Stair Lift Rejected By Parents

by Pat
(Spring Lake, NJ)

Briefly: Just had a stair lift installed for elderly parents.


I ordered this with their knowledge and consent. Mom is 87 & Dad is 99; he has serious mobility problems.

Long story short - Dad hates it and has refused to try it.

Also, months ago I purchased a bench so they could shower sitting down. It's in the garage and has never been used.

Would like to hear from others with similar problems?

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Common Caregiver Issue
by: Kevin

Hi Pat,

Unfortunately this a common issue, both for caregivers as well as health care professionals.

I've had elderly who were clearly unsafe showering, walking, bathing, etc say they don't need any equipment or supports and that those things were "for old people".

I've heard the same story from 75 to 95 year olds.

However, they usually come around to the idea of at least trying the equipment or supports. It might take days or weeks or even months. It may take explaining and showing them the equipment several times - letting them think about it - before they finally agree to give it a try.

Some tips I've found successful:

Trial period - I usually ask them to give it a try for at least a week before deciding. A couple days doesn't give them enough time to get used to it and make a good decision.

Talk about safety and consequences - I explain the consequences of doing something without the proper equipment/supports. For example, walking without a walker when their balance is poor can result in falling, potential hip fractures, etc.

Tell them that many people use the equipment because it is safe and works - Some elderly do not realize that many people use the equipment and they are simply not noticing it. If they live in a senior's home, I point out the walkers in the dining hall or that there are many residents that have grab bars, bath seats and bed rails.

Cost - Sometimes cost becomes a concern. I try to explain the cost involved in not using the equipment/supports such as increased health care costs and time spent going to appointments and in the hospital if they have a fall.

Equipment loans or trials - If cost is an issue, they can usually trial, rent or borrow the equipment from the Red Cross or a local medical supply store. Everybody loves a free chance at trying a product - no commitment and usually results in seeing how they make their lives safer and easier.

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