Living With MS: Curved Stair Lift to Heaven
State: CO, Colorado
Project Type: Curved Stair Lift
This is the story of Ruth and Rich living with MS (multiple sclerosis). Rich was diagnosed with MS years ago. As time passed, his coordination, balance and mobility worsened. Moving about his multi-level home became more difficult. They had a sunken garage with steps leading into the house. The front entrance and back yard also had steps that Rich would have to overcome. This made getting in and out of the house challenging. Their back yard, specifically, was their haven. On the back patio was the grill and an eating area. The yard was landscaped, green and lush. It was beautiful, and access to it was no longer possible.
Age in Place or Move?
Ruth and Rich were faced with the decision of moving into a single story, ranch style home. This was very hard to find in their Boulder, Colorado area. Or, they could modify their existing home to make it work for them. They chose to age in place in the comfort of their home, in which they had raised their daughter.
Curved Stair lift and Other Home Modifications
In order to make aging in place possible, they had to up the accessibility of the home to allow Rich to move about freely, safely, and at times independently. They sought out home accessibility professionals and a plan was put into motion. The home modifications included:
Curved Stair lift: Installed on the backyard deck that granted Rich access to his grill on one level, a seating area next to a water fountain, and their landscaped yard that allowed for bird watching. With the help of a walker, Rich can now ride the curved stair lift down to his backyard for some relaxation or a brief stroll.
Ramps: Even though Rich is not wheelchair bound, smaller ramps were installed inside of the home to help Rich overcome the steps that existed throughout. He can now move from living room to the kitchen, which was elevated, and into other rooms of the house.
Grab bars: To help with fall prevention, grab bars were installed at key areas of the home, like the bathroom and walkways. This made sitting, rising easier and safer.
Handrail: A handrail was installed on the back deck that granted anyone something to grip as they descended the deck steps.
Benefits of Home Modifications
With the home modifications, including the installation of a curved stair lift, ramps, grab bars and a handrail, Ruth and Rich accomplished what they desired most – not having to move and being able to age in place in the sanctuary of their home while managing and living with MS.
Meet Rich and Ruth
We can now do it [cooking in the back yard] together. The other night we grilled salmon. It was wonderful.