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We have a friend who is trying to remain in her home. Her kitchen has a door that opens into her garage and there is an existing 3 or 4 step stairway someone built from wood. From the floor of her kitchen to the floor of the garage is a 24 inch straight drop. She has a very difficult time using these stairs as they are too steep. If I could come up with a vertical lift to lower her straight down and lift her straight up it would be ideal. She has limited mobility and uses a walker or cane but struggles to use these stairs. Any ideas or anyone else built or modified existing stairs?

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My in laws had a step down like you describe from the kitchen to garage. Where there were two steps we put four. Wider and extending further into the garage with rails on either side and rubber grips on each step. A motion detector light came on when the door opened. We had a couple of sturdy shelves to put items on (purse, shopping bag) when coming up or down the steps.
There was a back drop from the den down onto a concrete pad. Two concrete steps. No rails. That’s where FIL fell backwards. Hit his head and all his problems began. Nothing to hold onto. No soft place to fall. We are going to be able to go up and down those steps forever without a problem, don’t you know??!
Also a note on the walker. If she could leave a walker at the foot of the stairs and another one at the top it would be easier than what she’s doing. She can use the new rail to go up the stairs. Used walkers can be found at thrift stores, goodwill etc.
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My husband built these steps for me up to our front door; they are about half the size in the riser as normal ones, and most everyone who comes here notices them and thinks they're great - especially me!

Old Sailor, he also built the house, so knew how to do this, but you're right, most handy guys/gals can do it.
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There is a type of steps called easy risers. Much shorter in the rise as regular steps. I recently built one for my wife to transition from the house into the garage. The rise is not two feet but what I did build has helped her greatly. I have built small platforms for the bed, our vehicle and the step in tub. Most any carpenter should be able to built these steps.
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testdepth, even though a lift might be a good idea, and it is so kind of you to want to help, would the elderly homeowner even use it... she might be afraid of it after the fact. What about railings on both sides of the stairs to give her something to grab on while she is attempting the stairs. How does she get her walker into the house, or does she only use her cane when she is out and about?

My parents had a drop from their interior door out to the garage, it wasn't a big drop but enough to make it difficult at times to get into the house. My Dad would tend to lean backwards when he grabbed the door jam... if I wasn't there he probably would fall back onto his car.

My Dad did think about installing a grab bar, which made sense, but he never got around to doing that. Dad decided the house was too much for him to deal with, he also used a cane and a walker, so he moved to Independent Living, which he said he wished he knew such places existed as he would have moved in years earlier :)

Sometimes we tend to enable a person to stay in their house when they should either have caregivers helping them navigate, or to move into an Independent Living where they would have a really nice actual one or two bedroom apartment, living room, and full kitchen. Soooo much safer. My Dad used the equity in his house to pay for Independent Living and later Assisted Living.
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There are hydraulic wheelchair lifts available commercially but they are expensive, I've always thought you could build one for a lot less if you are mechanically inclined.
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What about a ramp with 2 sets of railings?
Also rubber grips on the ramp. Make sure the area is well lit.
You could also use reflective tape.
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