If you were to stop 10 random people on the street and ask them to describe the physical attributes of the sort of person who might have a home stair lift installed in their home, how do you think they would respond?
We can’t say for sure, but we can probably agree on this: The words “old,” or “elderly,” or “senior” would probably feature in almost every description. And that likely wouldn’t come as a surprise. Because for reasons that are mostly obvious, the average stair lift or “stair chair” owner is also a senior citizen.
The Elderly Aren’t the Only Population Who Can Benefit from Stair Lifts
But common sense tells us that elderly people suffering from arthritis or other mobility issues aren’t the only demographic that can benefit from a device that transports you up and down a set of stairs.
Which brings us to the point of this article: Occupational and physical therapists alike have been known to strongly recommend the home use of stair chairs to their patients. And some of the varied reasons they make those recommendations may be of interest to you, even if you aren’t currently rehabbing from an injury or impairment.
What’s the Difference Between an Occupational and a Physical Therapist?
Just in case you aren’t 100 percent clear on this point, a physical therapist (PT) treats—and attempts to heal—a patient’s actual impairment. An occupational therapist (OT), meanwhile, teaches a patient how to successfully live their life while suffering from the impairment.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are just a few of the many reasons physical and occupational therapists encourage their patients to have a home stair lift installed in their home, either permanently or temporarily.
Stair Lifts Reduce the Risk of Injury
There are any number of unfortunate incidents that can befall a person who’s using crutches, especially during those first few days when they’re still learning how to best use the crutches to move safely.
Did you know, for instance, that falling down stairs is one of the most common injuries—perhaps the most common—suffered by people using crutches? That’s why occupational therapists have been known to recommend stair lift rentals for patients whose legs have been rendered temporarily immobile.
Whether you’re wearing a cast or a leg brace, or maybe just a tight pair of shoes due to a broken toe, using a home stair lift can severely reduce the risk of further injury.
Stair Lifts Allow Patients to be Discharged with Ease and Speed
Strange as it may sound, it’s common for hospitals to refuse to discharge a patient who has suffered a serious lower bodily injury until that patient can prove that he or she is capable of moving up and down sets of stairs. If that patient lives with a family member or significant other who can help, that’s often considered good enough. But if the patient lives alone, they’ll be spending a lot more time in the hospital than they otherwise would if they can’t climb stairs. Having a stair lift installed in the home, even temporarily, can be a smart way to solve that problem.
Home Stair Lifts Help Put Priorities in Place
When a physical therapy patient has a home with a home stair lift installed, they tend to progress through their therapy much quicker than they otherwise would. And why is that? In a word: Priorities. The PT can spend more time on the actual practice of rehab, and less time helping the patient navigate his or her house—a job that would typically be carried out by an occupational therapist.
When a patient doesn’t have an immediate need to travel up and down stairs, PTs can prioritize the various phases of the rehab experience in an order that makes the most sense.
Stair Lifts Can Even Lead to Improved Self-Esteem
It’s been proven that small psychological wins, no matter how small they may be, can have a significant impact on the speed at which an ill patient recovers. Call it the power of positive thinking: We’re told that the more a patient experiences psychological wins, the faster he or she will heal.
A patient with a stair lift could potentially experience these small wins every single time she uses her lift, assuming it makes her feel more independent, and less of a burden on her loved ones. The result is a better psychological outlook, which in turn translates to a better outlook on treatment in general, and a tendency to stick with that treatment. Patients who feel they’ve lost their independence, however, tend to experience depression at much higher rates. Naturally, those same patients are less likely to be compliant with physical therapy, as well as with their medications.
If you or someone you care for is currently undergoing a situation that may benefit from a home stair lift, we’d love to speak with you about our temporary stair lift rentals. We also sell both new and used stair lift models, although over 90 percent of our customers choose to rent our stair lift systems. For further information, contact us today.
One thought on “Why Physical and Occupational Therapists Recommend Home Stair Lifts”
I’m glad you explained that stairlifts can prevent people from getting another injury from falling down the stairs. My parents are thinking about allowing my grandfather to live with them for about a year and he uses a wheelchair. It seems like it might be a good idea for my parents to have a stairlift installed in their home so that my grandfather won’t accidentally fall down the steps.