Going up and down stairs can be challenging for some people with Down syndrome. Aging, differences in depth perception, unsteady gait, and other issues may contribute to difficulty with navigating stairs. The suggestions below may help with going up and down stairs safely.
- Make sure there is at least one handrail. Having two handrails is best (one on each wall or side when possible).
- Keep stairways well-lit. When possible, include lights on the walls up/down the stairway.
- Remove photos and other decorations from the walls of the stairway to minimize distractions.
- Use a slip-resistant tape on the tread of the step.
- Provide contrast between the tread and riser of the step. Consider using different colors of paint or tape for the tread and riser.
- If possible, add a chair lift.
- Caregivers can use a gait belt to assist their loved one up and down stairs.
- When all else fails, scoot up and down on your behind.
For resources on aging and Down syndrome, please see this link.