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Are having stairs in your home good for your health?

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  • #16
    Visited my in laws at the Villages in Florida. No stairs in sights. No steps. It was awesome actually. We have young toddler, it was phenomenal for him also. No baby gates needed.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by pierre View Post
      I think it’s sad that we accept the shortening of our health span as normal aging.
      I'm sure working in ED has jaded me but I find it sad that so many lack the insight earlier in life to accept that at a certain point if we live long enough both physical and cognitive abilities will likely require lifestyle modifications. Planning in advance can be invaluable.

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      • #18
        It's a nice idea but while it can give you exercise, just going for a walk when old can probably be just as good. Having stairs in the house forces possible hardship. If you're old and healthy just go for a walk. But there's a decent chance there will be a time in your life when you're living but can't move much or get exhausted easily. So your walks stop. But you have to go upstairs to bed which is hard all the time. My uncle had stairs in his house and had eye cancer and those last few months he couldn't move upstairs/downstairs so they moved the bed to the downstairs living room. Stairs aren't a good idea b/c there are many other replacements

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        • #19
          An acquaintance of my wifes fell down the basement stairs and suffered a C6 cord transection. He's a quad now and on a vent the majority of the time. I believe there was alcohol involved so, not so much a tale of the danger of stairs, more of a tale of the danger of over imbibing with stairs.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by AR View Post

            Some family friends bought a house with an elevator in anticipation of needing it when they got old. It was a massive house, though. Completely impractical for older people with no kids at home. When they actually got old, they realized that while the elevator was nice, it was way too much house and so they moved to a house without an elevator.

            My own inlaws installed one of those chair lifts attached to the stairs. It's fairly unobtrusive and gets the job done just fine. Also my kids loved to ride that thing when visiting. It was like an amusement park ride for them when they were little.
            Massive house in old age with no one else in house, no children or friends visiting is a big negative for me.

            But I think I still have another 10+ years before my house will feel lonely, So we wanted to do it the way we wanted, for one last hurrah, before we can't enjoy it any more. Our stairs are right there when the front door opens to an atrium with tall ceilings, and a stair lift will look ugly there.

            In addition to transporting luggage and people living in the house, the elevator comes in useful when I have guests who also bring along their aged parents ( different culture than those asking them to stay at a hotel. If I do that I will have no friends. I can't imagine even suggesting that option). Those aged parents also appreciate the elevator to access the guest bedrooms upstairs.
            Last edited by Kamban; 04-08-2022, 10:48 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by burritos View Post
              But doesn't having stairs and using them regularly help keep you out of that debilitative bandwidth?
              Quick answer: No.

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              • #22
                There's these cool lifts these days that disappear into the ceiling of the first floor so can barely recognize a lift there at all.

                Looks like a possibility if needed for us in the future for second floor access.

                Agree. We can stay in current home with primary on ground floor now...but the prospect of too big home.may come into play 20+ years from now if future grandkids come around for near term 🤪🤞🙏

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by pierre View Post
                  I think it’s sad that we accept the shortening of our health span as normal aging.
                  Seeing the responses to the thread seems like bulldozing the physical environment to accommodate norma aging the smarter course of valor. Real exercise is a venue for those who can pay for pricey gyms, equipment or trainers.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by burritos View Post

                    Seeing the responses to the thread seems like bulldozing the physical environment to accommodate norma aging the smarter course of valor. Real exercise is a venue for those who can pay for pricey gyms, equipment or trainers.
                    C'mon guys, I know you are into your worldview but some humility is in order. Even those with healthy habits get sick or injured or need assistance sometimes.

                    My 75 yo aunt who has been eating fatty fish and no processed foods for forty years and kept her weight very low and did all kinds of exercise and low stress and slept well and did yoga and meditation and t'ai ch'i has mild cognitive impairment. She's worse off than my 75 year old uncle who does a bit of running and weights but has worked a high stress job and loves to eat including sweets his whole life.

                    ​​​​​​

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                    • #25
                      Socks plus steps equals danger. Wood floors are slippery with socks, carpet is slippery with socks, brick or tile is slightly less slippery with socks, but hurts more when you land on it.

                      My house is a ranch, all on one level. From the garage, you have to step up onto a meter square pad of concrete, then step up one more time to get into the main. (Two steps total to get inside.) I doubt the lack of stairs to a second, third, or fourth floor is keeping me from getting the exercise I need to be alert and fit after age 95.

                      If you're building or buying a house for the long term, you should have at least one master bedroom and full bath on the ground floor. Or a full bath and a room you reasonably could convert to a private bedroom. If you're going to pricier custom home construction, consider putting in the elevator shaft now even if you don't install the elevator today.

                      A little bit of google-fu suggest that commercial elevators are around 22 square feet. Set that aside as a shaft, drywall off the access, and consider putting in temporary floorboards so if your little hoodlums (cherubic offspring) punch or run through the drywall, they won't fall down an empty elevator shaft and become a para- or a quadriplegic. (Ironically, if they get paralyzed they'll need an elevator to get upstairs.)

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                      • #26
                        This thread is making me realize that many here are extremely risk adverse in areas beyond financial.

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                        • #27
                          We are talking about a flight of stairs people. If you can't walk up a flight of stairs because of a long-term condition chances are you probably should move to someplace more appropriate. Luckily we will all likely have the means to do this. Not everybody is so lucky I understand. But I'm not going to preemptively buy a one-floor home because there is a chance that I become a quadriplegic. I get that everybody will get old and have problems sooner or later but that is definitely a problem I'm going to pass off to Future me a deal with him 40-50 years.

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                          • #28
                            As to the original question if having a flight of stairs in the home leads to a significant part of your total daily exercise you probably have bigger problems. I can't imagine it would make a difference.

                            Maybe if you work someplace with a lot of stairs and over the course of the day you traverse 40 to 50 flights that might make a difference.

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                            • #29
                              I was really surprised these past 2 years to see how many able bodied people were queued up at the elevators in the morning to go up 1-2 flights (the building only has a few floors) when there were staircases left and right. Even when I worked in a hospital with 13-14 flights, I never used the elevator unless I couldn’t find the stairs or I was with someone who couldn’t/wouldn’t use the stairs

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                              • #30
                                By the way, I just walked down my wooden steps in socks without realizing it. I am exhilarated by the danger. I think tomorrow I will go BASE jumping

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