At some point in the disease, the person will have difficulty climbing stairs.
This may be due to age-related mobility problems, such as arthritis, or age-related
low vision problems, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. The person may
also have poor depth perception, a dementia-related condition. Instead of seeing
the individual steps, the person may see the steps blended together, making
it difficult to know where to put one's feet or how high to lift one's legs.
Then, too, the stairway may be unsafe. There often is no or only one handrail,
which makes it unsafe or even impossible for the person to use the stairs if
he or she has a weak side due to a stroke. Descents may be especially dangerous
because of low light levels, clutter especially on landings that
can cause trips and slips, or torn carpeting or treads in which toes may easily
become caught. And finally, unsecured carpets can easily slide underneath the
stair when walked on, especially if the person is rushing.
In this section, we show you how to make stair climbing as safe as possible,
and also suggest alternatives for when stair climbing is no longer feasible.