Safety Suggestions For Senior Citizens On Stairs

Elderly folks rate climbing up and down stairs in their top five most difficult tasks. Furthermore, falling often leads to hip injuries, which causes 20% of this elderly population to die later that year from health complications. That's why it's essential to look into safety measures for your aged resident.

General Tips

Make it easier for this elderly individual to travel up the stairs. Be aware of things they may trip over or that might grab at them, like toys or loose nails. Additionally, thick carpet will be a hindrance so this should be removed from the stairs. Also think of what's at the top or bottom of stairs--throw rugs and waxed floors are tripping and slipping hazards.

Provide an easy path for your elderly friend. Railing should be in place and should be at a level where it's easy to grasp. Also provide ample lighting at the top and bottom of the flight of stairs. You may even consider built-in lights along the staircase. 

Another idea is to suggest that your friend or relative get in shape to be able to handle the stairs. Leg exercises like stretching or balancing or just general exercise will prevent accidents. Checkups are recommended so you can pinpoint underlying problems (e.g., arthritis, ear infections) that may lead to unsafe excursions on the stairs.

Above all, be patient and encourage this individual to take his or her time. Rushing leads to falls, so avoid it at all costs.


You may consider gadgets if this senior citizen is particularly wobbly on the stairs. Electric stair lifts allow these folks to sit on a chair and glide up the stairs safely, so this is worth looking into if you have the means. 

For handy canes, consider a stair assistance step, which is a regular cane with a box at the base that acts as step-between-steps to walk on. The elderly can place this on a step and then climb on top of it for a less steep ascent. This is great for easing knee pain! Alternatively, a stair climbing cane is another cane, only with a base that bends like a joint as you place it on the ground, which offers extra support.

Use the railing to your advantage with a metal bar that fastens to the rail and protrudes horizontally. A senior citizen will grab the bar and use it for balance while moving forward. It should lock itself in place if the user tries to move backwards or starts to fall. 

Following these suggestions offers ease of mind if an elderly individual lives with you. They ensure safety and a longer life for your loved one.