Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Can I Age In Place With Stairs?
Old 01-21-2021, 02:06 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 80
Can I Age In Place With Stairs?

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.

Stairs are no problem for me now at 56 and I think it's probably good for me to be running up and down the stairs all day long. Someday the stairs may become a problem. Should I plan to move soon (in the next 5 years) or can I plan to age in place in my current home at least for a while (perhaps 20 years).

A teenage girl in the UK invented the StairSteady System that basically adds a weight-bearing handle to the staircase, so you can use it to "steady" yourself as you go up or down the stairs. Watching the videos, I feel that if I can move around enough to cook for myself, I could also climb the stairs using this device. I realize that if I am in a wheelchair or have dementia, this won't help.



I think it looks ok since the handle folds away when not in use and since it is simple, I think the costs would be reasonable. Right now, this device is available throughout Canada and the UK, but not in the USA.

There is a similar device called AssiStep stair walker that does not look as nice and would cost more and is also NOT available in the US.

I do not think I would install more complicated systems like stair lifts. When I can't make my home work, I would just move.

Any thoughts? Do you think the Stair Steady system would buy me some extra time to age in place? Is anyone aware of similar "simple" solutions to make stairs easier to handle?

Am I worrying over nothing? Maybe stairs will never become an issue for me
Delaney is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-21-2021, 02:15 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: No Country for Old Men
Posts: 47,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delaney View Post
Am I worrying over nothing? Maybe stairs will never become an issue for me
None of us knows the future, but barring a stroke or major cardiac event you will likely see problems coming far enough ahead of time to have something like you show installed. Hopefully you'll never need the assistance and if you do, the product will be available here in the US by then.

At age 56 I'd find something far more interesting to occupy my time other than this.
__________________
Numbers is hard

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 02:24 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Fargo
Posts: 558
Keep doing stairs and stairs are easier. Stop doing stairs, stairs get harder.

I would revisit at 76.
bloom2708 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 02:25 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by statsman View Post
I am not sure I would want to live in a house without at least one bedroom and full bathroom downstairs. DW had a strained hip muscle many years ago that made going up the stairs extremely difficult for a couple of days. Having our spare bedroom and bathroom on the first floor came in good use.
Well guess what, some of us have what we have and we're trying to figure out what to do. Moving in these times is a non-starter. Thanks for your input, but that wasn't the question.

To the OP: I think about this a lot at age 58.

Here's my conclusion. When it comes time to get one of these, then it is time to move. Probably to an apartment. Right now I enjoy the aspects of home ownership. I like to work on my house. I like having a garage. I like to fix stuff, including my cars. I like gardening.

Much of that is starting to hurt, sometimes bad due to osteoarthritis. I see a future where none of that will be possible. Stairs will probably be an issue then too.

When that happens, time to move. Let someone else take care of everything. Completely simplify our lives.

That's my current $0.02 on the matter. I've gone back and forth on a lot of ideas. This is where I'm at today.
__________________
Retired Class of 2018


JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 03:14 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 4,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
Well guess what, some of us have what we have and we're trying to figure out what to do. Moving in these times is a non-starter. Thanks for your input, but that wasn't the question.
The title asks, "Can I Age in Place With Stairs" and as far as I know....YOU didn't ask the question.

As to the OP's question, that contraption looks like it could be quite dangerous if the user had balance issues, which is common as people age. As to if stairs will be an issue....well, that's the risk you have to evaluate. Personally, I loathe stairs and have heard plenty of stories where folks have issues when they can no longer use the stairs. On the other hand, I haven't heard anyone really complain about NOT having stairs...at least in relation to getting older or having some sort of mobility issue.
__________________
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. -Jules Renard
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40*
See Profile For Details.
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 03:21 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SoCal
Posts: 852
I have 2 flights of stairs in my home, and at 58 it helps keep my legs strong. One day I may be limited to the 2nd floor (where everything is at) should I remain living here.

I also have a long rather steep driveway that could be problematic.

It's something I'll keep an eye on.
Mr. Tightwad is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 03:29 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: South central PA
Posts: 2,341
At age 56, if you are healthy and stay that way, you probably have at least 20 years there. There are 90+ year old runners and there are people in their fifties, who are disabled from severe joint effects from their obesity.

That contraption doesn't look safe. There are chair style stair lifts that are easily installed in a home. If it were me and I felt I couldn't cope with stairs, I'd move.

A couple of years ago, I had a lot of knee and leg pain, from standing a lot. I cut out carbs and a lot of the pain and inflammation went away. I'm working on losing weight, which should also make a difference. DH had severe arthritis in his foot (not gout). The diet change erased that completely. I know this sounds crazy, but it was our experience.
EastWest Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 03:34 PM   #8
Moderator
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 17,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
When it comes time to get one of these, then it is time to move. Probably to an apartment.
That makes the most sense to me. If you have the kind of home where you can "age in place" with all necessary conveniences and accommodations, then you're good to go. If not, moving is almost always a reasonable option. If you enjoy your home now, continue to enjoy it for as long as you can. That's what I would do.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 03:42 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom2708 View Post
keep doing stairs and stairs are easier. Stop doing stairs, stairs get harder.

I would revisit at 76.
^^ this ^^
JRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 06:19 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
MrsHaloFIRE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 733
I'm 37 and I jacked my back so badly I was thanking sweet baby Jesus we had a 1 level house. Its not age its luck at some points. No one has a history of falling until the 1st time they slap the ground.
MrsHaloFIRE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 06:32 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 11,191
I have some experience with this issue, due to relatives.

