If diabetes leaves you tired and exhausted, you may wonder if there's a better way to navigate your multi-story home without the risk of falling. Diabetes causes muscle weakness, nerve damage and poor circulation over time, which can make it difficult to maintain your balance and ability to walk. If you trip and fall when ascending or descending your stairs, you might injure your skin or stub a toe. Because of your diabetic health complications, you might not notice the wounds and develop dangerous infections. There are things you can do to make your home safe, including using a stair glide lift. Here's more to know about your diabetes and what you can do to keep safe at home.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Life?
For many people with diabetes, walking can be a great way to improve their blood circulation and health. But if you have peripheral artery disease, you may not reap the benefits of walking. In many cases, it can be dangerous.
Peripheral artery disease develops when the blood vessels in your arms, legs and certain organs narrow and block the flow of blood through the body. The condition occurs in two stages: intermittent and advanced. The symptoms of intermittent artery disease come and go, but tend to be worse when you climb stairs, walk or exercise. You may experience cramps in the muscles of your calves, hips and thighs.
Advanced peripheral artery disease causes tingling and pain in the toes and legs. Your calf muscles shrink, and painful, slow-healing ulcers may develop on your feet and toes. You might even experience blood clots in your body that place you at risk for stroke and heart attacks.
The nerves in your muscles also become damaged. You might tire out easily as you attempt to walk up and down your stairs. If your feet give out or become weak, you may accidentally trip and fall. If you're an elderly individual, you may be susceptible to skin tears, or injuries to the skin, that don't heal quickly. Bacteria can set in your injured skin and compromise your overall health.
You can help protect your health by improving the way you ascend and descend your stairs.
What Can You Do to Make Your Home Safer?
One of the first things you can do is have your home evaluated for a stair glide lift. The evaluation will help you choose and install a lift that fits the style of your stairs to make it easier to move from floor to floor. In addition, you must also consider whether or not you need to add features to your staircase to accommodate the lift. For instance, if you have a double staircase, you may wish to add a railing system that allows you to move smoothly from one side to the other without rising from your chair.
Also, you may want to consider adding safety features to the lift that keep you secured in your chair during use. The features may include safety belts that lock in place when you sit in the chair and retract, or automatically pull in, when you rise up from the chair. You can also decide on the type of footrest you want for the lift. If your diabetic symptoms become better when your feet dangle instead of stay in place, you may choose a folding footrest.
Finally, select a chair that has a strong backup battery or power system. If the electricity goes out in the home, you have a safe way to move up and down the stairs without physically walking. It's a good idea that you consult with a contractor about the best backup systems during your evaluation.
For more information about making your diabetes and its symptoms easier with a stair lift, contact a company like All-Star Lifts.