Stair Gates and Stairlifts

The staircase is most likely one of the most dangerous places in the home, particularly for those who have issues with mobility – whether that is the elderly who are no longer able to walk properly, or the very young who are still learning how to walk.  Several things can be done by stair users to reduce the risk of injury and even death, including the installation of stair gates and stairlifts.

How to Stay Safe on the Stairs

Of course, the best way to stay safe on stairs is to pay attention to what you are doing.  You need to really look where you are stepping, particularly since no two sets of stairs are exactly the same.  Research has demonstrated that many accidents on stairs have been caused when the person climbing or descending the stairs was distracted by other external factors.  It is also important that staircases are well lit from top to bottom, particularly if you have stair gates and stairlifts installed.

There are many other things to think of when keeping staircases safe, such as:

  • Ensuring there are no obstacles on the stairs, such as toys or clothes
  • Not allowing children to use the staircase as a play area, as attractive as it may look to them

Stair Gates and Stairlifts – What To Use and When

Stair gates are generally used in the homes of people who have very young children, who are likely to not be able to master the stairs yet and who can also still be quite clumsy.  Generally, a stair gate will be placed at the top and bottom of the stairs, effectively making the entire staircase a no go area.

However, there are many homes that have both stair gates and stairlifts installed, for a variety of reasons.  For example, someone with reduced mobility may have young children.  Using a stair lift can assist those who have broken a leg for example.  But if young children are also present in the home, you would be likely to encounter a situation in which you will find stair gates and stairlifts.

Another option is in the homes of the elderly, where stair gates and stairlifts can be found for protection.  Generally, in this situation, a safety gate will only be placed at the top of the stairs.  The elderly with mobility impairment often have an impaired sense of balance and it is a distinct possibility that they could trip at the top of the stairs, resulting in a nasty fall that can potentially be fatal.

If you have both stair gates and stairlifts, it is important that you ensure firstly that the safety gates do not obstruct the rails of the stair lift, as well making sure that the user of the stair lift has a way to open the stair gates from their position on their stairlift.  Stair gates and stairlifts are, in essence, essential safety equipment in the home of anybody who has any form of mobility issue, making it hard for them to travel up and down stairs.

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