Stairs

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Al fox

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I was diagnosed two years ago, I'm 41 and still in relatively good shape(legs are working fine), and stairs are not an issue for me. I'vbeen thinking about all the stairs in my house and what will happen when I'm no longer able to climb them. Other than moving to a new house I'm wondering what other solutions I may have. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks,

Alan
 

FirstMate

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We moved our bedroom downstairs and had a wheelchair lift installed to go down the 4 steps to the bedroom.
 

ottawa girl

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We recently had to move because there was no way to adequately renovate our two level condominium. The bathrooms were small and both upstairs. I know lots of people who were able to move to the downstairs of their home and change up their bathroom.

I'm glad we moved when we did because the stairs were really sapping my energy, though I could still do them. Even so, the move totally exhausted me and set me back for weeks. If you find you must relocate, I strongly suggest you do it sooner, rather than later. I read chair lifts are an expensive short term and impractical solution for PALS. There are a ton of accessible renovation ideas on the Internet - big and small.

Glad you are doing great - two years in. Keep it up!:razz:
 

hjlindley

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I took probably the most drastic efforts to avoid stairs. We're putting on a large handicapped accessible addition to the back a house. In our real estate market a first-floor master is very desirable so were hoping this is going to add value to the house. Certainly not an option available to everybody. But I moved downstairs to the small guest bedroom before I took a header down the stairs which almost happened twice. Good luck!
Hollister
 

mbmurray

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@hjlindley, I too live in VA, NOVA :)

Luckily when we built the house we live in today 7 years ago, we built it with a ground floor master bedroom and large master suite bath. So any modifications will be minimal in that regard. My brother in-law is a contractor and will be helping to put in ramps when needed as well (hoping way down the line LOL)
 

hjlindley

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Yeah I hope the ramps are way down the line for you too, my friend. It's Murphy's Law that we just redid the upstairs bathroom and bedroom about 6 months before I couldn't use the stairs anymore. We checked to make sure were not going to be the biggest house in the neighborhood. The Carmax money lives up the street so I'm sure I'm not pricing myself out. It just plain ticks me off that I have to do this rather than want to do this.
On a separate note I hope you sit down before you fall down. Having worked in orthopedics I can tell you broken bones hurt like hell.
Hollister
 

marypat

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we put in a stair climber. the as la helped us find it. we were told this was not smart because of the short time I would be able to use it. this is the second year ive used it. (3 rd year after diagnosed.) since we were given the unit it was great decisions for us.
 

vickim

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We built our house 23 years ago with old in mind. We were in our thirties at the time but I am really glad we did it that way. We picked a flat lot and have no stairs. WE may have to remodel the master bath at some point but I hope that is a loooonng ways down the road.
 

Al fox

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Marypat can you tell me what is a stair climber?
 

fallinggirl

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We are actually moving this week! I can no longer do these stairs here in our current home. It made me sad to leave this home, so many memories, but I am hoping to make many more happy memories in the new place.
 

ottawa girl

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Falling girl,

Since I've just moved - I hear you! I felt I was leaving my life behind. ( We changed cities as well) It's not easy. However, I'm here to tell you that my days have improved significantly without the stairs! It's even actually starting to feel like home. But, please take it from me : PACE YOURSELF! I didn't and I paid the price. I just couldn't let go of the reigns; I oversaw every detail which sucked up my energy stores. Ended up exhausted, fell ( 3 times in 1 week) and am just now recovering, some 3 months later. My progression speeded up and I'm convinced it's due to the stress I put upon myself before and during the move. So not worth it!
 

Annie's Phil

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The typical stairway lift in which the person is seated is at best only a temporary solution. Transfers to a wheelchair are necessary on both floors, and as the torso weakens the PALS will not be able to be stable sitting in the lift chair. I installed one of these and Annie was able to use it for a bit over a year while she was still able to be somewhat ambulatory with a rollator walker. She used a small power wheelchair downstairs, and the rollator upstairs to get to the bedroom. Eventually she had to graduate to a rehab wheelchair and she was no longer able to use the rollator or stairway lift.

If your house layout has sufficient space at the head and foot of the stairs, then a wheelchair stairway lift will work long term. Adding an elevator is a good permanent solution depending upon budget and house layout. By way of future planning, my brother had one installed during a major house renovation, and home elevators are becoming more common as the baby boomers are forced to face the reality that we actually are going to get old and decrepit.

As others have commented, making necessary accommodations all on the lower floor is usually the best solution, but particular house layout and budget play a huge role in the best approach for each individual situation. If the house can accommodate an elevator, then that has the advantage of giving one access to the whole house, though eventually that becomes somewhat of a moot point.
 

marypat

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thanks phil. I was on vacation. as I said asl a helped us find a stairlift but the are often on resale sites.
 

Jayne A

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I'm still able to climb stairs and function pretty regularly, but I've fallen 4 times in the last month. Does anyone know how much wheelchair lifts cost?
 

ottawa girl

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Jayne,

If you are a 15 boy, as you say, suffering with both MS & ALS, as you say, I'm thinking your Mom & Dad will concern themselves with the cost of equipment. You should focus on other matters.
 
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