In many situations, children of aging parents take some level of role or responsibility in their care, and may even help them with certain important themes. One such theme involves the potential installation of a stair lift, lift chair or any related mobility assistance device — any such move will require a conversation with the senior in question, and children or other caregivers are often perfectly suited to have this conversation.

At Western Stairlifts, we’re proud to offer a wide range of stair lifts, lift chairs and other related products for clients throughout Utah, including many seniors who may require some basic assistance in daily life. Here are some themes we often recommend for those speaking to their parents about such an addition to their home — these won’t necessarily be easy conversations in every case, but having them is important. A few tips we can offer:

Facts About the Device

First and foremost, one of the simplest and most effective ways of starting off these conversations is going over some basic facts about the device you’re suggesting. In many cases, hesitance from a given senior to consider a certain mobility assistance device will come from a lack of understanding about what it actually is and how it would work. If possible, spend some time with your parent showing them how the device works — video demonstrations from reliable online sources can also be helpful in this case.

For instance, if you’re recommending a stair lift to your parent, it might be helpful to explain how a stair lift is installed, how it’s used on a daily basis and how it can ultimately make getting up and down the stairs much simpler. If you’re talking about a lift chair, on the other hand, you can focus on how these devices can help with things like sitting down from a standing position or getting in and out of bed. No matter what kind of device you’re suggesting, familiarizing yourself with the basics will be important before having this conversation.

It’s also great if you can be familiar enough to answer questions your parent may have about the device. They might want to know specific things about installation, for instance, or what kind of weight limit a given stair lift has. If you don’t have all the answers, that’s okay — just let your parent know that you’re committed to finding out more and getting back to them as soon as possible.

Modifications and Customization

It’s also vital to let your parent know that they don’t simply have to settle for any given device “as is.” In many cases, it’s perfectly possible to make modifications or even customize a stair lift, lift chair or other mobility assistance device to perfectly suit their individual needs and preferences.

This might include things like adding a heated seat to a lift chair, for instance, or making sure that a given stair lift is the perfect color to match the existing décor in their home. If your parent is hesitant about using a mobility assistance device, letting them know that there are ways to make it perfectly comfortable and convenient for them can be a game-changer.

Tips for Reluctant Parents

Some parents will be hesitant to accept any suggestion of a mobility device, and it’s vital to see things through their eyes when having this conversation. No one wants to admit that they’re getting older and may need a little help in their daily lives, but it’s important to emphasize that these devices can ultimately make life simpler and more enjoyable.

Down these lines, here are some approaches we can recommend:

  • Come from a place of love, not demand: It’s vital that your parent knows that you’re not demanding they get a stair lift or lift chair, but rather that you’re suggesting it as something that could make their life easier. This conversation should be about what’s best for them, not about what’s most convenient for you.
  • Be ready for some resistance: It’s also important to be prepared for some level of resistance, even if your parent seems open to the idea at first. In many cases, it can take some time for a parent to come around to the idea of using a mobility assistance device, so it’s important not to get discouraged if they’re not immediately on board.
  • Emphasize independence and mobility: One of the most important things to remember is that these devices are ultimately about helping your parent maintain their independence. If they’re struggling with getting around the house, it can make them feel like a burden on you or anyone else who’s helping them out. By contrast, using a stair lift or lift chair can help them feel like they’re in control of their own lives and capable of taking care of themselves.
  • Expect to have multiple conversations: Finally, remember that this is likely to be an ongoing conversation rather than a one-time thing. In many cases, it can take multiple conversations (spread out over weeks or even months) to really get your parent comfortable with the idea of using a mobility assistance device.

At the end of the day, your goal should be to have a calm, constructive conversation with your parent about the possibility of using a stair lift, lift chair or other mobility assistance device. If you come from a place of love and understanding, you’ll be much more likely to get them on board with the idea.

For more on this important topic, or to learn about any of our stair lifts, lift chairs or other mobility products for seniors and others in Utah, speak to the team at Western Stairlifts today.