATOR NOTE: Some posts have been removed. Please be courteous with each other, even in disagreement. And please don't repost what you have already said. If it gets worse, the thread will be closed. And that would be a shame.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:57 PM   #138
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As for what to do about a single story house with steps at the front door, here's what I have seen in my neighborhood: People just build a sturdy, permanent ramp, a long one with rails to hang on to. Personally I think they look tacky (yes I can be overly snobby sometimes). Still, one could put the ramp at the back door and then use that door only.

My home has a couple of steps to the front door, but there are no steps from the detached garage to the back door. I hardly ever use the front door anyway, so, I won't need a ramp for it. I just go in and out the back door which has no steps. Since the prior owner of my home used a wheelchair, that entry is wheelchair friendly which is nice to know in case I need one some day.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:11 PM   #139
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OP - how agile are your parents? At what age did they start to slow down? I think family history will be a good guideline for you to know when it might become a problem.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:55 PM   #140
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In part, it's a risk assessment. As others here have pointed out, you'd be in an untenable spot if you injured yourself, especially with your only bathroom located upstairs. You may never have an issue with the stairs, or they may be a considerable problem in your future.

I think how you respond to the issue depends in part on your assessment of the risk involved.
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