Precaution is always better than cure for senior citizens, especially when it comes to DIY projects. You can’t imagine how vital a step tool can turn out to be for older adults until you see them get on top of an old, squeaky stool to get something from a hanging cabinet.
I once walked into my grandmother’s house to a frightful sight.
She was standing on a dining room chair cleaning her ceiling fan. Obviously, I made her get down immediately. Keeping a senior or elder safe at home sometimes means getting them the right tools for the job, like in this example. She was still pretty spry at the time so a safe step stool for seniors like her would have been helpful.
And much safer.
I’m sure you may also feel the same way I do. And if you are looking to buy a step stool for yourself or an older parent or grandparent, here are some of the best models you can choose from.
Video Guide: Step Stools for Seniors
My Recommended Step Stools for Older Adults
While the safest use of a step stool is often as a plant stand, the reality is there are times seniors need to reach something up high. So, if no one is around and it is safe for them to use one, here are some of the best step stools for elderly folks.
AdjustaStep(tm) DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool
The adjustable height and double handles make this step stool unique. It is the safest step stool I can think of, especially for seniors with different heights. The white powder-coated finish makes the stool look quite stylish. Its anti-slip rubber feet and bottom ensure that seniors can use the stool without worrying about slipping and falling. The stool weighs only 7 lbs but can carry up to 300 lbs. It’s ideal for carrying it around wherever you want.
When it comes to safety, this step stool hits it right out of the park. It has all the safety features I love and would recommend everyone to check before buying a step stool. I think it’s the best stool that allows seniors to get in and out of bed easily.
Unlike most of the other step stools, this one allows you to adjust its height from 8.5″ to 10.5″ using steel retracting push buttons. This allows seniors to adjust the height of the stool according to their convenience. They can climb onto their beds or reach a hanging cabinet just by changing the height of the stool.
Most step stools have one handle. This one has two. It provides more stability and balance and doesn’t wobble when seniors put all their weight on the handle while getting up or coming down. Another advantage that sets this stool apart is its adjustable handles. You can adjust their heights from 31.5″ to 33.5,” thus making it suitable for tall and short people.
This step stool is also available in a single handle version if you prefer that.
Although it is the safest step stool, or perhaps because it is, it is a bit pricier than some others. Another thing that I dislike it doesn’t fold. You need to disassemble it or carry it intact for storage.
Vive Step Stool with Handrail
This stylish finish attracted my attention because it didn’t look like a piece of medical equipment, unlike some of the other stools. Additionally, its 9-inch step height is perfect for most senior citizens. It also comes with a handle for added balance, making it suitable for those who need additional support while climbing a step. The stainless steel construction also impressed me significantly. It ensures that you don’t need to think of buying a new stool in the next few years. The anti-slip surface, together with the no-slip rubber feet at the bottom, makes the stool stable and safe for seniors.
This is the ideal step stool for seniors. It comes with all the safety features I can think of. Although this stool is best for bathing, in my opinion, seniors can use it anywhere in their houses.
It has some incredible features that make it one of the best step stools in the business. First of all, it has anti-slip protection. There are anti-slip tips at the bottom, along with a textured non-slip surface. This means anyone who gets on top of the stool won’t slip easily.
The stool remains 9 inches from the ground, which is manageable for most senior citizens. But what if they accidentally misstep? This stool has a handle that provides added balance to the user to get on and off, thus ensuring that he doesn’t tumble down.
Apart from the safety features, I also like the stool’s stylish finish. This isn’t like those tools that have a bright and shiny chrome look. They look like medical instruments instead of stools. This one has a dark, hammered steel finish. It blends with your room décor and doesn’t look out of place. Its stainless steel construction provides durability.
The only downside that I can point out is the wobbling of the handle. And that happens because it’s a removable handle that has two steel push pins at its bottom. Other than that, it’s a great step stool for seniors.
Step2Bed Bed Rails for Elderly with Adjustable Height Bed Step Stool
Designed to help seniors get in and out of bed at night, this one also has applications as a step stool for use in other parts of the home. The large wide slip-resistant surface area provides a safe place to stand. The overall safety is further enhanced with double handles. If even has a motion-activated LED light if you or your loved one are the type who can’t be bothered with light switches.
Although this one primarily says it’s for climbing up and down the bed, you can use it in your bathroom or kitchen also. It has easy-grab handles that provide the support elders need to get into their beds.
The most exciting features that I love about this step stool are the adjustable height and automatic LED light. You can increase or decrease the height according to the height of your bed, bathtub, or cabinet.
The LED light activated automatically when it senses motion. Although you shouldn’t ever use a stool in the dark, there may some dimly lit situations where this could be helpful.
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It can support up to 400 lbs so it will be usable for most older adults.
The biggest drawback of this step stool is it isn’t foldable. It takes up a significant amount of space where you use it and is too bulky to move it around frequently. This one is best used at bedside or in an area where it can stay put.
Evelots Mobility Half Step
This one has a non-slip surface that prevents elders from tumbling down or falling while getting up. This stool also has 6 support feet to provide added stability. Most step stools in this category only come with 4 feet, which I think are not enough to offer the stability that seniors need. It weighs only 10.1 ounces and has a plastic surface. This means you can carry it anywhere you want and clean it easily.
Seniors sometimes require a small push to get up from bed or a tub. They may not require a tall step stool to climb and get something from the cabinet on top. And so, the Evelots Mobility Half Step is the best model for those who only want to get up on a step, in their beds or bathtubs. This is a half-step-sized stool that you can use almost anywhere in your house. Although it looks small and lightweight, it can support up to 400 lbs.