A straight stair run with a stair chair is pretty cheap around $2K->$3K , if you have 3 corners like my FIL , then it's $10K from the priciest place that advertises on TV a lot.

Other versions are not as expensive, but a lot of old people (my FIL) don't seem to shop around as his info comes from TV.

The stair chairs do make living in a house possible, and frankly they work well, even when the power is out (as they have built in battery).

The thing the OP picture shows looks fine for some folks, until they need a stair chair.

The thing the OP showed, doesn't seem to be any better than putting railings on both sides of the stairs all the way up.
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 06:32 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 6,165
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!
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 06:59 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 11,191
Our next house will not have stairs, but when we bought here we were young and stupid and thought the future meant next year
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 07:11 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St. Charles
Posts: 2,606
Personally, I prefer a one level house as we get older (OK, we have a basement, but I do not need to go there often, and it is not finished). We had a large one level home (finished basement) before FIRE. We loved it, but it was really too big (and too far out of town).

So, we currently have a one level townhome (condo). No outside maintenance by us. A nice, private, courtyard. An indoor pool and an outdoor pool. Fees are $225/month, including insurance (studs out).

To me, the one bath upstairs would be the big issue. As I get older is need to go there more often.
__________________
If your not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
Never slow down, never grow old!
CardsFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 07:36 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: No fixed abode
Posts: 8,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
Well guess what, some of us have what we have and we're trying to figure out what to do. Moving in these times is a non-starter. Thanks for your input, but that wasn't the question.
That's a fairly aggressive response to a legitimate comment. And I don't think moving is a non-starter in these times, or the real estate market wouldn't be booming the way it is.

I also wouldn't live in a house with the only bathroom upstairs. The bedroom you can possibly deal with, but the bathroom is critical.

We just last year sold our 3 story TH that had the kitchen on the middle floor and the bedrooms at the top. It was doable (we're 65), but it was a PITA. If I was working on something it was guaranteed that I'd need something else two floors away. Our new place has first floor living. There's a second floor with guest bedrooms and a basement with storage and my shop, but if things get bad we're able to exist solely on the ground floor.

I'm pretty positive that living in a house something like the OP has caused my mother to die earlier than she might have otherwise. She started falling and broke her hip. Even after she healed (somewhat) she suffered a lot. Her entire living area required her to go up some steep, narrow steps. She basically had to haul her groceries up by sitting on the steps, slipping up a step or two, and pulling her bag up behind her. I didn't know what she was going through until later, and she wouldn't consider moving.

I don't think that sliding gizmo would have worked for her, even before the broken hip. She always had balance issues, and that would have been just one more thing to deal with.

Personally, in the OPs situation I'd be starting the process for moving elsewhere. She's still young enough that she can take her time and find the right place. But all it takes is one injury to make that situation untenable. JMHO, YMMV.

Edit: I just realized I assumed the OP was female, probably based on the picture. If that was wrong, sorry.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Anonymous (not Will Rogers or Sam Clemens)
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 08:30 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7,192
The obvious answer is get a place without stairs. I'm sorry to be aggressive, but some of us have to solve this problem a different way. There's not enough supply of stair free houses.

I thought the OP has a great question, and it resonated with me.

But since we are once again going to go down the path of stair-less solutions, complete with all the stories of how great stair-less houses are, then I'm out of this discussion. See ya on the other threads.
__________________
Retired Class of 2018


JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 08:38 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ready's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,565
Is this a legitimate question from the OP or an advertisement for a product? The general question of aging in place with stairs is fine, but there are plenty of solutions to address the situation. Why is there such a focus on this one product in the original post?
Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 08:51 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Everett
Posts: 996
If you want to maintain the ability to do stairs, it might help to do strength and agility exercises that are safe to do but a little harder than stairs. Of course there are other issues that maybe can't be addressed by exercise, such as poor vision, age-related balance problems, and cognitive decline that affects kinaesthetic awareness.

IMHO, if you are considering using a gadget to go up and down stairs, then stairs are probably not safe for you. A solid handrail and good lighting should be enough, assuming the stairs are not inordinately steep. If not, then move to a place without stairs.
O2Bfree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 08:58 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 7,828
We moved last year and only considered a 1 story home, as we plan on staying for quite awhile.
Perhaps stairs would not be an issue, but just one less thing to worry about.
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 09:05 PM   #20
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 7,783
I wouldn't be in a rush at 56, and I wouldn't be looking at devices (because the tech will be better before you need it), but I'd be having a long hard think about my ideal home before perhaps age 70, vs. one where I had to go up the stairs to use a bathroom.

If there isn't room to add rooms downstairs, and moving isn't an option, would remodeling to put in an elevator be an idea? (obvs that would be complicated, and cost more than moving).
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aging, housing, safety


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Attic Access w/o stairs/ladder? ERD50 Other topics 90 10-06-2020 03:34 PM
How do I child-proof these stairs? soupcxan Other topics 22 07-03-2015 07:50 PM
Best lightweight steam cleaner for stairs and stuff..... FinanceDude Other topics 1 10-20-2010 04:15 PM
New Place Vs Return To Wonderful Old Place yakers Travel Information 22 09-26-2008 06:00 PM
Split Level Houses - Climbing Stairs cube_rat Other topics 5 05-26-2006 03:08 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.