(NewsUSA) - You're getting older, and those day-to-day tasks that never took a second thought are becoming more difficult. Your kids are urging you to downsize and move to an apartment in a senior living community where everything would be on one level, but that's the last thing you want to do. After all, home is where your heart is, and it's where you want to stay.
Fortunately for today's seniors, there are many devices that make aging easier and safer. These devices can also increase mobility in the home. One device is a stairlift, like the ones made by Acorn Stairlifts of Orlando, Fla.
Stairlifts can be designed for straight or curved staircases, even outdoor patios and front steps.
If you're unsteady on your feet and are at risk of falling, or if you suffer from painful osteoarthritis, here are some more ways to increase mobility while staying safe in your home.
* Reduce clutter and move tripping hazards, like stacks of books, off the floor.
* If you live with cats, put collars with bells on them so you always know where they are. Pets, too, can be a tripping hazard.
* Consider using a cane. Today's canes come in pretty colors and patterns and will help you keep your balance as you're walking around the house.
* Invest in a grabber pole so you can reach cans and bags of food and other items stored on high shelves without using a stepladder.
For Gloria Clark, whose back and leg pain were so severe she had to crawl up the steps using her hands and feet, a stairlift "made all the difference in the world." And Charles and Nancy Spear say their stairlift has made their "home feel like it's 'ours' again."
While the original stairlifts were clunky and difficult to use, today's models are streamlined and fold up and out of the way when not in use. The newest models, like Acorn's, are powered by two small 12-volt batteries under the seat or by regular house current. The lifts have sensors around the perimeter of the foot platform that will stop the lift when a sensor is triggered by a foot that has slipped off the platform or an object that has fallen on the floor and is in the way.