It remains 3.5 inches from the ground, thus giving seniors the ideal support whenever they need to apply their strength to climb a step. This is suitable for those who need added support while walking with a cane.
The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a handle. You need to have adequate balance to get up or come down from the stool.
I love this step stool because of its simplistic design. It has a non-slip textured matting surface and reinforced rubber tips to provide stability to the step stool. There is a non-slip handle that allows elders to hold the stool while getting up or coming down. It has a stainless steel finish, making the stool durable.
However, it is not foldable and remains 9 inches from the ground. This may be a problem for seniors who can’t raise their feet too much from the floor.
This is a two-step stool that folds and collapses when you don’t need it. The patented sturdy design ensures stability to the user. It doesn’t skid or slip when you get on top of the stool. The stool weighs only 5.75 lbs and has a weight carrying capacity of 300 lbs. Its durable plastic construction also allows you to clean it easily.
The only problem I see with this step stool is it doesn’t come with handles. This can make the stool wobble when someone gets on top of the second step.
The biggest advantage of this step stool is its weight. It weighs only 5 lbs but can support up to 440 lbs. The aluminum construction makes the stool lightweight and durable. It also has an auto locking security system with quick fold design that allows you to save space when you don’t need it.
The legs have rubber feet that prevent the step stool from slipping. It also has only three inch gap from the ground. This is something I prefer because it doesn’t make the senior raise his feet too much.
What Features Are Important When Shopping for a Safe Step Stool for Seniors & the Elderly?
If you are taking elder safety into account, it’s essential to compare the safety features of the stools before buying one. Here are some of the critical aspects of a step stool that you need to keep in mind.
Large Stepping Area
Always go for a step stool that has a large stepping area. It’s risky when you buy a stool where the senior’s foot hangs jut over the edge. This could lead to an accident as they may lose their balance and fall down from the stool. Make sure the stool’s surface area is at least bigger than the user’s feet.
Non-Slip / Slip Resistant Surface
In addition to the stepping area, you should also keep an eye on the slip resistance of the surface. It is best if you buy a stool that has a textured rubber mat on top and non-slip bottoms to prevent the stool from slipping even if you put your full bodyweight on it.
Handles Are Important for Stability
Also, don’t forget to buy a stool that comes with handles. I personally prefer stools with double handles. It’s up to you whether you want a single handle or double handle, but make sure the stool has at least one to provide balance and support.
Lightweight For Easy Portability
You should buy a lightweight stool that can support a heavyweight user. This will also allow the elderly to carry the stool around in the house easily.
Non-Slip Bottom to Prevent Stool From Moving
The stool should also have rubber tips or a non-slip texture at the bottom. Just like the non-slip surface, the bottom should also have anti-slip rubber tips to prevent the stool from wobbling or moving.
Other features to consider
Apart from the features, there are a few more things that you need to consider before buying a step stool for senior citizens.
- Weight capacity – The stool has to support the weight of the user. Make sure it is suitable for larger seniors also. Some stools can only support 200 lbs. Get one that supports at least 300 lbs or more.
- Number of steps – You get various variants for step stools. Some come with one step, while others may be available in 2, 3, or 4 steps. But remember, the stool has to stay as close to the ground as possible. This is not a ladder.
- Waterproof – A waterproof step stool is ideal if you want to use it in your bathroom. It should also be rust-proof.
- Maintenance – It should only take a wipe to clean the stool. Avoid anything that requires too much maintenance.
Should Seniors Even Use a Step Stool?
It totally depends on the user’s abilities and needs. If he is comfortable getting up and down from the bed or bathtub and can reach hanging cabinets and bookshelves easily, then he may not need the stool after all.
On the other hand, if he has arthritis and finds it challenging to get up from the bed or get into the bathtub, a step stool becomes an essential piece of furniture in the house.
I believe that if you were to use a step stool, you should always keep the safety aspects in mind. It should have a handle, non-slip surface, anti-slip bottom, and large surface area.
A step stool is ideal for those who can’t keep their balance when they get up on a chair. They may fall down and severely injure themselves. And using a ladder or chair isn’t an option because they are too dangerous as they don’t have the safety features that a step tool has.
Therefore, apart from using a step stool, it is also wise to keep the things that seniors need handy. For example, keep the books they read or their favorite coffee mugs within their reach.
Places Where Stools are Helpful for Aging Adults
Seniors can use a step stool both inside and outside their house. The primary reason to use a step stool is independence and safety. Here are a few places where seniors can use step stools:
1. Getting items from the kitchen cabinets
A step stool is useful to reach for items in the higher shelves of hanging cabinets or at the back of counter tops improving their safety in the kitchen. Seniors can use the stool to get these items without taking anyone’s help.
2. Stepping into the bathtub
Seniors with balance problems need a support to get in and out of bathtubs and a step stool can provide that support.
3. Getting in and out of the bed
A step stool can come in handy for seniors to get in and out of a high bed or while turning ceiling fans on or off.
4. Making smaller steps on decks and porches
Seniors may use step stools if they can’t climb a high step that leads to the deck or porch.
5. Getting in and out of trucks or SUVs
This type of step stool is also useful if an elderly wants to get in his truck, SUV, or medical transport vehicle.
Conclusion and Final Recommendation
There is no doubt that seniors need a step stool in the house if they want to reach the higher shelf of a cabinet or get in and out of their bed or bathtub. A step stool with a large surface area, anti-slip surface, and handles is ideal for such senior citizens.
In my opinion, the AdjustaStep DoubleSafe Deluxe Step Stool is the safest model available right now. It comes with all the safety features I want from a step stool, such as adjustable height, adjustable double handles, and slip-resistant surface and bottom.